When Josh Lawrence joined his father and uncle to work the land the Lawrence family had farmed for nearly a half-century, he wanted the fruits of his labor to be tasted in a glass. So they began Lawrence Vineyards in 2003 with just one block of vines and a single garden gnome for security in the sunny Frenchman Hills bearing the family's name. From there, the planting and production flourished, and today more than a dozen varieties of grapes populate nearly 125 acres of land. For the Lawrences, Gård Vintners was the natural next step, and a host of award-winning wines followed. Today, they invite visitors into their two tasting rooms to sample a variety of wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Riesling, and refreshing Rosé with notes of strawberry jam and fresh herbs. Guests may also purchase bottles of their favorite varietal or enjoy glasses of Gard Vintners wine at restaurants throughout the area.
Corks and Canvas Events, like a work of fine art, came about by pairing a good idea with a passion to create. The founders both came from the marketing world, where they spent their days devising campaigns and events to inspire their audiences to take action. A shared love for art and wine inspired them to bend their action-creating talents toward a new goal?hosting painting and wine events in area wineries and wine bars, allowing guests to "uncork their creativity" and promote the burgeoning Washington wine industry in a social setting.
Their idea took the form of Corks and Canvas Events, where experienced artists lead guests step-by-step through the painting creation process. Guests re-create various paintings, everything from lush vineyard scenes to preening roosters, while sipping on glasses of local wines.
Despite its name, no dirty buckets are used in the brewing process at Dirty Bucket Brewing Co. The brewery's team members chose a moniker that paid homage to their homebrewing roots. Operating on a three-barrel system from its cozy nanobrewery, the team handcrafts small batches of four mainstay pours, such as the Filthy Hoppin' IPA, which packs a tasty trio of Chinook, Willamette, and Cascade hops. The rest of Dirty Bucket's lineup consists of rotating seasonal brews, ranging from an Irish Red and Pumpkin ale to a Hefeweizen brewed with fresh pineapple. These flow from the taps at Dirty Bucket's tasting room, which welcomes food from neighboring restaurants as well as kids, pets, and imaginary friends, provided they use their indoor voices.
Jim Petty, owner and winemaker, has high standards for wine that have motivated him to craft an array of award-winning varietals from the grapes of local vineyards. Aspenwood Cellars’ signature series boasts Seattle Wine Award–winners, such as the silver medal 2009 syrah and the bronze medal 2008 cabernet sauvignon, while the current production series includes a 2009 Elegance red-wine blend, which serenades tasters with the cherry and toasted vanilla notes that earned it a silver medal at the Washington State Fair in 2012. Aspenwood Cellars invites guests to visit on the weekends for tastings led by Jim. Guests can take the opportunity to learn about how the wine is made personally, since Jim takes a more personal approach, meeting and talking with guests about all things wine.
Warehouse District Wine Tastings exposes enophiles to the rich local culture of Washington wineries. Tastings and bottle discounts at area wineries allow guests to sample sundry reds and whites from the Yakima Valley and beyond.
Woodinville Wine Tastings unites four wineries that sit within a pleasant walk of each other. At Davenport Cellars, patrons may sip cabernet sauvignon aged in French oak beneath impressionist oil paintings of natural landscapes. John Patterson of Patterson Cellars lets more than two decades of experience shine through in swirling elixirs, and red blends at Pondera Winery show a range of crimson shades like a bull’s anger-management counselor. Bordeaux grapes from a handful of Columbia Valley vineyards mingle in the shop’s cuvee, and guests at William Church Winery stroll beneath walnut-hued barrels, clicking together glasses of a pinot gris that hints at lemon zest and green apples.