Rob Entrekin's transformation from biomedical engineer to professional winemaker began with a simple question: what makes a wine taste great? This question birthed Finn Hill Winery's small-production wine philosophy. With an emphasis on detail and quality, each single-varietal, single-vineyard red or white wine comes with a distinct terroir.
Within the community is the neighboring Convergence Zone Cellars. Using grapes from premium Red Mountain AVA vineyards, winemaker Scott Greenmaker produces 950 annual cases of renowned red blends, Malbec, and white varietals. Guests can also partake in some of CZ's newer offerings, such as a Red Mountain Pinot Gris, Cabernet Sauvignon, and a Mourvedre-Syrah blend.
Woodinville is also home to Kaella Winery. With grapes from Ciel du Cheval Vineyard, Kaella produces 500 annual cases of hand-crafted signature red wines. In addition to a small number of area stores and restaurants, guests can partake in the family-owned winery's selections at their tasting room. Bottles are also available for purchase online.
After almost a decade of making homebrew wines, Ed and Nichole had an idea of the types of wines they liked. What they didn't know was that their first vintages from their winery, Vortex Cellars, would also charm the palates of so many others, with three of their wines winning gold and silver medals at the 2012 Seattle Wine Awards. Their secret is the variety of Washington grapes they use. To achieve the sweet, honeysuckle notes of their dessert wine, Late Harvest Viognier, they use viognier grapes plucked from the vine on the last day of November, then aged in French oak barrels. For their other wines, they uses grapes traditionally grown in the Mediterranean to create classic French and Spanish style wines, such as the jammy CM2 with flavors of raspberries and currants. On the weekends, the couple opens up the winery to guests hoping to sample their vintages or see if the crazy rumors about wine coming from storks is true. The pair also helps host events such as wine walks, in which guests can explore the town while sipping wine and mingling with their neighbors.
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.