Six distinct wineries make up the South Sound Wine Trail. At each stop, visitors sample flights of handcrafted wines and meet the winemakers that produce them, using grapes from some of Eastern Washington's best vineyards. The award-winning wineries of the South Sound Wine Trail include, Stottle Winery, Madsen Family Cellars, Northwest Mountain Winery, Medicine Creek Winery, Scatter Creek Winery, and Walter Dacon.
Avoid the industrial grapevine by putting winery work into your own grape-mashing hands. No specialized training is necessary to detect the quality and sophistication of Classic Winemakers' hand-inspected and hand-selected elements. Browse a nursery of ingredients in the pre-wine stage before the helpful winery staff ties its hands behind its back while guiding your hands through verbal and foot-signed instruction. In the kitchen, you'll mix a touch of A with a splash of B. Though, as every connoisseur knows, the answer to fine wine is always C, the yeast. Those who have never pitched eukaryotic microorganisms will discover the simplistic joy of bringing their creation some life.
The glowing red sign that adorns the entrance to Fire Creek Grill and Ale House, which depicts the pub's name surrounded by a raging fire, hints at the warmth inside. The sounds of clinking glasses and shuffling plates echo throughout the welcoming space, where touches such as rough stone walls lend the bar and grill traces of a rustic campground vibe. Outside, patrons can sit on a new patio complete with a gas fire pit for comfortable, cool-day lounging. The food, however, is anything but campground fare—cooks prepare a wide range of grill fare, including sizzling tacos and dungeness crab. Fire Creek offers more than just food and drink to entertain its customers, though: special events, such as Saturday-night karaoke andWednesday-night Texas Hold Em keep fun levels high throughout the week. Fire Creek Grill and Ale House also serves a weekend breakfast menu.
Madsen Family Cellars has humble roots—the founders started out fermenting their wines 5-gallon carboys in their garage. In 2005, though, the duo decided to pursue a more traditional path, and the winery was born. Nowadays, their garage-free process starts with grapes from Eastern Washington vineyards, carefully selected based on their flavor, color, and how well they play Pluto in a solar system diorama. The team uses these carefully-curated grapes to create 16 award-winning vintages, ranging from a lightly-oaked Chardonnay to Rhapsody, a white and raspberry wine blend. In the winery's tasting room, visitors can sample up to eight styles at a time; bottles are also available via mail order.
Though it’s the state capital of Washington, Olympia can sometimes feel like a sleepy small town—especially when the state legislature isn’t in session. One feature that stands out amid the low-rise downtown buildings is the impressive capitol building. Its 287-foot-high masonry dome is the fourth-largest in the world, coming in behind St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, St. Paul's Cathedral in London, and the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, DC. After a tour of Olympia’s capitol campus, you can explore the city’s vibrant farmers’ market or have a quiet, dockside meal on Puget Sound.Mount Rainier, located 55 miles away, is a popular destination for day trips. Only experienced climbers attempt to scale its peak, which reaches higher than 14,000 feet. But you can hike a section of the 93-mile Wonderland Trail that circumnavigates the park, passing through lowland forests and subalpine meadows filled with wildflowers. It’s a great way to take in the scenery and catch up on the latest bald-eagle gossip.Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.
Heralded in Washington Magazine, Trillium Creek Winery coaxes decadent Dionysian drinks out of homegrown and East Washington grapes. Low-sulfite bottles of syrah ($20) and merlot ($20) begin life as fresh purple bunches, smash their awkward teen years in the wine press, and then mature in the 1,500-square-foot cellar on site. Guests can take complimentary sniffs, sips, and swishes of these two reds and others while stationed near the stone counter of the charming Alsatian tasting room. In what started as a hobby, friendly husband-wife owners Claude and Claudia Gahard have fused their disparate palates to furnish glasses and tongues with many flavors and blends.