There's a revolution happening in Woodinville, Washington. There's no violence though, unless you count the stomping of grapes. Home to hundreds of boutique wineries, the region is beginning to rival Napa Valley as the United States' biggest wine producer. Woodinville sits at the same longitude as France's wine country, allowing for optimal adult-grape-juice production and the ability to wear a beret with dignity. Barrel Wine Tours, a co-op of Woodinville winemakers, takes guests throughout the community on tours of the distilleries and wineries of these passionate part-time vintners. On a luxury coach, participants ride to four distilleries or wineries, and three-course lunches and wine pairings occur during each tour.
Passed over by glaciers thousands of years ago, the soils where Patit Creek Cellars' grapes thrive are rich with minerals that imbue an unmistakable depth to the final product. Winemaker Joe Forest works with these locally-sourced grapes from crush to bottling, resulting in a finished product in styles from Riesling to Merlot. Over the years, Patit has expanded to offer a variety of places for curious oenophiles to sample their wines, including a 6,000-square-foot tasting room in Walla Walla.
The owners of Spokane Winery Tours wanted to make a career of enjoying good food and drink, and realized the only thing they needed to do it was a bus. They created a logo, slapped it on the side of their first Wino Wagon, and began living their dream. They take groups of wine lovers and neophyte drinkers alike on tours Valley wineries, teaching them about the process behind creating a bottle. They also ferret out some of the best samples for the region has to offer for their guests to try.
Sky River Meadery turns honey into wine, or mead to be exact. Since 1997, the meadery has produced its own award-winning blends of mead, a fermented-honey beverage that has been lauded for centuries for its subtly sweet taste. Thought to bring strength, wit, and poetry, Mead was the drink of many ancient kings and poets. Sky River, which is owned and operated by women, introduces guests to its meads in a large onsite tasting room. There, customers can experience the sweet, dry, and raspberry-enhanced meads, finished with a touch of berries, apples, and grassy notes, which pair well with curries, ginger, and salsas.
Sky River Meadery also showcases local art in its gallery space, offers other bee products?including candles and honey?and encourages picnicking among the gardens and display bee hives.
The story of family-owned and operated winery, Northwest Cellars, began nearly 12 years ago, when Bob Delf received a custom-labeled bottle of wine that was so repugnant he poured it straight down the drain. This was troubling, especially given Bob's experiences growing up in a family of wine importers and distributors. Determined to raise the bar, Bob founded Northwest Cellars, where today he creates award-winning wines with grapes grown at vineyards across Washington state.
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.