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.
Opening Covington Cellars was a natural step for David and Cindy Lawson—he loved home winemaking, she loved pushing the boundaries of her home kitchen. Eventually, they decided to turn their hobbies into something larger. David enrolled at UC Davis to study enology (the study of seminal winemaker Brian Eno) while Cindy expanded her knowledge of cooking and wine at culinary schools around the country. Today, the two oversee a diverse line of wines and a locally sourced, seasonal menu to match. They also share their enthusiasm with visitors during winemaking events, tours, dinners, and bottle-smashing parties.
Situated on 10 glorious acres, Gold Creek Equestrian Center's two barns house nearly 100 stalls—each comfortable quarters for private boarding and the horse haven's own 30 steeds, which are available for lessons. Outside on the 135'x240' sand arena, equestrians can conquer an Olympic PVC jump course or practice kicking up a sandstorm worthy of a John Wayne reenactment. Meanwhile, two indoor arenas host trotters as they rehearse dressage routines during the cooler months. Private and semiprivate lessons can be tailored to each student's age, skill level, and favored style of riding, including English and American Western flavors.
As one of the largest no-kill shelters in Washington, Homeward Pet Adoption Center helps find permanent, loving homes for more than 1,400 cats and dogs each year. Forty percent of its animals are owner surrendered, and sixty percent are rescues from shelters that euthanize. A range of rescue, shelter, and adoption programs help the small staff and more than 350 volunteers in their mission to give homeless and abandoned companion animals a second chance. Additionally, Homeward Pet’s onsite veterinary-care team spays or neuters all the animals that enter the shelter, along with providing a general health assessment, a microchip, and any necessary treatments or vaccinations.
Homeward Pet also extends help to animals in the community with owners in need of financial assistance. In 2012, Homeward Pet’s low-cost clinic spayed or neutered more than 500 pets, and its pet-food bank collected and distributed more than 40,000 pounds of pet food to local families struggling to feed their animals. It also offers year-round discount microchipping and free microchipping three times a year, to ensure the safety of pets in the community.
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Since 1995, Best in Class Education Center's instructors have aided students of all ages—from pre-K tots to high school seniors—in their academic journeys. They calibrate small-group and private math and English lessons that push each student at an individualized pace, helping struggling students catch up to speed or edifying advanced pupils seeking more of a challenge. The tutors give homework assignments for the kids to work on throughout the week, as well as administer weekly tests to assess their progress.
In addition to boosting success in current classes, the staff helps older students ready themselves for post-secondary schooling with SAT prep classes and college admission workshops, which help applicants decide on the right place, craft an impressive personal statement, and shimmy into their dream school's mascot costume before campus visits.
With the help of his uncle Tom Campbell, who just happens to be a seasoned enologist and viticulturist, Bijal Shah and his wife Sinead founded The Woodhouse Wine Estates in 2004. The winery's vintages are brought to life by Jean Claude Beck, whose winemaking genes reach back to Alsace, France, where his family estate has been crafting wine since 1579. The team at Woodhouse focuses on expressing the unique terroir of each grape’s origin, yielding balanced, mature wines marked by full flavors. Inside the tasting room, chandeliers sparkle over a long bar, where visitors can sip pours of any number of select wines.