I love reading about studies that show that drinking wine in moderation can be beneficial to your health. I do love a good glass of wine and feel particularly virtuous when it’s a local vintage and hasn’t been shipped halfway around the world. We have heaps of wineries here in British Columbia (producing some mighty fine wine), but I’m not sure we can compete in volume with our neighbor to the south, Washington State.
The state is the second-largest producer of premium wines in the United States (after California). The warmth of the summer sun combined with cool evenings creates the perfect growing environment for grapes. With over 800 wineries located in 13 specific wine regions of the state, you’ll find over 40 different varietals. It doesn’t matter whether your preference is red or white, you’re sure to find something to imbibe. That’s why it’s a no-brainer that we add a wine-tasting or two onto our Seattle Culinary tour. We’ll be driving to Woodinville, the wine-producing area closest to Seattle. A mere 20 miles outside the city and we’re there.
Here are a few of our faves (although we won’t necessarily visit them all).
Brian Carter Cellars
Brian has twice been named Winemaker of the Year by Washington magazine. Located in the heart of Woodinville wine country, his winery is the first in Washington State to produce a selection of European-style blended wines. You’ll enjoy a wine-tasting in the cozy little yellow tasting-room or out on their patio if the weather permits.
A short distance from Brian Carter Cellars is the Columbia Winery. In business for over 50 years, this winery was the first in the state to produce Pinot Gris, Syrah and Cabernet Franc. Here you’ll enjoy a selection of red and white wines which are only available in their tasting room.
Chateau Ste. Michelle
As indicated by this winery’s name, at this winery you’ll find a French-style chateau, built on the estate of a former Seattle lumber baron. The winery dates back to the Repeal of Prohibition and is one of only a few wineries in the world with two state-of-the-art wineries, one for the production of white wine and one for red.
The Chateau also has a beautiful outdoor amphitheater where you can attend concerts throughout the months of June through September. Check out the concert schedule and you’ll find artists ranging from the Gipsy Kings to the Goo Goo Dolls to Crosby, Stills and Nash. It’s kind of nice way to spend a lovely summer evening.