Washington State is recognized for many things: Mount Rainier, the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and cherries and apples, just to name a few. But this Pacific Northwest state is also the largest producer of premium wines next to California.
In recent years, hundreds of small producers have followed in the footsteps of well-known Chateau Ste. Michelle. And today, minutes from the historic French-style chateau, fifty-four of Washington’s 650 wineries are releasing noteworthy estate vintages in a countrified setting known as Woodinville Wine Country, just twenty miles northeast of Seattle.
“Estate” generally means grapes are grown on the winery’s own land, but nearly all Woodinville wineries source fruit from established vineyards in the Columbia Valley, east of the Cascade Mountains, where sunny days and cool evenings allow the grapes to mature slowly and yield beautifully balanced wines with loads of bright fruit and character.
A few days in Woodinville make for a memorable adventure for the wine aficionado who enjoys swanky lodging and spas, scrumptious farm-to-table cuisine, and gorgeous scenery from the car—or on a bike along the trails that tie many of the wineries together.
There are two outstanding lodging choices in the area, both associated with award-winning chefs and extensive wine programs emphasizing local producers.
Eight miles down the road from Woodinville is the charming resort-like town of Kirkland on Lake Washington, where you’ll find the boutique Heathman Hotel. Large rooms with chic decor have deluxe amenities, and natural wellness is the mantra of the hotel’s luxurious Penterra Spa, with the most professional therapists you’ll find anywhere. My Swedish massage and 75-minute facial rank in my top restorative spa experiences ever.
Just off the hotel lobby is Trellis, where artisan farmer and executive chef Brian Scheehser takes fresh seasonal produce, often grown on his own ten-acre Woodinville plot or preserved in the hotel’s root cellar, and artisan ingredients and transforms them into memorable meals brimming with natural flavors. Special touches like pickled tomatoes are brought to the table to savor, just a hint of the rustic and inventive style that is uniquely his. You won’t be disappointed.
Across the road from Chateau Ste. Michelle is Willows Lodge, an elegant wine country inn. With quintessential Northwest architecture and interiors, spacious rooms overlook lush grounds that include a formal herb garden and Fireside Cellars Patio complete with a fire pit—perfect for gathering around at Happy Hour after a long soak in an oversized tub for two.
Continue reading HERE at Home By Design.
Keller Williams Realty - The Hatcher Group
6 Deering Street | Portland, Maine 04101
207-775-2121 Office | 207-775-2122 Fax