Trip report Woodinville Wa
This is mostly a wine tasting report, but for a quick bite try Twisted Cafe 12631 NE Woodinville Dr. I had the Cuban and it was good, and my wife had the spicy beef which was excellent. Not Salumi, but we were there to wine taste and needed a little food. FYI we grow our own grapes and make our own wines. We have some UC Davis enology education but we still have our day jobs.There was some traffic due to SausageFest, but we managed to avoid most of it. Otherwise everyone else was at the Huskys-Nebraska Game.
Barrage Winery was probably our favorite. The winemaker and wife were in the tasting room and every wine we tasted (5) was very good. A hands on craftsman, pairing his oak barrels to his wines. Producing by taste and not by chemistry. Yum
Pomum Cellars- a spanish wine maker and family owned. The two reds, syrah and tempranillo were extremely good and a value. You might need to call for a tasting. His sister was running the tasting table for the first time and was very amusing. The family was coming from Spain to help with the harvest starting next week.
Carriage House for Delille Cellars. Very good, a little pricey. The tasting room guy was very knowledgeable and helpful.
Mark Ryan- Very good, and the tasting room staff were fun.
Pepper Ridge- right next to Mark Ryan and also very good. Tasting room staff not quite as knowledgable.
matthews- Decent enough, but their upper level reds have a short finish. We thought their best was a charity wine they were selling.
Efeste- Decent Reds, they have a little italian flair to them. The Final Final was our favorite
Baer- right around the corner from Barrage- also worth a visit, unoaked chardonnay the best white I had, and Ursa.
Brian Carter- disappointing, as if they harvested different fruit than everyone else
Silver Lake- disappointing, also as if they started with less then optimal fruit.
Overall the smaller the wine maker, the better the wine, in our opinion. Dont skip the small guys just because they are in a warehouse or a strip mall. YMMV.
We toured the Woodinville tasting rooms 8/15/11 and tried Mark Ryan and Pepper Bridge, based on recommendations here. The wines were fine, tasting room people pleasant and knowledgeable, to be sure. The wines we liked were pretty expensive -- $45 and up. I bought a bottle of the Pepper Bridge 2008 Merlot, which was really good, but ended up being $54 with tax. I have to say my favorite tasting room was in the same Hollywood Schoolhouse complex but actually in the brick building (downstairs), Alexandria Nicole (http://www.alexandrianicolecellars.com/). I bought their 2008 Bohemian blend (52% Cab, 44% Malbec and 4% Petit Verdot) for $20 (the tasting is $10, but you can apply it toward a wine purchase) and thought it was out of this world. The tasting room staff was fantastic -- lots of individual attention. The person I talked with was a former wine buyer for a restaurant and really knew his stuff, but wasn't the least bit pretentious. The winery was named 2011 Washington Winery of the Year by Wine Press NW. And, because we are people for whom a $50 bottle of wine is probably a twice-in-a-lifetime experience, we also avoided the Herb Farm and some of the crazy expensive restaurants in the area and went to Italianissimo, which was perfectly decent and reasonably priced. If you go and want pasta, be sure to order a dish that includes their homemade pasta (see the little hand logos). Not all of them do. It's really good.
My husband and I are heading to the area in about a week for wine tasting. We enjoy smaller less known winemakers that make quality wines. We are not impressed with the big commercial places (although will visit chateau st. michelle against my better judjement). That being said we have 2 days...are there any must go to wineries in Woodinville?!? Thanks!
Chateau Ste. Michelle's grounds are really not to be missed. I don't think you'll regret spending a little time there. They are beautiful. Lots of tables, chairs, places to sit and have a picnic. AND, there are actual grapevines on the grounds! The Columbia Winery also has a gorgeous building. I can buy both of these wines at the grocery store in Florida, so wasn't particularly interested in spending much time there tasting anything though. If you're the least bit interested in beer you might also get a kick out of the Red Hook Brewery tour. Lots of fun and led by fun people.
I agree on Mark Ryan's wines, dtuggle. His wines are quite good. I have several bottles of Dead Horse and Long Haul. Water Witch has been very good as has Crazy Mary. I don't particularly care for his whites with the viognier far superior to the chardonnay IMHO.
The next time you hit Woodinville to "sip and spit: don't miss Woodhouse Family Cellars. I really like their Darighe. You can probably find it BTG at Willows Lodge wine lounge.