Wine around every corner: Woodinville Wine Country.

There are more than 130 wineries offering almost as many tasting rooms. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Darby Wines: I’ve known Darby English for about a decade and have helped him during the harvest all the way back to when he was essentially a one man show borrowing equipment to process his fruit. He’s now well known, especially for his Rhone blends, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and white blends of Roussanne and Viognier. Give Purple Haze, a blend of Mourvèdre, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon a swirl. He’s also the source of the fruit that I use for the wines I make. He has 2 tasting rooms: Hollywood District and in West Seattle. Review here.
  • Damsel Cellars: I first met Mari Womack went she was Darby’s assistant winemaker. She’s now moved on with her own label and produces great examples of single varietals including Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Mourvèdre and a GSM blend. Her tasting room is in the Woodinville Commerce Center. Review here.
  • Mark Ryan Winery: One of the early wine producers in Woodinville and many of the current winemakers in the area apprenticed with him. Most of his fruit is from Red Mountain and among many of his excellent wines are The Dissident a red blend, Long Haul a Viognier and Dead Horse a Cabernet Sauvignon. Tasting rooms in the Hollywood District and Walla Walla.
  • Gorman Winery: Chris makes some great wines…and their names are unique. Tasting rooms in the Hollywood District and Maltby…where his production facility is located. Give The Devil You Don’t Know (a GSM blend) or The Devil You Know (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot) a try. He’s routinely producing wines that score above 90. Review here.
  • Guardian Cellars: Started a few years ago by an ex cop he’s been making great wines since the mid 2000s. Most are named for terms related to his police background…Chalk Line, The Alibi and The Rookie, to name a few. Tasting rooms in the Warehouse and Hollywood Districts.
  • DeLille Cellars: I haven’t been to the new tasting room and restaurant in the old Red Hook Brewery but it sounds like a must visit so expect a review soon. Besides their excellent wines, their fame also comes from back to back top 100 wines by Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast magazines.  Give D2 a try (Merlot is the primary varietal in the blend).
  • Efestē: Always a solid choice and they are one of a few wineries in Woodinville to make a sparkling wine. Give Final Final a try…a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Tasting rooms in the Warehouse District and SODO.

And the list goes on and on…

Need some food to go with your bottle? Give Purple Cafe or Heritage a go. They are both in the Hollywood District. Or, if you’re closer to downtown, drop by Brix.

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