When we think of wine, often times we imagine exotic, European locations where dew drips off a perfectly ripe grape and old women stamp with their bare feet to squeeze out the juices. While that may be true (and a nice Hollywood stereotype), there are still many beautiful regions for wine production right here in the United States. Today we are featuring one of the regions that made our list of Top Wine Travel Destinations, the Puget Sound in northwestern Washington state.
The Puget Sound AVA (American Viticultural Area) houses some of the finest wineries in the world among many other activities. Spanning from the Canadian border to just south of Olympia, the Puget Sound AVA features over 40 wineries and it is the only AVA west of the Cascade mountain range. Although the region produces a scant 1% of the state’s grapes, the distinct flavor of these local wines sets them apart.
For the wine lover, this area of Washington state is heaven. With a close proximity to Woodinville, the most densely populated area in terms of wineries, a visit to local favorites such as Chateau Ste. Michelle (second largest in the state), Novelty Hill-Januik (taste a brick oven pizza while drinking their award-winning cab savs), and Woodhouse Family Cellars (their 2007 Maghee Merlot took home a Gold Medal) is only a short ride away. For
someone interested in libations of the hoppy variety, the Redhook Ale Brewery offers tours and tastings all day. Don’t just drink in Woodinville though, stop in to some of the local restaurants including Ristorante Italianissimo,which is a favorite eatery for wine makers and features a salmon fettuccine dish that sounds divine.
You could also skip down to Seattle to spend time at some urban establishments like Omnivore Cellars (who have a particular focus on food pairing wines), Siren Song Wines (join their Siren Club for exclusive access to their short supply wines), and Falling Rain Cellars.
This particular site has everything you need to know about the 14 shops that make up the Seattle Urban Wineries group.
Travelers could stay at a cozy bed & breakfast in the area, or stay in Seattle or another urban location at a hotel. Renting a car is the best way to get around to the various stops on your trip. Visitors can also hop from island to island on the local ferry, though rainy weather may be an issue with this method.