Because a lot of the wineries east of the mountains have set up tasting rooms in the warehouse district of Woodinville, just a half hour drive from Seattle, it was convenient and easy to hit multiple places within a few hours. In our case, we managed seven, in 4 hours.
Stopped by Goose Ridge first, to try their latest Chardonnay. They were offering to taste the 2010 vintage, which didn’t seem as fresh as the 2008 that we really, really liked. Then again, most of the wines they let us taste seemed somewhat tired; not sure how long they had been opened for tasting. Prices were 25% higher too. Picked up a bottle anyway, for consumption while we were in Whistler.
We stopped by Village Wineries for a grilled cheese sandwich and fries to fortify our tummies, and the pub happened to be hosting the vintner of Northwest Totem Cellars. He’s a one man shop but he makes 11 different wines. We had five glasses, and were most impressed with his 2008 Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot (bought a bottle of the latter).
Visited Dusted Valley across the street next – we currently are wine club members, and we were keen to taste the season’s new releases before we bought them. Alas, they’d only released the Cinsault – the other wines would be released only in March/April. We liked the Cinsault though, as well as the half bottle of the 2008 late harvest Syrah.
Delille Cellar’s tasting room was right next door, and we’d popped in right in time. All of a sudden, the storm clouds rolled in and we were treated to an intense but brief fifteen minutes of hail storm. Great wines. Loved their Aix and G2 red blend wines. Picked up a bottle of the latter – we were restrained in buying more, in part because our wine fridges are already at capacity, and in part because we had a limit on the number of bottles we could bring cross border into Canada.
Pepper Bridge next. I really liked their wines, but alas, we had to hold back. Still, left with a bottle of their Trine, a red Bordeaux blend. We will have to keep this winery in mind for the future.
Alexander Nicole next. Apparently, this winery does not yet have a license to distribute to Illinois – darn all these regulations grr. After Pepper Bridge though, these wines didn’t seem as impressive, so we just paid the tasting fee.
We had about an hour before the tasting rooms closed for the evening, so we popped into Flying Dreams. The winemaker is still the cellar master for Baer, but he’d moved his tasting room from next to Baer’s into the former tasting room of Tempest Sol (one of the tasting rooms we’d visited on our prior visit; the winemaker works full time at Microsoft on Kinect). Leroy of Flying Dreams wasn’t in, but an elderly volunteer couple cheerfully chatted with us as they poured.
Just about enough time before the day’s end to pop into Patterson Cellars, another winery whose wines we really enjoyed our last visit. Jeff couldn’t help but pick up a bottle of their late harvest Roussanne.
All in a day’s tasting. 🙂