After exploring the history behind wine in Washington State, the Cellars Wine Club Blog is excited to introduce three wonderful Washington wineries. Theses award-winning estates are just a few among hundreds of wineries that are furthering west coast wine.
Whidbey Island Winery
The next time you find yourself enjoying the charms of Seattle, consider this—just a hop, skip, and a ferry ride from the heart of Seattle is Whidbey Island Winery, one of the prettiest wineries in Washington. Contentment and comfort take shape in the rural beauty of the island, while the mountains and the sound provide a striking backdrop to your wine-tasting escapade.
Whidbey Island enjoys a unique climate. Despite what you may think, especially if you know and love Seattle, it doesn’t rain all the time. Quite the contrary! The summer growing season is quite dry, with long warm days and cool nights. The ocean water provides an temperate umbrella with resulting mild, wet winters. This has allowed Whidbey Island Winery to cultivate a singular harvest of wine, using varieties originating from Europe-France’s Loire valley and Alsace, Germany, and eastern Europe.
Whidbey Island Winery describes their wines as “… delicate, crisp and fragrant; outstanding accompaniments to seafood!”
Currently, their island grown wines are all white, though there have been tantalizing hints of efforts to bring in some scrumptious reds! If you’re already eager to try them out, you should start with their award winning 2010 Malbec!
We must also note, on December 13th they’ll have a brilliant open house where they will be pulling bottles from the dust of their library to create an evening full of their favorite rare vintage wines, and, of course, holiday treats. (But you’d better call to reserve your spot—they’re filling up fast!)
This particular collection of vineyards has a story that begins in the Champagne region of France. Here, a very young Frenchman cultivated the family vineyard alongside his father and grandfather. His family tree boasts a heritage of vignerons that dates back to the Champagne house of Baron Albert in 1677. This boy had wine in his blood, and after years of traveling the wine-world, he put down roots in our very own wine region of Walla-Walla.
Christophe Baron, our youthful wine visionary, planted his first vineyard in 1997, in an area of land deemed barren by the surrounding farmers. That gamble has rewarded him ten-fold by producing year after year some of the most acclaimed wines in the region—and in the nation.
Cayuse Vineyards now has eight vineyards, all producing unique quality wines. Syrah is the most prolific grape, closely followed by their Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Merlot, Tempranillo and Viognier.
So, the next time you want to plan a leisurely vacation, look towards Walla Walla. It’s low-key beauty full of highly rated B&B’s, hotels, and restaurants, almost all of which will feature Cayuse wines, will doubtlessly give you the relaxation and pleasure you’re hoping for.
Ste. Michelle Vineyards
No review of Washington wineries could be complete without featuring the Ste. Michelle Vineyards! This may be the most prestigious vineyard that Washington has to offer.
It was established in 1912 upon the modest estate of lumber-man Frederick Stimson, and was one of the few wineries to survive the Prohibition. Despite that brief period of hardship, Chateau Ste. Michelle has brought forth world-class wine. Their vision to meld the Old World winemaking traditions with the New World innovation is obviously succeeding, and sets the standard high for other wineries.
Wine and Spirits magazine recently featured Chateau Ste. Michelle, calling it ‘Winery of the Year’ for the nineteenth time, making them the most honored American winery. Unsurprisingly, they have a whole host of award winning wines, both red and white, and all of them are very deserving of your attention!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this journey through the vineyards of three wonderful wineries. Remember to check back tomorrow for Wine Wednesday!