Above all, we have been cheerleaders for WA wine since we moved here in 1999. Therefore, we celebrate WA wine every month, but even more so in August, which is Washington Wine Month, aka WAugust! With eight wine-touring regions, 19 AVAs, 1,000+ wineries, and 400+ vineyards, there is something for everyone here. To kick off the month-long festivities, Washington Wine held a Grand Tasting of 116 wineries at the picturesque Chateau Ste. Michelle. Read on for our notes about the wines we tasted and the people we talked to at this great media and trade event. In addition, find out about special wine discounts and promotions throughout WAugust.
If you’ve never been to JM Cellars in Woodinville or Maltby, you are missing out on many wonderful Washington wines crafted by talented winemaker John Bigelow. John is the epitome of a winemaker who is both an artist and a scientist. We’ve been drinking his impressive wines since we moved to Seattle in 1999, one year after JM Cellars opened its doors at the picturesque Bramble Bump hill in Woodinville. We caught up with John a few times this spring and summer. In March, we chatted with him at Taste Red Mountain Woodinville. In April, we visited his Maltby location. And subsequently, we talked to him at Celebrate Washington Wine this month (pictured here with his son and Cellar Master, Tommy). We really enjoy listening to John Bigelow’s passionate stories and tasting his wines. Read on for more details.
We always look forward to June releases from Lauren Ashton Cellars for one simple reason — co-owner/winemaker Kit Singh makes great wine. Certainly, his recent releases of 2021 Rosé and 2017 Cuvée Arlette are solid proof. We have enjoyed Kit’s impressive wines since the day he and his wife and co-owner Riinu opened their Woodinville winery in 2012. And these two releases continue in the tradition we respect: extraordinary wines for an enduring value. If you are looking for a Washington winery that produces consistently great wine at a decent price point, look no further than Lauren Ashton Cellars.
Lorimar Vineyards and Winery opened in Temecula 10 years ago, featuring a large portfolio of fruit-forward wines, Tuscan-style architecture and breathtaking views of Mount Palomar and the Santa Ana Mountains. The winery describes itself as “a fusion of wine, art, music and food.” Certainly, guests can enjoy live music while sipping wine and nibbling on appetizers, and local art is displayed throughout the tasting room. We found a distinctive personality there, and yes, their wines sing!