Our Favorite 50 Washington Wineries

NYE WineHappy New Year! As we begin 2019, it’s time for our annual Favorite Washington Wineries List for the previous year. The way to get on our list is fairly simple: wineries must offer great juice and good people who provide an excellent wine experience.

Perhaps we had fun or learned something in a tasting room, a wine shop tasting, or at a wine event. Perhaps someone from the winery gave us a call, or sent us a personal note or samples. Or perhaps we were invited to an incredible winery party.

These people who made our experience special include the winemakers; the winery owners; the hard-working staff in a tasting room who went out of their way to make us feel welcome; and the amazing workers in the vineyards where it all begins.

Wine Royalty

Jon Sauer, Karen Sauer and Mike Sauer stand in front of signs from Red Willow Vineyard.A special shout out this year to the incredible Sauer family at  Red Willow Vineyard, whom we were so very fortunate to visit and spend time with in 2018.

Mike and Karen Sauer are Washington wine royalty. We saw them at a wine event in 2017, but we hadn’t been to Red Willow in nine years. It was an amazing experience, and made even better when Jon and Kelly Sauer joined us.

Newcomers to Our 2018 List





Doubleback and Passing Time are not new to us, but they are new to the list after we spent time with them at the Compass Wines holiday party. Passing Time 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills is stellar, and Doubleback 2016 Cab Sauv and Flying B Cab Sauv are magnificent.

At Tulalip Resort Casino, Sommelier Tommy Thompson poured us 2005 Corliss Estate Syrah and 2010 Corliss Cabernet Sauvignon. We’ve been fans of Corliss for years, but we hadn’t spent anytime with their wines for a while, so this was a treat and list-worthy.

We first met The Walls at Bellingham Northwest Wine Festival in August, and a few weeks later, enjoyed their wine at Auction of Washington Wines Picnic.  In October, we made a beeline for their wine at the Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla. We had one more experience with them in 2018 – a dinner at our neighborhood wine bar, The Vault.

Also at the Bellingham Wine Festival, we met Caleb Foster, winemaker of J. Bookwalter. A few months later, we were wowed by his marvelous Chapter 8 Cabernet Sauvignon at the Wine Bloggers Conference.

Chateau Beck, with Le Bec Fin wines, launched this year by winemaker Jean Claude Beck, whom we first met when he arrived at The Woodhouse Wine Estates about ten years ago. His beautiful, delicate Le Bec Fin 2016 Vin Rosé was crafted in the classic Provence style.

In addition, Toil Oregon, made by Walla Walla-based Figgins Family Wine Estates, and Newsprint, a Guardian Cellars label, joined the list in 2018.

Write for Wine’s Top 50 Washington Wineries (in alphabetical order):

  1. Alexandria Nicole Cellars
  2. Amavi Cellars
  3. Ambassador Wines of Washington
  4. Avennia
  5. B. Leighton
  6. Barrage Cellars
  7. Barrister Winery
  8. Bartholomew Winery
  9. Betz Family Winery
  10. Boudreaux Cellars
  11. Chateau Ste. Michelle
  12. Columbia Crest
  13. Corliss Estate
  14. DeLille Cellars 
  15. Doubleback
  16. Double Canyon
  17. Dunham Cellars
  18. Efeste
  19. Fidelitas
  20. Fielding Hills
  21. Figgins
  22. Force Majeure
  23. Forgeron Cellars
  24. Guardian Cellars
  25. Hard Row to Hoe
  26. Henry Earl 
  27. J. Bookwalter
  28. JM Cellars
  29. Lauren Ashton Cellars 
  30. L’Ecole 41
  31. Le Bec Fin-Chateau Beck
  32. Leonetti
  33. Long Shadows 
  34. Mercer Estates
  35. Newsprint
  36. Obelisco
  37. Otis Kenyon
  38. Passing Time
  39. Quilceda Creek
  40. Result of a Crush
  41. Reynvaan
  42. Saviah Cellars
  43. The Walls 
  44. Tildio
  45. Toil Oregon
  46. Two Vintners
  47. Upchurch Vineyard
  48. Va Piano Vineyards
  49. Walla Walla Vintners
  50. Woodward Canyon

To these people, we thank you; we support you. Cheers to Washington state wine!

Happy New Year!
Margot and Dave
Write for Wine — it’s Wine O’clock Somewhere!