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.

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Holiday Whites

White wine for the holidaysWhite wine pairs extremely well with the holidays for many reasons. A glass perfectly complements seafood dishes and appetizers. You can serve it at a party, take it to a gathering, or give it as a special holiday gift.

An array of white wines caught our fancy lately. Our palates have always preferred Sauvignon Blanc, but we recently tasted refreshing citrusy Albariño and a surprisingly delicious Riesling.

Here is our list of white wines (and a few tasty rosés) that we enjoyed in 2018 and recommend to grace your holiday plans, whatever they might be.

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Drink D2 Day from DeLille Cellars

DeLille Cellars Drink D2 Day is on Dec. 2, 2018Mark your calendars for Dec. 2, which is DeLille Cellars 2nd annual “Drink D2 Day!” This special day is also when the 2016 D2 will be released. It’s a milestone day, celebrating the  the 25th vintage of this outstanding Bordeaux blend.

D2 is one of two wines first made by DeLille Cellars in 1992, when the winery was founded. And here’s some Washington wine history for you: this beautiful wine pioneered the way for Bordeaux-style blends in Washington State.

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Red Willow Vineyard and WA Wine Royalty

Jon Sauer, Karen Sauer and Mike Sauer stand in front of signs from Red Willow Vineyard.Last week, we had the honor of visiting Red Willow Vineyard and spending an afternoon with the incredible Sauer family, Washington wine royalty.

We toured part of the vineyard with Mike, Karen and their son, Jon, and later were joined by Jon’s wonderful wife Kelly and their five lovely children. In this photo, (from left) Jon, Karen and Mike stand in front of old signs of grapes planted at Red Willow. Of note, the sign for the 1986 Syrah represents the first grape planted in Washington state.

During our visit, Mike told us about the harvest, which was almost but not quite over. He also discussed his clone project, and we tasted three wines made from some of those clones.

Although we spent time with Mike and Karen at a wine event in 2017, we hadn’t been to Red Willow in nine years. It was an amazing experience.
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