Voted one of USA Today’s 10 Best Wine Festivals, Taste Washington featured four full days of wine and food events with Seattle’s hottest chefs and acclaimed Washington winemakers.
Happy 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.
Happy New Year! As we begin 2018, it’s time for our annual Top Washington Wineries List. We have returned to our original list of 50, after it climbed up to 65 wineries last year. Why? As time goes on, our palates change, and our wine experiences become more focused. In addition, in 2017 we visited Walla Walla again for the first time in a few years, which shone the light on some new favorites.
Thousands of people participated in the annual celebration of the excellent juice made in this state — at the Grand Tasting, educational seminars, lunches on local farms, and at restaurants, wineries, hotels and retailers that offered special deals and promotions throughout the month.
But we hope that people did more than taste the fine wine of Washington. We hope they appreciated it, and the hard work by people in our state’s wine industry – from farmers to vineyard managers to those in the production facilities, winemakers, distributors, marketing specialists, tasting room staff and more.
In particular, we applaud the workers in the vineyard who toil over the grapes and the terroir, the winemakers who balance creativity and science in every barrel and bottle, and their families who support this extreme effort.
We definitely appreciated every taste that was poured for us at the Grand Tasting.
And there were some delicious bites too. Our favorite was these amazing Salted Caramel Fudge Brownies from Blazing Bagels. (Their bagels were mouth-watering too, of course!)
We also enjoyed seafood from Anthony’s Pier 66, Ivar’s, Ray’s Boathouse and The Crab Pot. We munched on a lot of crab cakes this year!
Here are some of our favorite wines, in alphabetical order:
- Alexandria Nicole Cellars 2014 Quarry Butte Red Bordeaux Blend ($26)
- Ambassador Wines of Washington 2013 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon ($38)
- Andrew Will 2013 Champoux Vineyard Red Blend ($74)
- Avennia 2015 Oliane Sauvignon Blanc ($28)
- Barrage Cellars 2012 “Cease and Desist” Cabernet Franc ($35)
- Barrister Winery 2013 Cabernet Franc ($31), pictured left with Petit Verdot & Barrister’s Block
- Bartholomew Winery 2014 Tannat ($32)
- Betz Family Winery 2013 Pere de Famille Cabernet Sauvignon ($75)
- Boudreaux Cellars 2011 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($115); winemaker Rob Newsom and his daughter Keely are pictured below
- Canvasback 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain ($40)
- Cooper Wine Company 2014 L’inizio Bordeaux Blend, Red Mountain ($55)
- Double Canyon 2014 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon ($65)
- Efeste 2013 Big Papa Cabernet Sauvignon ($60)
- Fidelitas 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain ($50)
- Figgins 2013 Estate Red Bordeaux Blend ($85)
- Lauren Ashton Cellars 2013 Cuvee Estelle Red Bordeaux Blend ($50)
- Maison Bleue 2014 Voyageur Syrah ($50)
- Obelisco 2012 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain ($50)
- Saviah Cellars 2013 “The Stones Speak” Syrah ($55)
- Secret Squirrel 2013 Red Bordeaux Blend ($25)
- William Church 2014 Keystone Reserve Series, Reserve Syrah ($55)
There were so many other wonderful wineries pouring at Taste Washington, but we unfortunately could not visit every table.
As far as we’re concerned, every month is a good time to celebrate Washington state wine.
Margot and Dave