Happy New Year! As we begin 2020, it’s time for our annual Favorite Washington Wineries List for the previous year. The way to get on our list is fairly simple. Above all, 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. Maybe someone from a winery sent us a personal note or wine samples. Likewise, we were occasionally invited to an incredible winery party.
Most noteworthy, the people who made our experience special are the winemakers, the tasting room staff, and the amazing workers in the vineyards where it all begins.
Whether you live in nearby British Columbia or in the Seattle area, mark your calendars for April 28-30 — a wonderful weekend for wine lovers.
Just six miles from the B.C. border, the second annual Northwest Wine Encounter at Semiahmoo Resort features a great getaway to experience wine, and meet some of the most talented winemakers and viticulturists from Washington state, British Columbia and Oregon:
We have tasted wines from all of the attending wineries and vineyards, and we also attended last year’s inaugural Northwest Wine Encounter — so we can personally attest to the experiences awaiting you this year at Semiahmoo Resort.
The weekend event is packed with educational and fun times, opening on Friday, April 28 with a Winemaker’s Reception, followed by a private beach bonfire with gourmet s’mores paired with port.
Here is the list of activities to enjoy at the scenic, breathtakingly beautiful resort. You can also download the full schedule at Semiahmoo’s website.
Friday, April 28 4:00 to 6:30 p.m. – Arrival, check-in and free time
6:30 to 8:00 p.m. – Meet the Winemakers, Tasting Reception Enjoy a casual tasting, hearty appetizers by Bruno Feldeisen, executive chef at Semiahmoo Resort’s Pierside Kitchen, and the opportunity to mingle with the winemakers and wine experts.
8:00 p.m. – Private Beach Bonfire (on the Beach next to Packers Oyster Bar) Enjoy s’mores and mingling for Northwest Wine Encounter guests and winemakers. A port tasting with exquisite gourmet chocolates from jcoco enhance this signature NWWE experience (weather dependent).
Saturday, April 29 9:30 to 10:00 a.m. – Opening Remarks A look at Northwest wine country and an overview of the wines you will taste over the next two days, hosted by Andy Perdue of Wine Press Northwest, who is also a wine columnist for The Seattle Times, as well as retailer and collector Doug Charles of Compass Wines.
10:00 to 11:00 a.m. – The Siren Song of Pinot Noir Explore Pinot Noir with Chris Figgins, Tony Rynders and Walter Gehringer.
11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. – Lunch Break
1:30 to 2:30 p.m. – Walla Walla One of the most famous wine towns in North America is Walla Walla. What makes the region so special? Explore this AVA with David Merfeld and Chris Figgins.
2:30 to 3:30 p.m. – Wine Speed Dating In this fun format, each participant will get the opportunity to taste wine one-on-one with our winery panelists.
3:30 to 4:30 p.m. – Guided Bird Watching Tour on the Semiahmoo Spit (Limited space, please pre-register)
4:30 to 7:00 p.m. – Leisure Time
7:00 to 10:00 p.m. – Winemaker Gala Dinner Get up close and personal with winemakers and top experts at this Winemaker Gala Dinner. Each table is hosted by a panelist or wine industry luminary, and a five-course meal will be crafted by Chef Bruno Feldeisen and celebrity chef Roy Breiman of Coastal Hotels. The courses will be paired by wines from all wineries in attendance.
Sunday, April 30 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. – Importance of Place How important is a single vineyard? A single location within that vineyard? These questions will be explored with Chris Upchurch along with historic grower Mike Sauer.
The entire weekend package — including two nights at the gorgeous resort — starts at $475 per person. Further information is available at Semiahmoo Resort’s website.