The Spirits of Woodinville, WA: Wine, Beer, Cider, and Bourbon!

Lemon Tart

When locals within the Seattle space assume of Woodinville, they typically assume of wine. Nevertheless, our exploration opened up an entire world of different spirits! However we’ll begin with the wine. The small metropolis of Woodinville (pop. 10,000) could be discovered about 30 minutes northeast of Seattle, within the lovely Sammamish River Valley. Woodinville has 118 wineries and tasting rooms all through 4 distinct districts: Warehouse District, Hollywood District, West Valley District and the Downtown District. The Hollywood and Warehouse districts are particularly enjoyable as a result of you’ll be able to park your automotive and stroll to so many various tasting rooms. The Warehouse district alone is the house to extra boutique wineries per sq. foot than another wine area in the complete world! Fairly good odds that you simply’ll discover one thing you’re keen on. 

Lemon Tart

Our two-day go to to Woodinville began with a unbelievable lunch on the Purple Café and Wine Bar. Our pleasant meal began with the seasonal, scrumptious, and creamy Delicata Squash Soup garnished with bitter cream and pine nuts. Good for a brisk fall day! We then moved to the Curry Hen Bowl, made with hen, lentils, cauliflower and garnished with yogurt and cilantro. The lentils have been cooked to perfection, agency and tasty. The yogurt and curry created an amazing stability. The sommelier helped us navigate by way of Purple’s 39-page wine record to decide on a Syrah from Dusted Valley Vintners. The Syrah, made of 100% Japanese Washington grapes had a light-weight, spicy pepper to it that paired very nicely with the hen.  Lemon Tart for Dessert? Tempting however we declined. And when you’d like, after your meal you’ll be able to stroll proper subsequent door to the Dusted Valley tasting room. 

 Fidelitas Wine

However since we had already (completely) loved the Dusted Valley Syrah, we continued a number of steps down the sidewalk to take a look at Fidélitas Vineyard. Fidélitas has two tasting rooms, with the opposite one situated in Benton Metropolis, WA within the Pink Mountain AVA (American Viticultural Space), the place all of their grapes are sourced. The Pink Mountain is the smallest AVA in Washington State. AVAs are geographical wine grape rising areas in the USA, and their boundaries are declared by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Commerce Bureau. Every AVA is outlined by particular traits of their terroir (the points of soil, geography, local weather, slope, amongst others). The Purple Mountain AVA is a geographic area that was shaped by repeated ice-age flooding of Glacial Lake Missoula over 10,000 years in the past. The flood waters not solely redesigned the panorama, however additionally they deposited nutrient-rich soils over sand, silt, and gravel, which create an ideal basis for rising wine grapes. The space additionally advantages from its location inside the Cascade Mountain rain shadow, which provides it a mean annual rainfall of seven inches. This dramatically lowers the mould and mildew points for the world. The excessive latitude (N 46) and the topography create very useful temperature swings through the rising season. Daytime temperatures common 90 F levels (32 C) however drop to a mean of 50 F (10 C) at night time. The cooler nights assist to retain the acidity ranges, which contributes to the distinctive stability and construction of wines made out of Pink Mountain grapes.

Fidélitas proprietor and winemaker, Charlie Hoppes (sure – he has heard the “shoulda been a brewer” jokes) has all the time needed to develop grapes within the Purple Mountain AVA. He graduated from UC Davis in 1981 with a level in Agricultural Science, with an emphasis in Viticulture and Enology. He began his profession working for Mike Januik at Snoqualmie/Langguth vineyard and then adopted him to Chateau Ste. Michelle, the place he rose to the place of Head Purple Winemaker till 1999. In 2000 he opened Fidélitas with a Cab/Sauv and Merlot mix named Optu. This inaugural wine continues to be of their portfolio at the moment. Charlie focuses his winemaking expertise on Boudreaux varietals akin to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. Throughout our go to to the Woodinville tasting room, we started with the Pink Mountain Malbec. It has a really properly balanced complexity, with tastes of cherry, cranberries, and sage. It will pair nice with a steak! Subsequent got here the 2015 Purple Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, with its delicate notes, delicate tannins and elegant traits of purple fruit, baking spice, and pepper. This can be a wine that may be cellared till 2025. Our favourite although was the 2015 Fidelitas Property Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, which was awarded 94 factors by famed wine critic Jeb Dunnuck. The deep pink colour, and wealthy notes of black fruits, dried tobacco and espresso have been properly structured, offering a pleasant prolonged end. The clones (a chopping or bud from a ‘mother’ vine) 2 and 6, used for this wine predates Prohibition.

The strong Woodinville wine tradition has given start to many different “spirited” locations. It’s also house to 14 breweries, cideries, and distilleries. We determined to take a look at one of every.

Triplehorn Brewing Company

Our first cease was Triplehorn Brewing and Taproom. Situated within the Warehouse district, among the many wine tasting rooms, the Taproom is heat and welcoming. It seats over 100 individuals inside, and much more in the summertime when the storage doorways roll up, and tables are introduced out into the solar. Head Brewer Ray Nesheim and his brother Wealthy (enterprise supervisor) began the brewery in 2012. The Nesheim brothers have been beforehand in development, which is clear from the gorgeous, Nordic-themed Taproom. From the gang within the Taproom, it appears like they’re doing nice. And that’s no shock – they make nice beer. Being an IPA fan, I used to be thrilled with their Intervention Imperial IPA (80 IBU), crisp and hoppy! Michael went Bavarian with the Volkfest, a Bavarian-style Märzen which was a stupendous copper pink with a full-bodied maltiness. The Taproom is open each day and is child and dog-friendly. They don’t have a kitchen, however a schedule of meals vans may be discovered on their web site.

Woodinville Ciderworks

For our cider expertise, we headed over to Woodinville Ciderworks. Principal proprietor and Cidermaker Leroy Radford served us some of his tasty cider and informed us about his journey, which was fairly eclectic. He graduated from the Cornish Faculty of Arts, as a dancer. Radford then went to Broadway to bop in a quantity of productions. From there he went into journalism and turned a filmmaker and opened his personal multimedia enterprise! Whereas some may assume all that sounds slightly unimaginable – assembly Leroy would put your doubts to relaxation. The man’s power might fill a room! In early 2000 Leroy was drawn to winemaking and studied in enology and viticulture packages in Oregon and Washington via the Northwest Wine Academy. In 2008, he opened his personal vineyard, Flying Goals Vineyard. By no means one to relaxation on his laurels, Leroy started Woodinville Ciderworks in 2015. At present his cider is bought in over 150 native institutions. Working intently with Jocelyn, one other principal, and Head of Operations, Woodinville Ciderworks presently has eight distinct ciders on faucet. We have been lucky sufficient to style the Ardour Mango, Apricot Hop, & Peach Ginger. Michael’s favourite was the Ardour Mango. Mine was the Peach Ginger, in order that was the bottle we took residence.

JP Trodden Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup

Our subsequent cease was J.P.Trodden Distillery. We met proprietor and distiller Mark Nesheim, who was understandably very proud of the small-batch bourbons. Regardless that Nesheim shouldn’t be precisely a standard identify, he isn’t associated to Ray and Wealthy Nesheim of Triple Horn Brewery. They discovered one another via a mix-up by a FedEx supply and turned associates and supporters of one another’s institutions. Mark began out as a chef and restaurant government, however as he neared the age of 50, he realized he needed to do one thing else.

Mark and his spouse Jennifer had a spark of an concept to open up a distillery. 4 years later they launched their first small batch bourbon. The craft of creating a superb bourbon consists of tons of of variables. J.P. Trodden cooks their mash of 70% corn and 30% winter wheat, all grown on a one household farm in Quincy WA. Mark painstakingly shepherds the mash by means of the method of distilling of their copper alembic pot nonetheless. It’s then aged a minimal of three years in new Kentucky oak. When it’s matured, Mark hand selects three barrels at a time for mixing and bottling. After listening to about all of this, our subsequent step was the troublesome process of tasting the products. We began with the J.P. Trodden Black Label. It’s aged for 3 years and is 90 proof. It’s also a World Spirits Competitors Double Gold Winner. The layered flavors of caramel, vanilla, and anise are complemented by the oak notes from the casks. Subsequent got here the J.P. Trodden Pink Label. This one had taste notes of maple, vanilla and black pepper – which have been echoed in its lengthy spicy end. Our final style was of the J.P. Trodden Blue Label – which was my favourite – and additionally their premium label. The lengthy honey end was preceded by notes of caramel, maple, rose petal and butterscotch. One sip and all I needed to do was retire to the fireside on a snowy afternoon.

So who is that this J.P. Trodden these wonderful spirits are named for? J.P. lived within the Okanagan area in northern Washington State. As a mail service, he labored the “Star Route” which truly crossed the Canadian border. Did I point out that this was through the early 1930’s – Prohibition occasions? In fact, Canada was not struggling beneath the strictures of prohibition, so J.P. good man that he was, would typically stash a bottle or two of whiskey in his mailbag, and met his buddies again within the States in a small cabin, to share within the uncommon deal with of a glass of whiskey. The cabin was Cabin #5 on the Star Route (ergo: JP -star-5). I feel previous J.P. can be fairly proud of his namesake bourbon!

Heathman Hotel, Kirkland, Washington

In any case that heavy lifting, we have been prepared to seek out our residence for the night time. We traveled the brief 10-minute drive to downtown Kirkland to the Heathman Lodge.  The Heathman, situated only a couple of blocks from the Kirkland waterfront, is the one boutique lodge in downtown Kirkland. The heat luxurious of the foyer, rooms, and hallways, are enhanced by pretty items of paintings. Each room has a special décor. The lodge additionally gives a shuttle to Woodinville so you possibly can discover the tasting rooms, and then they’ll come again to select you up. There’s additionally so much to do round energetic downtown Kirkland.

For dinner, we wandered right down to Trellis, situated within the foyer. The ambiance of the restaurant creates a powerful backyard setting. Tons of greenery and very snug patio-type chairs and tables. However don’t let the relaxed, casual setting idiot you, this can be a fantastic eating, culinary expertise. Michael began with the seasonal Parsnip soup. Constructed on a vegan base, it was mild and tasty. I went for the Cider Steamed Clams, steamed in cider, parsley, shallot, garlic, butter, and lemon zest. And of course, the grilled baguette, as a result of steamed clam lovers know that the most effective half is scooping up the scrumptious broth with a tasty baguette.
For our primary course, Michael selected the every day recent fish choice of Sablefish, with kale, fennel, purple peppers, shaved radish, and zucchini. The fish was terrific with a clean, velvety texture and candy buttery style. Sablefish is a “meatier” fish, with an excellent style, and Trellis did it proud. I made a decision on the Grilled Ribeye with child potatoes and grilled broccolini. The broccolini was cooked to perfection, with that tender, crispy snap to it. When Michael requested me how the meat was, all I might say was “Oh. My. God!” It was one of probably the most tender, wealthy and beefy-ist steaks I had the enjoyment to expertise. Extremely marbled and cooked to my most popular degree of medium uncommon – it was an actual deal with.

When requested about dessert, we instantly groaned a reluctant no. However the prospect of Honey Rosemary Hand Crafted Olympic Mountain Ice Cream was too compelling. It actually was a good way to finish the meal.

Wilmot Gateway Park

As all the time, we really feel that it’s our civic obligation to incorporate some ideas for recent air and train on these excursions. And the Woodinville space has quite a bit to supply in that division. Wilmot Gateway Park is a superb place to start out.  It’s the flagship park of Woodinville.

Together with coated picnic areas, lovely engraved tiles and bricks, and a big grassy bowl that’s good for Frisbee or suntanning, the Sammamish River Path runs proper by means of it. The path runs 10.9 miles from Bothell, via Woodinville to Marymoor Park in Redmond and is a component of the Locks to Lakes Hall. It’s paved the whole size and is fashionable with walkers, bikers, skate skiers, and curler bladders of all ranges.

When it was time to go residence, (all the time the toughest half of our journeys), we comforted ourselves with the information that Woodinville Wine Nation has tons of fantastic occasions all year long. Right here is only a brief record of the enjoyable alternatives:

Vacation Artisan Present – Nov. 10, 2018 Eye of the Needle Vineyard
Ladies, Knowledge & Wine – Nov. 28, Chateau Ste. Michelle Vineyard
St. Nick’s Vacation Wine Weekend – Nov. 30 to Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018
Personal Barrel Public sale – Aug. 15, 2019, Novelty Hill-Januik Vineyard

And in case you are thinking about studying extra about our favourite beverage, look ahead to the 2019 Woodinville Boot Camp (take a look at their final occasion right here), sponsored by Woodinville Wine Nation. 

The listing above is only a small pattern of what goes on in Woodinville Wine Nation. Take a look at the complete calendar right here.

Fortunate for us, we stay shut sufficient to Woodinville to go to typically. However even when it includes an airplane flight, it’s well worth the journey to expertise the Spirits of Woodinville.


Editorial disclosure: Meals and lodging have been generously offered.

(perform(d, s, id)
var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];
if (d.getElementById(id)) return;
js = d.createElement(s); = id;
js.src = “//”;
fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);
(doc, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));(perform(d, s, id)
var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];
if (d.getElementById(id)) return;
js = d.createElement(s); = id;
js.src = “//”;
fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);
(doc, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));