Sure, Napa Valley and the Sonoma Valley are some of the best wine regions in the U.S., but if you’re open to traveling further north, the wineries in Washington State can be just as intoxicating. As a matter of fact, California Winery Advisor even lists 10 of their favorites! Many sommeliers claim that Washington is an underrated wine region, plus the scenery can be just as stunning, and prices can be considerably lower. So, what are you waiting for? There are more than 1,000 wineries here to choose from.
The Best Wineries in Washington State
According to AFAR, Washington is the second-largest wine-producing state in the United States, and the industry goes back as far as 1825 when vines were planted at Fort Vancouver by Hudson’s Bay Company. Things took a downturn during the Depression, but things rebounded afterward. The past few decades have been good for Washington State wineries, and the scenic beauty of the area makes it a marvelous place to vacation.
The Long Shadows winery has two locations in Walla Walla, with a portfolio of seven wines created by winemakers from Bordeaux, Napa Valley, Australia, and Tuscany. They’re known for their Poet’s Leap riesling, priced at around $20 a bottle. DeLille Cellars is also in Woodinville and has excellent Bordeaux-style blends. To round out your stay in Woodinville, check out Avennia winery. This relative newcomer has a contemporary tasting room, where visitors sample delicious cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah, grenache, and more.
More Pretty Wineries in Washington State
Located in northwestern Washington, the Puget Sound region is home to many of the state’s best wineries to visit. Washington INNSiders likes Chateau Ste Michelle, which is in Woodinville. You can sign up for one of their tours and enjoy an outdoor concert or picnic. Latta Wines is in Seattle’s So Do District and features uncommon varietals from different vineyards across the state. They’re also produced from small-batch Washington grapes. Try the “Latta Latta” Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre blend.
Alexandra Nicole Cellars has three locations in the state: Paterson, Prosser and Woodinville. Each one is set up differently, with interesting features like tiny house overnight “glamping” in the Paterson spot; the Woodinville tasting room offers “library wines.” In a former logging truck stop at the Olympic Peninsula, the Harbinger Winery in Port Angeles is by the Olympic National Forest. They have well-reviewed eclectic wines, plus beer, cheeses and chocolates.
More Top Wineries in Washington State
With tasting rooms in Seattle and Walla Walla, Charles Smith (the winemaker and winery name) has excellent cabernet sauvignon that sells for around $15 a bottle; they also have a premium line called K Vinters that is well-known for its opulent syrahs. If you’re familiar with Working Girl Wines, their home is at Olympic Cellars in Port Angeles. Stop by to sample the Go Girl Red and Rose the Riveter while listening to live music! They also have a popular concert series.
You can also visit the San Juan Islands while in Washington State, and you can get there by taking a ferry, private boat, seaplane, or wheeled passenger plane. Seattle Magazine writes that it’s worth the effort to experience the wine and food scene on these three small islands. They recommend San Juan Vineyards, San Juan Island Distillery, Orcas Island Winery, and Lopez Island Vineyards. If you want to sample other libations, there’s the San Juan Island Distillery and Westcott Bay Cider; top restaurants include the Restaurant at Friday Harbor House, the Madrona Bar & Grill, and Duck Soup.