Wine tasting: it’s what we do here. And thus that quest took us up to Woodinville for a long overdue tasting day with a few girlfriends. While I was on an ultimate mission to show a newbie to the Woodinville scene some great wineries, I also had a personal goal of getting to some tasting rooms I hadn’t yet visited (or visited in awhile). Did pretty well, hitting two that I had never stepped foot in previously and visiting a few of the old favorites
We started with lunch and tasting at Patterson Cellars (@PattersonWines). Their tasting room near the Hollywood schoolhouse is adjacent to The Station Pizzeria (@stationpizzeria) and you can taste through your wines and have the restaurant bring your pizza right into the tasting room. Love it! I’ve had a good amount of Patterson wines in the past, and it’s always fun trying new vintages as well as completely new wines. The favorites on this visit were the 2010 Una Volta (67% Cab Franc, 33% Sangiovese) and a surprise new favorite for my tasting companions in the 2011 Late Harvest Roussanne. One commented that she probably wouldn’t like it before she tasted it, as she “never likes sweet wines”, but she quickly ate her words when she tasted this tasty treat. A good late harvest wine is like liquid candy in your mouth sometimes. That reminds me, I have a few bottles I’ve picked up in past tasting adventures, I need to get to drinking those!
|The line-up at Patterson Cellars
From Patterson Cellars we moved on with a quick walk down the street to one that was recommended to me by the great Sean Sullivan. LaurenAshton Cellars (@LaurenAshton_WA) is a 4 year old winery that has recently been getting a lot of great press for their new releases. With a beautiful tasting room near the Hollywood Schoolhouse, the winery is named after the children of the winemaker. Their labels are all designed from medieval structures from Estonia, where the winemaker’s wife is from. Our visit on this particular day was a special one, as we were treated like VIPs from the moment we walked in the door. It was a quiet day in the tasting room, which is my favorite way to experience a winery. Without the crowds, you are really able to experience the wines and learn more about the winery and wines from the staff. No combat tasting and elbowing your way to the counter necessary! We bellied up to one side of their tasting bar to begin our journey through the Lauren Ashton collection. As we tasted, our knowledgable and friendly tasting room host lined up a new glass for each pour, so that we could re-visit each wine side by side as we tasted through. He taught my inexperienced companions all about why you swirl and sniff and just how to enjoy that first taste of wine as it enters your mouth. The Chardonnay is fermented in stainless steel, however, 20% is taken out and put in oak for 6 months, then put back into the stainless with the remaining wine. The result is a hint of oak but keeps that tangy fruity (in this case pineapple) flavor profile that I have always loved in a stainless fermented wine. The side-by-side tasting we were doing also played games on our senses as we would taste one wine, taste another, and then come back to the former and have it taste juuuust a little different. It was quite the fun tasting experiment! After all was said and done, I departed with the 2011 Roussanne, the 2012 Rose of Sangiovese (this was a FUN wine!) and the 2011 Syrah. We had such a fun and informative visit to Lauren Ashton Cellars, I can’t wait to visit again!
|Great Tasting Room at Lauren Ashton Cellars
|My favorites of the visit
|So many glasses!
Next we wandered over to the warehouse tasting area to Two Vintners Winery (@TwoVintners). I have always enjoyed Two Vintners and the vibe of the tasting room, so this was a great next stop. It was a little more crowded, but we were still able to say hello to winemaker/owner Morgan Lee and taste through their fantastic wines. The 2012 Grenache Blanc was a hit among my group and I definitely left with a bottle of that. The 2011 Lola (60% Syrah, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon) was also a winner during this visit (it always is…) and I scooped up a bottle of that to join my wine rack as well.
|Love the Grenache Blanc
We hauled around the corner to the next building to StevensWinery at the recommendation of Morgan Lee. I had tried just a little of the Stevens wines and I am so glad we were able to stop in on this day. I’ve heard from many that they make outstanding reds and I was able to experience the line-up first hand on this visit. In fact, our group enjoyed them all so much that we had a hard time deciding which ones to buy (without buying them all!). I was a huge fan of the 2010 Cab Franc and the 2011 Malbec. Both made it into my trove of purchases for the day and now rest comfortably on my wine rack! Looking forward to trying future vintages of these great wines!
|The line-up at Stevens
We moved with the quickness and managed to sneak into Guardian Cellars (@GuardianCellars) just before he pulled the signs to close up shop. Lucky us! Guardian has been a long favorite of mine and I was thrilled to be able to introduce my “new to Woodinville” friend to their wines. I have always enjoyed every visit to their rock & roll themed tasting room and Jerry is always such a delight to receive pours from. The 2012 Angel was a fast favorite with the group and the reds were consistently delicious as always! I’m always guaranteed to have at least one bottle of Guardian wine on my shelf at all times, and today just helped keep that streak alive!
|The line-up at Guardian
|Cheers to a great day!
We rounded out our evening with a stop in to Russell’s for some appetizers and drinks. That is by far my favorite restaurant in the area and I need to get in there more often. Loaded down with boxes and bags of wine, we headed toward home, already looking forward to when our adventures would bring us back to Woodinville once again!