Did you know that Washington state is the second-largest wine producer in the country? With more than 900 winemakers in Washington, there is a glass (or bottle) to be found for any wine enthusiast. Many local restaurants have fabulous wine lists, and if you can spare some time to get away, it’s nice to relax at a tasting room or vineyard and get to know the growers and makers.
Washington (and the Pacific Northwest) is especially known for the reds: merlot, cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, malbec and fabulous blends. Pacific Northwest regions that wine lovers might know by name are mentioned in the Seattle Times’ list of top 50 wines of 2016: Columbia Valley (WA and OR), Walla Walla Valley (WA), Okanagan Valley (BC), Applegate Valley (OR), and Willamette Valley (WA). Washington State has 14 designated American Viticultural Areas, or AVAs, representing over 50,000 acres planted for growing wine grapes.
You can sip your way around the Seattle with over 20 in-city wineries. Let the map from Seattle Urban Wineries guide your way to varietals and styles crafted from Washington’s best vineyards. Check out Estates Wineroom and Wilridge Winery, both within walking distance of the Convention Center. Zagat’s Seattle’s Best Wine Lists rates food, decor and service for five local eateries, three of which (Wild Ginger, Metropolitan Grill, and Goldfinch Tavern) are within walking distance from the Convention Center. For places further afield, catch a ride with Uber, or hire one of the many local wine tour hosts to show you around.
If you have a half-day or more, you might enjoy a trip to Woodinville Wine Country, just 30 minutes northeast of Seattle. You will find big and very small name producers in over 100 wineries and tasting rooms, eight microbreweries, distilleries and cideries, and 26 nearby restaurants. Take at least a full weekend--and a picnic--to enjoy the wines in Walla Walla, WA. Castillo de Feliciana (get the sangria), Mark Ryan, Reininger, Sleight of Hand (best music), Seven Hills, and Va Piano (off-color jokes) are some of the author’s favorite places to visit.
As Ernest Hemingway wrote, "A person with increasing knowledge and sensory education may derive infinite enjoyment from wine." May you enjoy the best of these in Seattle during MLA’17. À votre santé!
Submitted by Emily Glenn, Co-Chair, Publicity Subcommittee
Image from Flickr