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10 Fantastic Wineries to Visit in Washington State

When you think of the United States and wine, I imagine your mind takes you straight to California. But did you know that Washington State is the second largest wine-producing state in the US? And that it is home to more than 1,000 wineries?

As prices rise in California’s best-known wine regions like Napa, more and more people are looking to Washington State as the next big name in US wine. Add to this the outstanding natural beauty of Washington State, its fantastic food scene, friendly people, and temperate weather, and you have a wine region that is a pleasure to visit.

1. Rotie Cellars

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Rotie Cellars is a Walla Walla-based winery in the Rocks area with a tasting room in Seattle’s SODO. If you like the wines of Cote du Rhone, then this is the winery for you. Rotie is all about making traditional Rhone blends using Washington State fruit. So these are red wines with lower alcohol levels, less oak, and more balanced.

2. Sleight of Hand

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Another Walla Walla based winery, Sleight of Hand, is only a couple of doors down from Rotie at SODO. Sleight of Hand was founded in 2007 by Trey Busch and Jerry and Sandy Solomon. Their signature wine is the Archimage which is a Cabernet Franc and Merlot blend. They also make some fantastic Syrahs, including the Psychedelic Syrah from the highly rated Rocks area of Walla Walla.

3. Chateau Ste Michelle

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Chateau Ste Michelle is the oldest and the biggest winery in Washington State. I always want to be most passionate about the small guy wineries, but I must admit I loved Chateau Ste Michelle and its wines.

Their property in Woodinville was originally marshland that was converted into a dairy farm. Their first wines came in 1967 and their French-style chateau in Woodinville was built in 1972. The winery’s white wines are made in Woodinville, and their red wines are at their Canoe Ridge Estate Winery in Eastern Washington.

4. Efeste

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Efeste’s first vintage in 2005 was actually made with grapes from California. They started growing their own grapes in Washington in 2007. This is a true family business. I met Eleni and Big Papa, who have involved their entire family in their winery. Many of Efeste’s wines are named after family members.

5. Pondera

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Shane Howard started the Pondera winery in 2003. He taught himself winemaking and decided to focus on Bordeaux-style red blends. He also makes Syrah, a very popular Malbec, Chardonnay and Viognier. Pondera has taken many awards for its wine, including 2022 double golds for its Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon Blends Entwined 2017 and Stiletto 2018 and gold for its Viognier at the Belle and Bottle Awards.

6. Rocky Pond

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Founded in 2013, Rocky Pond grows twenty different grapes in Washington. They are best known for their Stratastone, a blend of Grenache, Mourvedre and Syrah, Cabernet and their white wine blend Glacial Treasure. I also thought that their traditional method sparkling was excellent.

7. Delille Cellars

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Delille Cellars was the first Washington winery to produce a Bordeaux-style blend, and it has one of the oldest vineyards in Woodinville. Delille sources its grapes from Red Mountain as well as various sites in the Columbia Valley.

8. Long Shadows

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Long Shadows Winery was started by the former CEO of Chateau Ste Michelle, Allen Shoup. He developed seven ultra-premium wines inspired by the world’s top wine regions. The winery worked with a winemaker in each region to develop unique versions of their top wines using Washington fruit.

These include Tuscany, Bordeaux, Napa, South Australia, Pomerol and Schlossgut Diel in Germany. All of their wines are aged in French Oak.

9. Jaine

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Unlike most Washington state wineries, Jaine is all about white wine and rose. Their tasting room/cottage in Woodinville is a lovely white clapboard house with a marquee filled with soft lights and oak tables.

10. Treveri

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If you like sparkling wine, then Treveri Cellars should be top of your wine-tasting list for Washington State. They are Washington State’s premier dedicated sparkling wine house. Their winemaker is German and sparkling wine was his mother’s favorite drink.

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