4 Remarkable Wineries in Washington State

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Once you cross over the Cascade Mountain Range into Eastern Washington, the landscape quickly changes from an urban, densely populated cityscape surrounded by Evergreens to a rugged and sparse space—wide-open valleys leading you into a unique vastness that’s just begging to be explored.  

Here the Yakima Valley receives far less moisture than its Western half, so it benefits from milder and warmer temperatures year-round, making it the ideal climate for growing grapes. And one of the best experiences you can have when visiting any part of Washington State, is a taste through its acclaimed wine country.

The Yakima Valley AVA is one of four designated wine growing regions that we’ve hand-selected for you to discover when visiting Washington State’s budding wine industry. Other stops on our tasting journey will be Walla Walla Valley AVA, Horse Heaven Hills AVA in the Columbia Valley and Puget Sound AVA in Woodinville.

So, off we go!


1. L’Ecole No 41 (Lowden, Walla Walla Valley AVA)

L Ecole n. 41 - VinoVisit

L’Ecole N° 41 is a second-generation and family-owned artisan winery located in the landmark Frenchtown School in Lowden, Washington.  French for “the school” and sitting in school district #4, the winery chose its name as way to salute the pioneering viticulture efforts of the valley. The winery operations began at the old schoolhouse back in 1983, making it the third oldest winery in the Walla Walla Valley AVA –even creating their label images based on the historic 1915-era building. Today, L’Ecole N° 41 has become one of the most prominent and visible wineries in the area achieving national and international distribution.

As a traditional brick-and-mortar winery, their focus is terroir-driven, distinctive and expressive wines. Thirty years of winemaking experience, combined with dedicated, long-term relationships with some of the oldest and most proven vineyards in the Walla Walla and Columbia Valleys, has helped L’Ecole N° 41 achieve the award of ‘Best Tasting Room’ as voted by Seattle Magazine. “The tasting room staff walks visitors through L’Ecole’s prize-winning lineup without pretense; a modest approach that’s refreshing.”

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2. Treveri Cellars (Wapato, Yakima Valley AVA)


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Treveri Cellars
exclusively produces Sparkling Wines using méthode traditionelle (the French traditional method) at their facility in the Yakima Valley AVA. Their wines have been served at the U.S. State Department and James Beard Foundation dinners, as well as enthusiastically received by those who visit the winery. They produce a full range of Sparklings from Extra-Brut (very dry) to Demi-Sec (slightly sweet). They also offer small bites such as flatbreads and cheese trays to accompany the bubblys. All tastings are hosted salon-style (seated), but a standing tasting can be arranged at their bar if preferred.


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3. Alexandria Nicole Cellars  (Paterson, Horse Heaven Hills AVA)

Alexandria Nicole Cellars - VinoVisit
Alexandria Nicole Cellars is dedicated to producing small lots of handcrafted wines from their own Destiny Ridge Estate Vineyard. The 267-acre estate vineyard is located high above the bluffs on the Columbia River near the town of Paterson, Washington, where their grapes thrive in the soils and excellent climatic conditions of the Horse Heaven Hills AVA. In addition to the winery location, they also feature exclusive wine club venues and banquet facilities in tasting rooms located just outside the Seattle area in the towns of Prosser and Woodinville.


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4. Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery (Woodinville, Puget Sound AVA)

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Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery
, originally founded as the American Wine Company, is the state’s oldest winery and is located on the eastside of Lake Washington in the charming town of Woodinville. The French-style chateau sits on 87-acres of mature trees– the sprawling estate once belonging to lumber baron Frederick Stimson who used it as a hunting retreat and rural working farm called the Hollywood Farm. When walking the grounds of the Chateau, it’s as if you’ve entered a land of fairy tales, complete with grand, old-world architecture and hidden gardens. The tasting experience at Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery is perfect for developing your wine knowledge as you’ll learn about the winery’s rich heritage, get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of their winemaking facilities and experience what makes this part of wine country such a premier grape-growing region.


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Of course, there are many remarkable wineries throughout Washington State, just waiting for you to come experience them. Which AVA will you travel to first?

Have fun exploring Washington wine country!


Anna Xiang


 

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