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Wine Spectator: A New Day In Woodinville

December 28, 2022

When Chateau Ste. Michelle put its flagship Woodinville property on the market this summer, the Washington wine community was puzzled. Soon after, Gallo announced it was closing its Columbia Winery tasting room, located just across the road from Ste. Michelle. These two wineries were the cornerstone on which the bustling Woodinville wine scene was built.

There were no wineries or tasting rooms in Woodinville when Ste. Michelle opened its iconic chateau in 1976. Columbia followed suit later, opening in 1988. The irony is, there were no vineyards there either, and that remains true today. Most vineyards are on the other side of the Cascades, in the vast Columbia Valley.

Today, there are about 110 tasting rooms. Even Healdsburg and Napa in California, known for a preponderance of tasting rooms, can’t claim that many. “We have 126 wine brands in those tasting rooms,” said Adam Acampora, executive director of Woodinville Wine Country, a nonprofit group that promotes tourism. “In 20 years, we’ve gone from 12 to 126.”

And things are just getting started. Opportunities abound and change is coming rapidly in Woodinville. Mark Ryan, Long Shadows, Fidelitas, Latta, L’Ecole No 41 and Mullan Road are opening new tasting rooms. Several ambitious projects are in the works. The two largest are mixed-use developments Harvest and the Garden District. Both will have retail, tasting rooms and restaurants. Each will have residential space and Harvest will include a 170-room hotel, both of which are much needed in Woodinville. Wine Spectator has the full story.

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