If you are reading this note during the month it was posted, congratulations. You are a true fan of Northwest wine. The vineyards are bare. The tasting-room crowds are dying down. This site is still in beta. And here you are, planning a trip to a Northwest wine destination. Good on ya! It’s people like us who make it so much fun to visit wineries and tasting rooms during this time of year, which some (not me) refer to as the “off season.”

(Pictured above: Seven Hills Vineyard in Walla Walla, courtesy of Pepper Bridge Winery.)

This site attempts to serve as a mash-up between a guidebook and a travel blog, with a focus on top wine destinations in Washington state, Oregon and British Columbia. If you’re looking to read someone’s opinion on the fruit characteristics of cab francs from the 2015 vintage, you might get some of that here someday, but our primary mission is to provide you with the information you need to rock your next wine-country visit like a pro.

When I talk about our commitment, I should credit two vital members of the team. That logo you see up top was created by the über-talented Lindsay Lush, of Seattle’s One Creative Lush, and this WordPress site was developed by the extraordinary Steve Fry of IR3W Web Services, based in the Denver area. In the weeks and months ahead, our team will grow to include guest contributors and others to enhance the features and information that we provide. However, even as we do so, the most important content on this site is and will always be focused on helping you find the places and people who create memorable wine-country experiences.

Wine is both serious business and serious fun, and we recognize and value both elements of this equation. The best vintners and winemakers are fascinating folks. They tend to be remarkably entrepreneurial, with the ability to balance science and art to create memorable sensations in taste and mood and memory. These folks are are also all in, so to speak. We should respect that. I certainly do. And their commitment and good work is what also makes it so much fun. For us, and hopefully for them. By providing information you can use to find the best of the best (and not just the most expensive), we are working to help democratize wine tasting. Your time is precious; your money hard earned. We want to make it easier for you to get the most out of your resources and give you a chance to return home with fond memories, including those you can relive when you uncork those special bottlings you discover along the way.

As of this writing, we are in start-up mode, and since our “paint” is always “wet,” we will always have room to grow. Whether you are reading this note during the month it was published or years later, we’d like to extend the same invitation: if you don’t see the information you are looking for on these pages, please send us a note (info@thegrapenorthwest.com). We’d love to help you have a great wine-country getaway, because that’s what we do.

Happy tasting,