Get Ready for Taste Washington 2023

After a three-year hiatus, Taste Washington is back for 2023. The 24th edition of the gathering includes new and returning touches that expand the festivities beyond the always lively Grand Tasting at Lumen Field Event Center. Taste Washington 2023 highlights: February3–18: Field to Table March 6–10: Taste Week dinners, seafood bash and lounge night March  Read the full article

Fun Food and Wine Tasting in Prosser

John Gray’s culinary journey had already taken him around the world before the pandemic began two springs ago. As shutdowns put the restaurant openings he was working on in Miami on hold, he discovered an opportunity about as far away from southern Florida as you could get in the Continental U.S.. The owners of Jeremy’s  Read the full article

Great Things About the 2021 Seattle Wine Awards

When Christopher Chan established the Seattle Wine Awards in 2006, there were only about 250 wineries in Washington state. And people in other parts of the country would ask, “Which side of the Potomac do you make wines in Washington,” Chan recalls. Today, wine pros worldwide know about Washington state, as well as Oregon and,  Read the full article

Celebrating Washington Wine and Food: The Cookbook

The only difficult thing about exploring the pages of Washington Wine and Food, a new cookbook/winery guide by Seattle food maven Julien Perry, might be deciding where to keep it. Perry’s profiles of Washington winemakers will tempt you to bring it along on visits to the state’s wine regions. Its 80 recipes, provided by top Seattle-area chefs,  Read the full article

Virtual Washington wine tasting with Karen MacNeil

Marty Clubb remembers questioning his Ferguson Vineyard’s ability to produce cabernet sauvignon. When he planted the Walla Walla Valley site about 12 years ago, the L’Ecole No. 41 winery owner thought its elevation (1,500 feet) might keep it too cool for the heat-loving grapes. But ripen they did. In fact, one of the earliest vintages  Read the full article

Wine Tasting in the Age of Social Distancing

As the quarantine wore on, the team at Red Mountain’s Frichette Winery started entertaining friends and customers with blind tastings over Zoom. Now a regular event, their Mystery Wine Challenge creates a fun way for participants to identify a different featured wine each time. In Prosser, Gary Vegar, who owns the Horse Heaven Saloon, has added  Read the full article

Social Distancing with Jamie Brown

When I met up with Waters Winery founder and winemaker Jamie Brown last month, it was to catch up on cool new things going on in The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater. At the time, Brown had just finished bottling the first wines sourced from Waterstone, his winery’s 7.5-acre estate Rocks District vineyard, planted in 2016.  Read the full article

Auction of WA Wines salutes Rob Mercer

It was shaping up to be an ordinary day for Rob Mercer when he got the call. A friend from Auction of Washington Wines was on the line. Her organization had named him Honorary Grower for 2020. I bumped into Mercer in the tasting room of his Prosser winery a few days later. I was  Read the full article

Refreshing Things to Know About Glass Vodka Soda

A funny thing happened to me on my way to avoiding the canned-beverage craze. I discovered a canned cocktail that I really like. It happened at POP Bubbles + Seafood, during the Seattle Wine & Food Experience. There, in the festival hall, Ian MacNeil, founder and CEO of Seattle-based Glass Distillery, was pouring samples of his  Read the full article

European winemakers reflect on Washington state

Marie-Eve Gilla remembers her amazement at the wide-open spaces she saw on her first drive into Yakima Valley, which took place during a thunderstorm, in 1992. When Jürgen Grieb arrived in Mattawa, in 1982, he had never been to a place with so few trees. Renzo Cotarella was not exactly sure what to expect on  Read the full article

Spokane chefs preview Crave! 2020

Spokane has been many things to many people over the years. The capital of the Inland Northwest. The boyhood home of Bing Crosby. The birthplace of Father’s Day. And, thanks to a new generation of chefs, you can add great food town to the list. The popularity of chain restaurants has been fading in the  Read the full article

Top Northwest wine and food events for 2020

The whirlwind of the holidays has come and gone, but don’t take too long to catch your breath. Wine tasting has become a year-round sport in the Pacific Northwest. And opportunities to explore and revel at our wine and wine-centric celebrations will return sooner than you expect. If you feel it is still too early  Read the full article

DeLille Cellars helps revitalize Redhook’s former Woodinville home

A sheer facade of glass, timber and steel. Café lights on strings suspended above the entryway. Eclectic furniture and artworks that bridge classical styles with modern aesthetics. These are among the features that make a visit to DeLille Cellars’ new Woodinville tasting room feel like a step into the pages of a design magazine. And  Read the full article

Maryhill lands at the Hollywood Schoolhouse

Within moments of ending the call, Craig Leuthold was ready to kick himself. Simon Siegl, a wine-industry consultant, had just let him know about a cool Woodinville space that was about to become available for a tasting room. This was back in August 2018. At the time Leuthold, the co-owner of Maryhill Winery, was already  Read the full article

Cornucopia 2019 whets your Whistler appetite

With extravagant food, wine and cocktail tastings, lavish dinners, festive parties and more, Whistler’s Cornucopia has become synonymous with indulgent revelry. But there’s another side to the event, now in its 23rd year, that reflects the conscientiousness of its participants and attendees. Throughout the 11-day festival, several tastings and other gatherings raise awareness about ecological  Read the full article

Sweet spots for your Washington wine country escape

Wine tasting has become a year-round pursuit in the Northwest. But thanks to reliably pleasant weather and the buzz of harvest activity in the vineyards and wineries, fall is prime time. Now that autumn has officially arrived, here’s a look at the top things to check out on Red Mountain and in the Tri-Cities, Walla  Read the full article

Adam West Day returns to Walla Walla

Get ready for a supercharged blast from the past as Adam West Day returns to downtown Walla Walla, on Sat., Sept. 21, with activities continuing through the weekend. Now in its third year, the event will give fans of the man best known as TV’s Batman a chance to celebrate him in the town where  Read the full article

Great tastes in the Columbia River Gorge

One of the most difficult things about driving through the Columbia River Gorge is leaving the Columbia River Gorge. Shaped by volcanoes, ice age floods and the mighty persistence of the Columbia River, there simply is no other place like it. Over a span of about 80 miles, its banks transition from steep forested hillsides  Read the full article

Meet the man behind Chelan’s electric bike winery tours

When you hear Merick “Merv” Hill’s British accent, you’d never guess that he was born in Virginia. And that’s just one of the many surprising things about the founder of Chelan Electric Bikes, which offers the phenomenally popular electric bike winery tours at Lake Chelan. (The outings are offered on Pedego electric bicycles, shown below.)  Read the full article

Valdemar Estates brings touches of Spain to Walla Walla

At first glance, there are not many obvious similarities between Walla Walla and La Rioja. But don’t tell that to Jesús Martinez Bujanda. On his first visit to the Rocks District, the area’s stony soils reminded him of the Spanish region’s terrain. “It was like, “Whoa, I know this,’” he says. “This is home.” And  Read the full article

Top Okanagan Valley wine experiences

You’d be hard-pressed to find a wine region more fascinating than British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. Thanks to its north-south alignment, between the 49t and 50th parallels, and temperatures that transition from warm to cool, it nurtures a spectrum of wines. These range from aromatic whites and pinot noir up north to big reds in the warmer  Read the full article

Reflections on the Lake Chelan AVA at Ten

It’s tough to decide what’s more impressive about Lake Chelan wineries these days. The number of people who fill the tasting rooms. Or the number of ways you can get to them. The area’s limousine-tour business is booming. And tour groups arriving at tasting rooms on electric bikes have become common sights. You can get  Read the full article

Tours That Let You Rock Wine Country Like a Boss

Mark Ryan Winery. DeLille Cellars. Seven Hills Winery. Andrew Will Winery. It’s one thing to see these names on labels. It’s another see the vineyard blocks where the grapes for these producers’ most-esteemed bottlings are grown. That’s what I discovered on a bike tour with Red Mountain Trails. About a minute into the ride, we were  Read the full article

Cheers to rosé and Woodinville favorites

Valentine’s Day. Thanksgiving dinner. Random Tuesday nights. There are many great reasons to open a bottle of rosé throughout the year. But backyard gatherings seem to be the quintessential settings for these versatile sippers. And that’s exactly what you get at JM Cellars in Woodinville. With rosé­–release season in full swing, I’ll shed light on  Read the full article

Food Truck Night Uncorks Spring Fun in Walla Walla

It was balmy this past Monday evening in Walla Walla, as anticipation for spring fun filled the air. In the industrial park just past the airport, a stream of cars and trucks was filling the grassy parking area behind Burwood Brewing Company’s barn-shaped brewery and tap room. A five-piece band was wrapping up its sound  Read the full article

Taste Washington Lets You Be the Judge

For four glorious days at the end of March, the 2019 edition of Taste Washington will turn Seattle into the center of the epicurean universe. Now the nation’s largest single-region wine-and-food festival, the annual event seems to consistently bring new events and presenters into the fold, while retaining those that everybody loves. This year’s festivities begin  Read the full article

Willamette Valley Gets its Gamay On

John Grochau recommends pairing it with charcuterie or slightly aged cheeses. Tom Monroe likes the way it cuts through the fatty oils of roasted chicken. The list of foods that Doug Tunnell suggests having it with, including fish, pasta and Mexican food, seems longer than the ones he rules out. “It” is gamay noir, or  Read the full article

Are You Ready for Red Wine and Chocolate?

It’s February, and love is in the air. Valentine’s Day is coming fast, and so are red wine-and-chocolate tastings at Yakima Valley, Lake Chelan and Olympic Peninsula wineries. While sweet wines tend to make better mates than dry reds for most chocolate preparations, a big part of the fun at these events comes from experiencing the creativity that  Read the full article

Great Reasons to Embrace Cellar Season in Willamette Valley

Neatly pruned vineyards along quiet country roads. The warmth of a fireplace or an unexpected sunbreak. A chance to sip wines at a leisurely pace, and the unhurried attention of the staff in tasting rooms. These are just some of the uplifting pleasures of a wine-country getaway in winter. It’s a quiet time of year,  Read the full article

A Little More About This Site

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  Read the full article

Welcome to the Grape Northwest

Hello, and welcome to the Grape Northwest. This highly subjective guide is designed to help you find the best places to taste, eat and stay in the region’s top wine destinations, based on more than a dozen years (and counting) of travel to wineries and tasting rooms across the region. I’ll also be using this  Read the full article