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 this is just part of the fun taking shape at the former Redhook brewery site. Redhook may have left a hole in the heart of Woodinville’s Hollywood district after it shuttered the brewery and its on-site pub in 2017. But the 20-acre property has been renamed Hollywood Station. And its new tenants, which include DeLille, fellow winery Sparkman Cellars and the performance troupe Teatro ZinZanni, are restoring the location’s status as a must-visit destination-within-a-destination.
DeLille’s new digs
DeLille’s new tasting space offers 9,000 square feet spread out over three floors. The main floor is open to all, while the upper floors and open-air deck are reserved for wine club members. The tasting options include samples of current releases, library tastings and food-and-wine pairings. Most of these are seated experiences. And, since space is limited, the winery encourages visitors to use its online booking system to reserve a time.
One of the most remarkable aspects of the new space is its location. It sits in the former site of the steel framework (shown below) for Redhook’s outdoor storage tanks. And portions of its upper floors overlook the production facilities that DeLille opened this past January in the former brewery tank room.
For the uninitiated, DeLille Cellars was founded in 1992 by Charles and Greg Lill, Jay Soloff and winemaker Chris Upchurch. At the time, it was Woodinville’s fifth winery and is currently the area’s third oldest. (Neighbors Chateau Ste. Michelle and Columbia Winery are older.) The partners began with a focus on Bordeaux-style blends. And they later added Rhône–style varietals and blends to their portfolio.
Today the winery produces about 28,000 cases a year, with grapes sourced from its Red Mountain estate vineyard and prestigious sites elsewhere on Red Mountain and across the Columbia Valley. Its flagship wines retail at triple-digit prices. But several of its other highly rated selections sell for less than $50 a bottle. The latter include its D2, a merlot-dominate Bordeaux blend, and Chaleur Blanc, an elegant sauvignon blanc–semillon blend. This past January, the winery promoted longtime employee Jason Gorski to director of winemaking and viticulture. But Upchurch remains on board, as co-president, partner and founding winemaker. (He also owns a separate, eponymous Red Mountain vineyard and winery, with his family.)
The cirque next door
DeLille’s winery neighbor Sparkman Cellars has already started producing wine in the former Redhook bottling hall. But its own new tasting room is still a few months away from opening. Meanwhile, one of DeLille’s other new neighbors, Teatro ZinZanni, recently opened Wheelhouse, a restaurant in the former Redhook pub space. Open daily for lunch and dinner, Wheelhouse offers an expansive, lodge-like setting to feast or nibble, sip and chill. The kitchen brings a modern, seasonal approach to dishes ranging from the casual to the refined. Think of it as a place where you can feel just as comfortable noshing on a burger or jerk spice duck wings as you can digging into squid ink tagliatelle or a lamb shank.
When the weather warms up, Wheelhouse’s craft brews and outdoor seats will beckon cyclists on the nearby Sammamish River Trail to pedal over for a refreshment break. It also seems like a nice spot to meet before or after visiting the area’s tasting rooms. And those attending a performance in Teatro ZinZanni’s spiegeltent, also on the property, can drop in for a pre- or post-show drink. The troupe brought its performance space to the former Redhook site about a year ago. Its current production continues through mid-February. And cast members have already taken to dropping by the restaurant for post-show refreshment of their own.
Coming soon to a Teatro near you
But it seems as though the fun has really just begun for Teatro ZinZanni. Now that it has established its world headquarters at Hollywood Station, the company is building out a costume and prop shop, a training facility and expanded offices on the property. All this helps support its growing operations, which include an ongoing production that debuted in Chicago this past summer and the planned return of its performances in San Francisco, in 2021. With so much going on, the team will put a pause on Woodinville performances after its current show ends, on Feb. 16, with the intent to return to its local stage in fall 2020.
Meanwhile, now that DeLille’s new space is open, the winery will soon wind down operations at its Carriage House tasting room, near Woodinville’s Hollywood Schoolhouse. But no changes are planned for its Maison DeLille Wine Lounge, in nearby Kirkland.
[Photos courtesy of DeLille Cellars; Wheelhouse and Teatro ZinZanni.]