Woodinville – Greater Seattle Guide
For many, the name Woodinville is synonymous with ‘winery.’ Which is accurate, but there is so much more here! Think ‘distillery’ and ‘brewery’ too! Not to mention all of the upscale restaurants, spas, and public events spaces.
Woodinville spent its first 100 years as a very small farming community, first settled in by Ira and Susan Woodin in 1871. Their home would become an important spot for the early town; it was used as a school, a doctor’s office, a church, and the post office. Once the rail line made its way to Woodinville, several new businesses cropped up. Much of the town’s industry relied on the Sqwak Slough (now known as the Sammamish River). This was used not only for transportation and shipping, but for recreation as well. It wasn’t until the 1960s that the town really started to grow, and in 1973 the US Tobacco Company purchased some land and built the first winery, Chateau Ste. Michelle. Many others soon followed. Since then, population has grown steadily and is most comprised of affluent and successful individuals.
Activities and Attractions
Let’s start with the obvious: the wine. Chateau Ste. Michelle may have been the first, but it is still considered the best that Woodinville has to offer. It’s located on the estate of one of the city’s wealthiest pioneers. You can take tours, sample their wine, and attend concerts in the summer. Other favorites in the area include Covington Cellars and Alexandria Nicole Cellars—winner of the 2011 Washington Winery of the Year. Basically, if you see any establishment with the world ‘cellar’ in its name, stop in immediately!
Then there’s the beer and spirits. Redhook Brewery is also a hot spot for locals and visitors; take a tour of their facilities for only a buck and receive 5 tastes of their brews. They also hold outdoor movies in the summer and tons of events throughout the year. Project V Distillery and Sausage Company (what a great combo!) specializes in Single Silo Vodka, made from Washington-grown wheat. Woodinville Whiskey Co. makes whiskey and vodka, while Soft Tail Spirits produces vodka and grappa. Between the three, your liquor cabinet should be well stocked!
Some of Woodinville’s high-end restaurants include The Herbfarm with its daily rotating menu and Barking Frog at the Willows Lodge. And while Teddy’s Bigger Burgers may not be “high end,” it has locations as far away as Tokyo, Japan, so you know it must be good.
For a truly unique experience of Woodinville, go for a hot air balloon tour with a company called Over the Rainbow. They’ll float you hundreds of feet above the ground, and you’ll be able to see for hundreds of miles to the horizon. There’s no better way to enjoy the natural beauty of western Washington—not even from the top of the Space Needle!
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