Woodinville Wine Tasting – The Best Tasting Rooms to Visit

Woodinville wine tasting
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When I moved to Seattle and heard that there is an entire town dedicated to wine tasting near Seattle, I immediately made it my mission to visit.  And every time I visit, I already start planning when I can return.  Every time that I arrive at the wine-tasting town of Woodinville, I get out of the car and can’t help but take a breath of fresh air thankful to be surrounded by trees, wine, and much less traffic.  I take in the familiar sights – big green trees, rolling hills, and most importantly – wine tasting rooms every way you turn.

Located northeast of Seattle, a quick 30-minute drive transports you out of the busy city and into the calm and beautiful town of Woodinville.  But just because Woodinville is quieter and smaller than Seattle, doesn’t mean it doesn’t pack a punch.  A town that’s only 5.6 square miles holds over 100 wine tasting rooms!  Being so close to Seattle, the Woodinville wine tasting scene is gaining momentum.  It’s the perfect place to spend a day if you’re looking for an escape from the busy city of Seattle to relax as you wine hop from tasting room to the tasting room.

 

Woodinville Wine Tasting:  What to Expect

Here in the Woodinville tasting rooms, you can expect most of the wine to be sourced from vineyards around Washington.  Some of the more popular grape-growing regions are located further east from Woodinville and include Walla Walla, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley, and more. Woodinville is divided into four different districts – Warehouse, Hollywood, West Valley, and Downtown – where each district holds its tasting rooms.  In Woodinville, expect to find mostly tasting rooms with the odd vineyard (Chateau Ste. Michelle) thrown into the mix.

Depending on the time of year and the which day of the week you’re visiting, the Woodinville wineries can either be packed to the brim… or ghostly empty.  I prefer the latter so I try to visit Woodinville during the week when the tasting rooms first open.  Most open around 11 am and close around 5 pm, but each one is different so make sure to check before visiting!

 

From Seattle to Woodinville:  Getting Around

If you’re visiting Woodinville from Seattle the commute is quick and easy.  While you can drive yourself to Woodinville, be cautious of drinking and driving!  I prefer to use Uber or Lyft just to be on the safe side.  Depending on where you’re coming from in Seattle the drive should be around 30-minutes and will cost $30-$50.  Once you’re in Woodinville it’s easy to get a ride share around the different areas and back to Seattle.  Depending on which tasting rooms you choose to visit, some are located next to each other within walking distance; while others are spread out and secluded.  However, if you do choose to drive to Woodinville there is plenty of parking.

 

Best Tasting Rooms in Woodinville

With over 100 tasting rooms, it would be near impossible to visit everyone.  (Although that is a big goal of mine!).  I have been to Woodinville numerous times and while I continue to visit the same wineries that I love over and over again, I always try to go to one new tasting room too.  I typically leave Seattle around 11 am and spend the day in Woodinville which usually gives me enough time to visit 4 different tasting rooms (2 old and 2 new) plus have lunch.  Below are my favorite places to visit!

 

Matthews Winery

High on my list, I recommend Matthews to all visiting Woodinville.  Not only because of the wine itself, after all the Claret has won serious accolades; but because of the atmosphere.  The reason I don’t like some of the tasting rooms I visit in Woodinville is because the wine doesn’t always match the atmosphere (and vice versa).  Here at Matthews, there’s enough space to accommodate a large number of people.  You can expect to be served great wine.  And there’s a cozy outdoor space to go with their cozy indoor space.  Not to mention there is “Friday Night Live” each Friday where you can find live music and food trucks from 6 pm-9 pm.  Plus “Vino and Vinyl Saturday” from 5 pm-7 pm.

Location:  Warehouse District

Hours of Operation:  Sunday-Thursday 12pm-5pm; Friday 12pm-9pm; Saturday 11am-7pm

 

Chateau Ste. Michelle

Chateau Ste. Michelle is perhaps the most recognized winery in Woodinville.  Which makes sense since the wine is distributed across the United States!  Chateau Ste. Michelle is an actual vineyard so if you prefer vineyards over tasting rooms, this would be the place to go.  While it’s usually packed with tourists, you can sometimes escape the madness of the outdoors with a glass or bottle of wine.  My favorite thing about Chateau Ste. Michelle is the summer concert series that they offer.  The concerts have been offered since 1984, tickets usually need to be purchased in advance, and they even have people as famous as John Legend grace the stage.

Location:  Hollywood District

Hours of Operation:  Sunday-Saturday 10 am-5 pm

 

Alexandria Nicole Cellars

glass of rose at alexandria nicole cellars

Alexandria Nicole Cellars is one place I want to be on a sunny day.  With a “yard” enclosed by bushes and trees, it’s a great place to hang out outdoors.  Aside from their mini outdoor section, the inside isn’t anything to write home about.  I probably wouldn’t visit unless I could be outside.  But with all of that being said Alexandria Nicole Woodinville has some of my favorite wine in town and the staff is particularly kind and knowledgable.  I’m particularly intrigued about their “tiny houses” in Prosser, Washington.

Location:  Hollywood District

Hours of Operation:  Monday-Saturday 11am-5pm; Sunday 12pm-5pm

 

Columbia Winery

columbia winery

A less intimate experience, I typically like to visit Columbia at the end of the day when everywhere else is closing shop.  Not to mention it’s a good place to visit if you are looking for food to soak up the alcohol.  I can’t get enough of the brie and bacon flatbread.

Location:  Hollywood District

Hours of Operation:  Saturday-Thursday 11 am-6 pm; Friday 11 am-7 pm

 

Guardian Cellars

Guardian Cellars is one of those exceptions where I enjoy the atmosphere more than the wine.  Cozy and intimate with an outdoor patio, Guardian seems to be one of those places where the staff takes extra care of you and makes sure you have a good experience.  With couches, tables, and chairs, it fits quite a few people.

Location:  Hollywood District

Hours of Operation:  Sunday-Thursday 12pm-5pm; Friday-Saturday 12pm-6pm

 

While the staff has been kind every place I visit, there are a couple of places that I won’t be returning to.  I wasn’t a big fan of Amavi Cellars, strictly because I didn’t like the atmosphere.  Nor am I a big fan of Goose Ridge Estate because I didn’t much care for their wine.

 

So if you’re visiting Seattle and you’re looking for a little escape out of the big city, I encourage you to head to Woodinville for wine tasting.  A short ride will transport you to a joyous town filled with hundreds of tasting rooms, a wine lovers paradise.  Just don’t forget to relax, enjoy yourself, and eat plenty of food to go along with your wine!  I like to eat lunch at Village Wines in the Hollywood District!

 


Are you interested in more wine experiences aside from Woodinville wine tasting?  Look no further….

Sonoma Wine Tasting – Which Vineyards to Visit if You Only Have One Day

Wine Tasting in Los Olivos – The Best Vineyards to Visit!

Santa Barbara Funk Zone Wineries – A Guide to the Wine Tasting Rooms

The Best of Fredericksburg – Wine Edition


 

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Kylee is a traveling Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse with a love for solo travel, wine, and Taylor Swift. She has spent 6 years caring for babies in the NICU and is an expert on travel nursing. Kylee began Passports and Preemies in 2017 while volunteering as a nurse in Skopje, Macedonia as a way to reach nurses and advocate for the prevention of nurse burnout by traveling. Kylee is the original creator of the “8 Day Vacay” – A vacation geared towards nurses aiming to take advantage of the potentially 8 days off between work weeks with no need to use PTO.

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