Like a runway fashion show, Washington wineries are pulling out the corks to debut their first wines of the season. An impressive variety of whites, reds and rosés, the wineries are celebrating with tastings and pairings. Here’s where you can sip and stay April 16 – 17.

Yakima Valley Spring Barrel Tasting

With 50 participating wineries, you are guaranteed not only lovely tastings, but pairings with cheeses, salsas and delectable desserts. The Yakima Valley is actually in the heart of Washington wine country, and as you travel I-82, you will pass lovely vineyards of merlot, chardonnay, syrah and riesling. Passes are $45/person online. Get a head start on your weekend. The Yakima tastings begin on Friday, April 15.
Where to stay?
Best Western Ahtanum Inn
2408 Rudkin Road
Yakima, WA 98903
Ask for the Spring Barrel Wine Tasting package, which includes gourmet chocolates and a $25 gift certificate to Outback Steakhouse.

Lake Chelan Nouveau Releases

The 14 Lake Chelan area wineries are excited to release their nouveau (French for “new”) white and rosé wines for 2011. Each of the boutique wineries featured will have special events and activities. You can stop at the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce for a free map of Chelan wine country.
Where to stay?
Campbell’s Resort on Lake Chelan
104 W Woodin
Chelan, WA 98816
Ask for one of their specials like their Renewing Spa package, or Date Night package, which includes a $50 dining voucher.

Northwest Wine and Cheese Tour on the Olympic Peninsula

This is the third annual wine and cheese tour for the peninsula. Eight wineries are participating on this self-guided tour. You can sample local, flavorful cheeses paired with just the right variety of wine from an area that is rarely hot in summer, and rarely cold in winter, producing some of Washington’s earliest ripening grapes.
$25/person allows you to visit all eight wineries and take home a commemorative glass.
Where to stay?
Olympic Lodge
140 Del Guzzi Drive
Port Angeles, WA 98362
With a fireplace and fresh baked cookies in the lobby, this hotel is centrally located to the Olympic Peninsula wineries, and offers a hearty breakfast until 10am each morning, including their own homemade granola and Eggs Benedict.

Bainbridge Island – 7 Winery Tasting Tour

The seven, artesian wineries on Bainbridge Island will have the winemakers in house to tell you about their newest releases. Many of the wineries are small, family owned operations with boutique wines you’ll not find anyplace else.
Where to stay?
Best Western PLUS Bainbridge Island Suites
350 NE High School Road
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
With eco-friendly amenities, a complimentary breakfast and fully equipped gym, this hotel is centrally located for your winery tour, as well as Bainbridge’s many art galleries and studios.

Passport to Woodinville

The bonus with this year’s Woodinville wineries is that the $75/person passport allows you to return for tasting and touring again and again until June 1. Select wineries will serve appetizers and provide live music during this kick-off weekend, featuring 35 wineries. Passports can be purchased online before April 16.
Where to stay?
Willows Inn
14580 NE 145th Street
Woodinville, WA 98072
Ask about packages offered like the Hide ‘N Sleep, or splurge with the Spa Pamper Package, which offers a $200 voucher for the Willows Inn Spa.


Leave a Reply