Seattle, a city known for its iconic Space Needle and thriving tech industry, has a hidden gem in its vicinity – the flourishing wine scene. Located just a 30-minute drive away from the bustling city life, Woodinville Wine Country offers a refreshing getaway for wine enthusiasts and casual visitors alike. There is no shortage of wineries in the area, with each boasting its unique flavors and experiences for visitors to indulge in.
Among the many wineries in Seattle and surrounding areas, several stand out for their exceptional offerings and picturesque settings. Many of these esteemed establishments have been reviewed and highly recommended by experts, making them must-visit destinations for wine lovers. Each winery features its distinct characteristics, ranging from intimate tasting rooms to sprawling vineyards, providing a rich and diverse wine tasting experience for all who visit.
As the wine culture in Seattle continues to expand, so does the opportunity for memorable, refined experiences. Whether you are a seasoned wine connoisseur or just looking to enjoy a leisurely afternoon amidst beautiful scenery, the diverse selection of wineries in Seattle and its nearby areas will surely offer something to suit everyone’s tastes.
Table of Contents
Top Seattle Wineries
Chateau Ste. Michelle – Woodinville, WA
Chateau Ste. Michelle is a renowned winery located at 14111 NE 145th St, Woodinville, WA 98072. Established in 1967, it boasts beautiful vineyards and a diverse range of grapes contributing to its famous wines.
One such recommended wine is the popular Eroica Riesling. For more information or to plan a visit, you can reach them at (425) 488-1133.
Chateau Ste. Michelle is a winery located in Woodinville, Washington, and is known as the oldest winery in the state. The winery’s roots date back to the Repeal of Prohibition, and it was built on the 1912 estate owned by Seattle lumber baron Frederick Stimson.
In 1954, the American Wine Company was founded, which was a merger of the National Wine Company (NAWICO) and the Pomerelle Wine Company. Years later, a large neon sign advertising NAWICO was erected in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood.
Under legendary winemaker Andre Tchelistcheff, in 1967, a new line of premium vinifera wines was introduced called Ste. Michelle Vintners. Since then, the winery has combined Old World winemaking traditions with New World innovation. In fact, Chateau Ste. Michelle is one of the few premium wineries in the world with two state-of-the-art wineries, one for red and one for white.
Today, Chateau Ste. Michelle is Washington’s largest fine-wine producer and is renowned for its award-winning wines and picturesque grounds.
JM Cellars – Woodinville, WA
Located at 14404 137th Pl NE, Woodinville, WA 98072, JM Cellars is a family-owned winery with a beautiful rustic charm. They’re known for wines made using a variety of Washington State grapes. A must-try wine at this winery would be their Tre Fanciulli, a red blend. For inquiries, you can contact JM Cellars at (425) 485-6508.
JM Cellars was founded in fall 1998 by John and Peggy Bigelow. They converted their basement into a small production space and sourced fruit for their first wines from the acclaimed Klipsun vineyard on Red Mountain.
John took the UC Davis extension winemaking course and read every winemaking book he could find to hone his craft. Encouraged by the success of their first vintage, John increased production for the 1999 harvest to thirteen barrels of wine. These first two vintages laid the foundation for John’s winemaking technique in the years to come.
Now, twenty-three harvests later, John produces 8,000 cases of new world wines using old world winemaking techniques. He draws inspiration from various wine regions across the world and experiments with new approaches whenever he tastes something new that he loves.
His curiosity has led to the discovery of staple techniques, such as whole berry fermentations, foot stomping, use of large French oak tanks for fermentations, and use of clay amphoras along with French oak barrels for aging. John’s newest experiment is grenache fermented and aged in a clay amphora, which he named Ancora Imparo, Italian for “Yet, I learn” – a perfect name to represent his winemaking ideology.
Over the last ten years, more than 150 of John’s wines have scored 90 points or better with international wine critics, including Robert Parker, Wine Spectator, and Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
EFESTE – Seattle, WA & Woodinville, WA
EFESTĒ is a winery with two locations in Seattle and Woodinville, Washington. The Seattle location is situated at 1730 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134 in the Industrial District. The Woodinville location is located at 19730 144th Ave NE, Woodinville, WA 98072 in the Woodinville Wine Country.
EFESTĒ planted three estate vineyards in two separate appellations in Washington State in 2007. Each of the three sites were planted with varietals and employ techniques uniquely suited to maximizing the potential for the particular vineyard site.
The winery’s focus on native fermentation shines a light on the diversity of Washington varietals, producing distinctive wines born from distinctive soils.
EFESTĒ’s Seattle location is a wine tasting room that is open from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM. The Woodinville location is a spacious tasting room and production facility that is open from Sun-Wed 12-6PM and Th-Sat 12-7pm. The winery is closed on major holidays.
To contact EFESTĒ, you can call their Woodinville location at (425) 398-7200.
Structure Cellars – Seattle, WA
Located in the vicinity of Eight Bells Winery and Domanico Cellars, Structure Cellars can be found at 3861 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134.
For rideshare, use this address: 3901 1ST. Ave South, Seattle, WA 98134
Known for its modern atmosphere and kind owners, their Foundation Cabernet Sauvignon is highly recommended. Reach out to them at (206) 334-6828.
Structure Wines is a winery located in the SODO Urbanworks neighborhood of Seattle, WA. The winery was founded by Brian and Brandee, who decided to submit paperwork to become a real winery after purchasing their first home, a fixer-upper in the Ballard neighborhood.
Latta Wines – Seattle, WA
Latta Wines, with its stylish tasting room at 3933 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134, showcases the talents of winemaker Andrew Latta. Andrew has made a name for himself with his dedication to creating exceptional wines from carefully curated grapes. Their Latta Latta Grenache is a must-try. For more information, call them at (206) 838-0450.
Latta Wines is a winery that puts uncommon varietals from unique vineyards in Washington State at the forefront. The winery’s founder and owner, Andrew Latta, spent years scouring the diverse soils of Eastern Washington before releasing two special wines.
Since then, the winery has expanded its offerings to include mostly Rhone varietals in extremely small production. The wines are sourced from sustainable vineyard sites and are fermented with native yeast before aging in mostly neutral French barrique and luncheon.
Andrew Latta, born and raised in Kentucky, founded Latta Wines in 2011 after years of working his way up from a cellar hand to a winemaker at a notable Washington winery. His experience in the restaurant industry and as a Sommelier in Thailand exposed him to wines from around the world, and he found that Washington State stood out among all the emerging and traditional wine-growing regions.
Fifteen years ago, he took a leap of faith and participated in his first harvest in Walla Walla, and year after year, Washington continues to deliver exceptional wines.
Kevin White Winery – Woodinville, WA
A hidden gem in the Seattle wine scene, Kevin White Winery is located at 18800 142nd Ave NE Suite 5A, Woodinville, WA 98072. Producing high-quality red wines, their La Fraternité is a standout option. You can call them at (425) 780-5498 to get additional details or plan a visit.
Kevin and his wife Stefanie established their winery in 2010 to produce limited, handcrafted, complex, balanced wines that pair well with food. Kevin’s love for wines from the Rhone Valley in France led him to focus primarily on Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedré from cooler climate and higher elevation vineyards in the Yakima Valley. These vineyards produce wines with depth and power, along with the finesse and delicateness required to complement food.
Kevin’s journey from wine customer to producer began in 2006, after a simple taste of one of Washington’s finest wines. Over the next four years, he traveled back and forth to Eastern Washington vineyards, worked under the tutelage of some of Washington’s leading winemakers, and returned to school for chemistry, microbiology, and enology.
In 2012, Kevin released his first wine, the 2010 vintage En Hommage Syrah from Olsen Vineyard. The local wine community immediately supported and buzzed about the wine, which sold out within weeks. In the following years, Kevin’s 2011 and 2012 vintage La Fraternité Red Blends were placed in the Top 100 wines of the world by Wine Enthusiast, and he was named “Winemaker to Watch” in 2015 and “Best Emerging Winery” in 2018 by Seattle Magazine.
Kevin and Stefanie live in Seattle with their twin sons, and Kevin looks forward to teaching them how to drive a forklift at the winery one day. Kevin graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in Computer Science and Engineering in 2000, which led him to Microsoft where he continues to work today. The winery currently produces 2000 cases per year.
Almquist Family Wine & Weddings – Seattle, WA
Almquist Family Winery at 198 Nickerson St, Seattle, WA 98109, brings together the talents of the Almquist family, who are passionate about creating wine. If you are planning a wedding, you’re in luck! The Greenhouse at Almquist is drop-dead gorgeous and ready to make memories. For inquiries, call them at (206) 953-2962.
The Almquist Family Winery & Distillery boasts a spacious yet intimate event space with a stunning bird’s eye view of the Ship Canal. The venue’s indoor-outdoor floor plan is flexible and includes a greenhouse, winery, distillery, restaurant, 53′ wine bar, and outdoor green space.
This allows the venue to host a wide range of events, from small private gatherings to expansive receptions, all in one extraordinary location. The Almquist Family Winery & Distillery invites guests to make their venue the go-to destination for a truly memorable celebration.
Nine Hats Tasting Room & Winery – Seattle, WA
At 3861 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134, you’ll find Nine Hats Tasting Room & Winery, which showcases a modern space adjacent to Elsom Cellars and Guardian Cellars. The Nine Hats Cabernet Sauvignon is their signature wine. You can reach them at (206) 582-0700.
Nine Hats was founded as an offshoot of Long Shadows Vintners, a winery dedicated to producing world-class wines from Washington fruit. However, not every occasion calls for such high-end wines.
To make ordinary moments special, Nine Hats used Long Shadows’ exceptional winemaking facilities and knowledge to create a line of everyday wines that are delicious, approachable, and thoroughly drinkable at an affordable price point.
The success of Nine Hats quickly spread, and more than a decade later, the winery continues to attract new fans who appreciate the wines’ versatility and the community that has grown around the tasting room and events. Nine Hats believes that ordinary moments are worthy of something extraordinary and hopes to continue making them special with their wines.
Locus Wines – Seattle, WA
Locus Wines is a winery featuring a cozy urban setting found at 307 Occidental Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104. They’re known for their focus on Mediterranean varietals. Their Modo Red Blend is a must-try selection. Contact them at (206) 682-1760 for more information.
Locus Wines sources fruit from cooler climate vineyards in the Yakima Valley and Naches Heights AVAs of Washington State to produce unique, handcrafted wines that showcase their origin.
The name “Locus” comes from the Latin word for “location”. Locus Wines takes an Old World-like approach to their favorite varietals such as Syrah, Cinsault, Sémillon, and Sauvignon Blanc. This approach produces wines with higher acidity and less oak, making them approachable and perfect for food pairing.
Wilridge Winery – Seattle, WA & Woodinville, WA
Wilridge is a small family vineyard, orchard, winery, and distillery that operates in the European tradition. You can find them at 1416 34th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122, and call them at (206) 325-3051.
Founded in 1988, it is the oldest winery in Seattle. In 2007, Wilridge planted its certified Organic and Biodynamic Estate Vineyard on Naches Heights near Yakima, Washington. The vineyard continues to produce award-winning wines. In 2017, Wilridge launched its artisan brandy distillery using grapes, apples, and pears from the Wilridge Estate on Naches Heights.
Wilridge Vineyard is one of the most popular off-the-beaten-path vineyard and wine bar destinations in Yakima’s Wine Country. Through the work of Wilridge founder and Vintner Paul Beveridge, Naches Heights was awarded American Viticultural Area (AVA) status by the federal government in 2012, making it one of the most unique AVAs in the nation.
In addition to producing outstanding fruit, Wilridge Vineyard is one of the only “Recreational Vineyards” in Washington. It is located a short 2-hour drive from Seattle, making it a perfect day-trip destination. Visitors can stroll the vineyard, picnic on the lawn, hike, horseback ride (with hitching posts for up to 20 horses), and mountain bike the nearby trails.
Alternatively, they can simply sit on the wrap-around porch of the wine bar, which is situated in a beautiful 100-year-old farmhouse. The vineyard offers a multitude of outdoor activities, and visitors can create their own adventure with the help of a Vineyard Map.
As an added bonus, Wilridge has an outstanding pie bar at their Woodinville, WA location. Be sure to check it out!
Seattle’s Wine Districts
Seattle is home to a diverse array of wine districts, each offering unique experiences for wine lovers. From urban wineries to picturesque vineyards, the city and its surroundings provide countless opportunities to taste world-class Washington wines.
Woodinville is a wine enthusiast’s paradise, boasting over 100 wineries and tasting rooms. This wine country, located just a 30-minute drive from downtown Seattle, features renowned wineries such as Chateau Ste. Michelle, Novelty Hill Januik, and DeLille Cellars. Visitors can enjoy Washington State’s more than 70 varietals while overlooking beautiful vineyards, making it a must-see destination for anyone looking to experience the essence of Washington wine country.
The Sodo Urbanworks district is home to a complex of heavy-hitting wineries, with tasting rooms offering a truly urban experience. Located in Seattle proper, some noteworthy wineries in this area include EFESTE, Latta Wines, and Structure Cellars. These urban wineries provide an opportunity to taste exquisite wines without leaving the city limits.
The Georgetown area is an up-and-coming wine district, featuring wineries like Laurelhurst Cellars. The goal of these wineries is to showcase the unique personalities of wines derived from distinct soil, climate, and vineyard management. The high-quality Washington State vineyards supply the grapes, allowing for a dynamic and flavorful wine tasting experience in a more industrial, urban environment.
Pioneer Square is a historic district in Seattle that offers its own wine tasting opportunities. Here, you can find urban wineries focused on transforming traditional palates with innovative wines, like Kerloo Cellars and SoDo Cellars. An online reservation system allows visitors to book indoor or outdoor tables, enhancing the wine tasting experience in one of Seattle’s oldest neighborhoods.
Each of these Seattle wine districts provides unique venues for enjoying Washington wines, from urban settings to picturesque vineyards. With an array of wineries and tasting rooms, Seattle and its surroundings solidify their position as a premier destination for wine lovers.
Famous Winemakers in Seattle
Rich Burton, the winemaker behind Latta Wines, has a strong reputation in the Seattle wine industry. His journey in winemaking began when he fell in love with the robust flavors and unique characteristics of the wines produced in Eastern Washington. He studied viticulture and enology at renowned institutions like the Yakima Valley and Walla Walla Community College before establishing Latta Wines in 2011.
Focused on crafting wines with minimal intervention and an emphasis on terroir expression, Rich produces excellent examples of single-varietal wines sourced from various vineyards throughout Eastern Washington and the Columbia Valley. The tasting room of Latta Wines, located in SoDo Urbanworks, offers a stylish space to sample Rich’s creations while overlooking Boeing Field and sipping on a glass of wine in the cozy patio area.
Brian Grasso, the founder of Kerloo Cellars, is another prominent figure in Seattle’s winemaking scene. Since establishing Kerloo Cellars in 2007, Brian has been focused on crafting wines that showcase the unique terroir of Washington’s wine regions, particularly Walla Walla and Columbia Valley. His passion for winemaking stems from his belief in the exceptional quality of the grapes grown in these areas.
Brandee Slosar, the winemaker behind Rotie Cellars, has a growing reputation in the Seattle wine community. With a background in geology, Brandee has a natural inclination for understanding the nuances of the distinct terroirs found in Eastern Washington, particularly Yakima Valley and Walla Walla Valley. She continues to create her signature wines with top-quality grapes sourced from these regions.
Located in SoDo Urbanworks, Rotie Cellars offers an inviting tasting space where visitors can experience the depth and complexity of Brandee’s wines. The tasting room features a rotating selection of wines and often hosts special events in collaboration with other local wineries, helping to foster a sense of community among the winemakers and wine lovers in the Seattle area.
Popular Wine Varietals in Seattle
Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the major wine varietals found in Seattle wineries, especially those sourcing grapes from eastern Washington regions like Yakima Valley, Walla Walla, and Red Mountain. Known for its rich and bold flavors, this varietal is often a staple in many Bordeaux-style blends produced by local wineries. Chateau Ste. Michelle, a renowned winery located in Woodinville Wine Country, produces high-quality Cabernet Sauvignon that showcases the unique terroir and climate of the regions.
Chardonnay is another popular grape variety in the Seattle wine scene. This adaptable varietal thrives in various climates and soil types, allowing wineries in the region to produce a diverse range of Chardonnay styles. From crisp and unoaked to full-bodied and creamy, Seattle Chardonnay offers something for every palate. This versatile grape can be found in many wineries throughout Woodinville Wine Country and Yakima Valley.
Seattle wineries also feature Riesling, a grape variety that produces refreshing and aromatic wines. With its strong expression of the terroir, Riesling wines from eastern Washington showcase fascinating characteristics. Winemakers in the region often experiment with different levels of sweetness and acidity, producing wines that range from bone-dry to lusciously sweet. Chateau Ste. Michelle is particularly known for producing high-quality Rieslings, reflecting the diversity in style available within Seattle’s wineries.
Syrah, a key component in Rhône-style wines, holds a strong presence in the Seattle wine community. Winemakers in regions like Walla Walla and Red Mountain craft lush, full-bodied Syrahs that display flavors of dark fruit and rich spices. The Seattle Times mentioned Rocky Pond Estate Winery’s 2019 Stratastone Red Blend, a GSM-style wine featuring 56% grenache, 30% syrah, and mourvèdre. This award-winning wine highlights the potential and quality of Seattle’s Rhône-style offerings.
Merlot is another prominent grape variety in the Seattle wine industry. This versatile varietal is often found as a blending component in Bordeaux-style wines or showcased as a single varietal offering at local wineries. Merlot wines produced in the region often exhibit flavors of dark fruit, mocha, and gentle spices. Eastern Washington’s distinct terroir, particularly in regions like Yakima Valley and Walla Walla, allows Seattle wineries to craft Merlot wines with expressive depth and complexity.
Wine Tasting and Pairing
Tasting Room Recommendations
Seattle wineries offer a variety of tasting rooms, allowing visitors to explore different grape varieties and styles. One noteworthy option is Kerloo Cellars, which features a wide range of wines, including grenache blanc and cabernet sauvignon. Their SoDo Cellars label also offers excellent value for wine enthusiasts. With the convenience of an online reservation system, guests can easily book indoor or outdoor tables.
Another popular tasting room is found at Structure Cellars. This winery is well-known for its diverse wine offerings and comfortable tasting environment. A visit here provides a chance to enjoy quality wine in a welcoming atmosphere.
A more casual option is the Rotie Cellars tasting room, where visitors can sip on various wines while enjoying the cozy ambiance. With a focus on Rhône-style blends, this tasting room offers a unique experience for those seeking something different.
Food Pairing Options
When it comes to food pairings, the wine selection in Seattle wineries has options to suit various culinary tastes. For instance, grenache blanc pairs well with light dishes such as seafood, salads, and goat cheese. This versatile white wine can also be matched with slightly spicy Asian dishes for a delightful tasting experience.
For those who prefer red wines, wineries like Structure Cellars offer options like their cabernet sauvignon, which is typically paired with rich red meats and bold flavors. Steak, lamb, and other strong, savory dishes can benefit from a pairing with this full-bodied red wine.
Finally, the Rhône-style blends at Rotie Cellars offer a unique opportunity to experiment with food pairings. With flavors ranging from fruity to spicy, these wines can accommodate a wide variety of tastes. Some suggestions for pairing may include Mediterranean dishes, grilled vegetables, and smoky meats.
Wine Regions Near Seattle
Washington Wine Country
Washington Wine Country is a diverse region that includes both Eastern and Western Washington. It is famous for producing exceptional wines across a variety of styles. Popular wineries found in the area include Almquist Family and JM Cellars. These wineries, along with many others, showcase the best of what Washington State has to offer in terms of distinct flavors and unique wine experiences.
Columbia Valley is one of the largest wine-producing regions in the United States, spanning across Eastern Washington and parts of Oregon. This area is particularly well-known for its Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah wines. A few notable wineries within the Columbia Valley include Aluel Cellars and Baer Winery.
Horse Heaven Hills
Horse Heaven Hills is a smaller, more exclusive wine region located within the larger Columbia Valley. This region has gained a reputation for producing high-quality wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The unique terroir of Horse Heaven Hills contributes to the development of distinctive flavors in the wines, making it a must-visit destination for wine enthusiasts.
Red Mountain, situated in Eastern Washington, is a prominent wine region revered for its bold red varietals. Known specifically for its Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah, this region boasts many acclaimed wineries, including Kerloo and Rotie. The warm, arid climate on Red Mountain allows for more extended ripening periods, resulting in rich, full-bodied wines that are highly sought after by wine connoisseurs.
As the oldest wine-producing region in Washington State, Yakima Valley has a deep history rooted in wine. This region is renowned for its diverse range of wines, including Chardonnays, Rieslings, and Cabernet Sauvignons, as well as boutique wineries like Perennial Vintners. In addition to wineries, Yakima Valley also offers several breweries for those interested in expanding their palate beyond wine.
Seattle’s wine scene is not only limited to well-known wineries, but it also offers a wide range of smaller, small-batch wineries that produce excellent wines of exceptional quality. One of these hidden gems is Bartholomew Winery, which specializes in sourcing grapes from the Horse Heaven Hills region. Their artisanal approach allows them to craft truly unique wines that are both approachable and full of character.
Another noteworthy small-batch winery is Locus Wines. Helmed by winemaker Rich Burton, Locus focuses on producing Rhône-style wines with an emphasis on balance and elegance. This boutique winery has garnered a loyal following for its masterful blends and single varietal wines that showcase the richness of Washington-state terroir.
Off-the-Beaten-Path Tasting Rooms
Besides small-batch wineries, Seattle’s wine lovers can also enjoy off-the-beaten-path tasting rooms that provide a more intimate and personalized wine experience.
Bainbridge Island, a short ferry ride away from the city, is home to Eleven Winery, a hidden gem run by husband and wife team Brian and Brandee. The tasting room on the island offers a wide selection of their wines, including a world-class Merlot and a beautiful Chaleur Blanc blend. The picturesque island location makes this tasting room particularly special and is well worth the trip.
Similarly, tucked away in Woodinville’s wine country and known for their passion and expertise in creating high-quality wines, DeLille Cellars and Matthews Winery offer memorable wine-tasting experiences with a distinct Pacific Northwest touch. Avennia, a boutique winery focused on Old World-style wines, is another gem that provides off-the-beaten-path tasting rooms to wine enthusiasts exploring the Seattle wine scene.
So, while the urban landscape of Seattle may not immediately evoke images of vineyards and wineries, the city indeed has a rich wine culture brimming with hidden gems. From small-batch wineries like Bartholomew and Locus Wines to off-the-beaten-path tasting rooms on Bainbridge Island and in Woodinville, these treasures are waiting to be discovered by wine lovers with a taste for adventure and an appreciation for unique, high-quality wines.