Our staff’s picks for Northwest wines

by Badgley Phelps | Sep 21, 2017

Napa and Sonoma may get most of the fanfare where wine is concerned, but the Northwest is home to many wineries producing exceptional wines. In fact, Washington has become the second-largest wine producer in the United States behind California. Here are some of our staff’s favorite Northwest wines and wineries.

Julie Parisio Roy recommends Sleight of Hand Cellars
With bottle names like Force of Nature, Magician’s Assistant, Levitation and The Spellbinder, it’s hard not to have fun at Sleight of Hand’s lively Walla Walla tasting room. Julie likes it for the music memorabilia, and of course the excellent wines.

Curtis Pepin recommends Tranche Cellars’ Rhone Series
Walla Walla’s Tranche focuses its “Slice of Pape” program on grapes native to France’s Rhone Valley. Curtis recommends the Pink Pape Estate Rose, a blend of three traditional Châteaunuef-du-Pape varieties: Grenache, Counoise and Cinsault.

Kevin Callaghan recommends Cayuse Vineyards
Located in the Walla Walla Valley, Cayuse Vineyards’ production is very limited yet highly rated, and includes blends like Flying Pig and The Lovers, Bionic Frog Syrah, God Only Knows Grenache, Impulsivo Tempranillo and Widowmaker Cabernet Sauvignon.

Lisa Price recommends various reds of Washington
A fan of red wines, Lisa’s favorite Washington winemakers producing standout reds are Woodward Canyon and Gramercy Cellars in the Walla Walla Valley. She also enjoys tasting Efeste wines at its rooms in Woodinville or Seattle near Safeco field.

Mike Gerke recommends Secret Squirrel and Walla Walla Vintners
It’s hard not to smile when you encounter a bottle of Secret Squirrel thanks to the critter in a superhero-like mask on the label. This incredibly balanced Rhone blend comes from Corliss Estates, which is known for producing top-rated wines like the upcoming 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2012 Columbia Valley Red Wine. Fun fact: Corliss is Tranche’s sister winery.

Tim Thomas recommends Abeja Cabernet Sauvignon
Abeja's focus is Cabernet Sauvignon, although it also produces small runs of Merlot, Chardonnay, Viognier and Syrah. Located in Walla Walla’s Blue Mountains, Abeja’s restored century-old farmstead sits on 32 acres of beautiful property. A bonus: guests can stay in one of seven private cottages while visiting.

Steve Phelps recommends Erath Pinot Noir
Steve recommends the reasonably priced yet highly rated Pinot Noirs from Erath. Located in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, Erath produces four distinct styles of Pinot: the Oregon style for everyday drinking; the Estate Selection, which highlights the best fruits from each season; the distinctive Single Vineyards and the handcrafted La Collection Magique.

Eileen Olson recommends Karma Vineyards
A small vineyard on the south shore of Lake Chelan, Karma Vineyards is one of a handful of Methode Champenoise producers in Washington State. Enjoy a day visiting Karma’s four-acre vineyard or plan your next private event at its 3,000-square foot underground wine cave.

Mitzi Carletti recommends Fielding Hills and JM Cellars
Also along the shores of Lake Chelan is Fielding Hills, which produces standout Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and a Red Table Wine. JM Cellars offers tastings of wines such as Founder’s Legacy, unique varietal Carmenérè and the rare Cinsaut Red – as well as the opportunity to explore a seven-acre property on a lush and lovely hill called Bramble Bump in Woodinville.


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