Washington Wine Country Road trip

Hi There,

I am heading to Spokane area for 4th of July weekend - driving south to wine country for the first time.

Any recommendations out there for must taste?

Thank you all in advance!

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  • The Washington State Wine Commission is a great resource (https://www.washingtonwine.org/)

    And the following is an email I sent to a friend last summer looking for recommendations, as well:

    If you are driving from Seattle (or even just want to get out of the city for a day trip), I would suggest a stop in Woodinville, where a lot of wineries have tasting rooms. Highlights here include W.T. Vintners, Sparkman Cellars, and DeLille Cellars. If you make it to either W.T. (Jeff) or Sparkman (Chris), the main people are former restaurant people and amazing to talk to.
     
    In the Columbia Valley proper, there are TONS of options. Just east of Richland is a town called Benton City. You'll be in the heart of the Red Mountain AVA which is mostly known for bigger styles of red dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cabernet Franc, with a small smattering of white wines. There is a small cluster of wineries (maybe a dozen), all close to each other, but the highlights include Hedges Family Estate, Fidelitas, and Col Solare.
     
    Just west of Benton City is Prosser, which is the home to Milbrandt Vineyards and Mercer Wine Estate. Again, red heavy, but you'll see a few more whites here. These are much more of a tasting room experience, as opposed to a winery experience, if that affects any decision making. But the wines are really tasty, either way.
     
    The majority of awesomeness is centered in and around Walla Walla. Just to the west are two of the oldest wineries in Washington: L'Ecole No. 41 and Waterbrook. Personal opinion, I think L'Ecole is making some of the best wine coming out of Washington. Absolute fire. Just east of these two (on the way into Walla Walla) is a unique project called Long Shadows Vintners. They have a different consulting winemaker make each of their wines. But each winemaker is an expert in the wine they are making. I'm not going to do the project justice by explaining it, so check out the website here. South of Walla Walla you'll have Amavi Cellars, Waters Winery, Pepper Bridge Winery, Saviah Cellars, and Va Piano Vineyards. Go any further south from here and you'll be in Oregon. Out in the boondocks to the southeast is a tiny winery called Reynvaan Family Cellars. Nothing really close by, but really spectacular wines. To the east there will be aMaurice and Abeja. In the northeast corner of the city (behind the airport), there is a neighborhood of wineries and breweries highlighted by Buty, Tamarack,and Dunham Cellars. Once you get to the city, there will be tasting rooms for Gramercy Cellars, Seven Hills Winery, Cayuse Winery, and Spring Valley Vineyard.
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