The Ultimate Wine Lovers’ Road Trip Through Washington State

London, 2024-Jun-10 — /Travel PR News/ While the USA’s Pacific Northwest is well known for its natural beauty thanks to its stunning mountainous landscapes, it is also emerging as a leading destination for wine travel. As the second largest wine producing state in the US after California, this under-the-radar destination is where in-the-know wine aficionados head to for a chance to unwind and sample some of the nation’s best Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons. The State hosts bountiful fresh crops, fisheries and shellfish perfect for pairing with the wine on offer. Discover the ultimate Washington road trip for budding oenophiles, from Seattle to Walla Walla and Yakima, via Woodinville, and beyond. 

Stop 1: Downtown Seattle

Nestled on Elliott Bay between two mountain ranges, Seattle lives up to its moniker of The Emerald City, due to the lush green landscapes that surround it. This vibrant, cosmopolitan gateway to Washington state is the first port of call for visitors, with dozens of urban wineries within the city limits. It’s the perfect place to start sampling the state’s 70+ varietals, with a great volume of Washington’s wine ending up in the Seattle area tasting rooms. From wineries, tours, and plenty of wine bars to choose from, there’s something for everyone, from novice to connoisseur. Check out The Tasting Room, located in the heart of the historic Pike Place Market – a must-see for all visitors. The old world-style wine bar serves only winemaker-owned produce, with passionate servers reflecting the wines’ distinct personalities.

Stay: Kimpton Hotel Vintage – rustic meets elegant at this four-star hotel located in the heart of the downtown area. With a distinct wine theme, the hotel is the self-proclaimed ‘urban outpost of Washington wine country’, offering nightly tastings and a concierge who doubles as a certified sommelier.

Stop 2: Woodinville

Just a 30-minute drive away from downtown Seattle lies Woodinville Wine Country. A haven for wine lovers and adventurers, it offers diverse tasting experiences at more than 130 wineries spread across four districts. The Woodinville downtown area buzzes with energy, boasting picturesque streets and vibrant tasting rooms, while the Warehouse District showcases a behind-the-scenes look at the artistry and craftsmanship that goes into every bottle. Chateau Ste. Michelle in the Hollywood District epitomises the region’s wine culture. The oldest and most-acclaimed winery in Washington, the stunning chateau offers tours, tastings and food and wine pairings, as well as live music concerts in the summer. Beyond wine, Woodinville offers a culinary playground with farm-to-table delicacies from the fertile Sammamish River Valley, while outdoors enthusiasts can try activities like hiking and hot-air balloon rides. In Woodinville, wine represents more than just a beverage—it embodies craftsmanship, community, and the joy of discovery, inviting both seasoned enthusiasts and novices to savour its pleasures.

Stay: Willows Lodge is nestled on five landscaped acres bordering the Sammamish River in Woodinville. Perfectly placed to explore the area’s wineries and tasting rooms, this cosy retreat includes a full-service spa, as well as two award-winning restaurants, Barking Frog and the internationally-renowned Herbfarm.  

Stop 3: Yakima

Head into central Washington State to discover Yakima Valley, the lush agricultural region that produces much of Washington’s wine grapes and has plenty of wine tasting opportunities. With more than 90 wineries and five AVAs within 70 miles, there are endless choices for wine lovers to get out and experience where Washington wine is grown. Visitors should try Freehand Cellars for upscale food and wine pairings, Treveri Cellars for sparkling varietals, or Dineen Vineyards that sits within the Rattlesnake Hills AVA. Autumn is the perfect time to visit for the Annual Crush Harvest Celebrations going on throughout the month of October and the vineyards are in top autumn colour. Crush is a special time of year for both winemakers and wine lovers alike in Yakima Valley wine country! Harvest is well underway in the vineyards and winemakers are beginning to craft the next great vintage. Enjoy harvest parties, live music, behind-the-scenes tours, activities for the whole family and autumn flavours from locals’ favourite food trucks.

Stay: The historic Hotel Maison Yakima Tapestry Collection by Hilton is located in the heart of downtown Yakima. Guests can easily walk a few minutes to wine tasting rooms, several restaurants, and taprooms near the hotel. Guests can enjoy wine tastings every third Thursday of each month from a local winery at Hotel Maison.

Stop 4: Walla Walla 

A two-hour drive further southeast brings visitors to Walla Walla, a region renowned for its world-class Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah. This area, with nearly 3,000 acres of vineyards, is home to nearly 130 wineries offering a diverse range of varietals to explore. The wineries and tasting rooms are spread across the valley’s six key districts. Many tasting rooms are nestled in the city’s charming, walkable downtown, surrounded by world-class dining, quaint shops and galleries. For an exceptional experience, plan a visit from April to November, when visitors can enjoy winery special release weekends, abundant live music and the Blue Mountains at their doorstep.

Stay: The Marcus Whitman Hotel – Visitors are surrounded by the grandeur of the early 19th Century in this historic hotel. Conveniently located in the centre of downtown, guests can easily walk to restaurants, tasting rooms, shops, and cultural spots.

With four daily direct flights from London to Seattle with British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines it has never been easier to book a trip to the State of Washington. From mid- to late October visitors can catch the final harvests and experience crush at the wineries all the way into mid-November where many regions debut their fall releases from prior vintages. Book to visit Washington during the crush season here. Travel from Seattle through the state to Yakima and Walla Walla for £1,459 per person including direct flights, car hire and four nights accommodation. 

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