Columbia Winery was born in Dr. Lloyd Woodburne's garage. It was 1962. The Beatles had just released their first record. First Lady Jackie Kennedy was taking television viewers on a tour of the White House. And ten friends, six of them wine-loving professors at the University of Washington, started making batches of wine. Now, Columbia Winery is the premier leader in Washington's ever expanding wine industry and distributes its award-winning wines in Canada, Europe, and the Pacific Rim.
Located in Woodinville, Washington, in the shadow of Mount Rainier and a stone's throw from the hustle and bustle of Seattle, Columbia Winery produces stellar wines for an oenophile's cellar, including Syrahs, Cabernet Francs, and Pinos Gris. In fact, it was David Lake, a Master of Wine at Columbia until he retired in 2006, who made those wines in the state for the very first time. Now, under the direction of Kerry Norton, Columbia continues to create exceptional wines for all tastes and budgets.
Wine tourers have much to enjoy in the tasting room. Located in a charming Victorian mansion, the tasting room is fronted by a picture perfect English garden. Visitors can taste from the winery's Core Series Gewürztraminer, a medium-dry wine, a substantial fruit-forward Merlot, and more. Its Vineyard Designate Series, expressing the unique growing conditions of the region, showcases a medium-bodied Sangiovese and a barrel fermented Chardonnay, among others. Columbia also has a Small Lot Series, wines produced exclusively for their wine club and tasting room. Produced in quantities of only a few hundred cases, wine tourers are given the opportunity to sample rare earthy Malbecs, Riesling Ice Wines, and crisp clean Viogniers.
Columbia Winery continues to produce, year in and year out, distinctive Washington wines from European vinifera grapes grown in the rich Columbia and Yakima Valley regions of eastern Washington. The long, hot summers and cool, clear nights produce grapes full of complexity. This level of complexity can no longer be made in a fellow's garage. They're just too good and too expansive for that.
What to buy:
'03 Red Willow Syrah Smoky red fruits with wild blue huckleberries $30
'05 Cabernet Sauvignon , Red Willow Vineyard Dark cherry fruit, hints of eucalyptus, sage $30
'07 Cellarmaster's Riesling Flowers and honeysuckle with flavors of peaches, melons, and green apples $12
425.482.7490; Fax: 425.398.0770
14030 NE 145th St.
Woodinville, WA 98072
Tasting Room Open Daily 10-6
From I-405, take the Monroe/Wenatchee Exit (Hwy 522). Follow Hwy 522 to the first Woodinville (SR202) Exit. Turn right. Take 132nd Ave. to NE 175th St. Turn right on NE 175th St. and go to Hwy 202 (1/2 mile). Turn left on Hwy 202 (2 miles).