East of Seattle lies Woodinville, a rural community nestled in the fertile Sammamish Valley. Home to farms and horse trails, surrounded by green hills and the high-tech cities of Redmond and Bothell, Woodinville has become both an attractive bedroom community and a significant tourist destination. Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia Winery, the Redhook Ale Brewery, and Molbak's garden center entice natives and visitors to spend a day enjoying the fruits and the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.
Where is Woodinville?
Woodinville is just a short drive from Seattle. Take Interstate 405 to State Route 522 (exit number 23, towards Monroe and Wenatchee), and head east to the Woodinville exit. Many tour buses and shuttles, including Beeline Tours and Washington Wine Tours, offer scheduled day trips to the city as well. For a popular alternative, take advantage of Seattle's vast network of urban trails to ride a bicycle to Woodinville. Woodinville's Jerry Wilmot Park lies along the 10-mile Sammamish River Trail that connects Blyth Park in Bothell to Marymoor Park in Redmond.
Just over a mile south of downtown Woodinville, the Sammamish trail connects with the half-mile Woodinville Valley Trail that will take you across the Sammamish River to the wineries and brewery.
Wine Tasting and Tours
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia Winery, and the Redhook Ale Brewery are the city's main attractions. Located adjacent to one another, visitors can enjoy free, or nearly free, tours and tastings at each facility.
A premier Washington winery, Chateau Ste. Michelle is perhaps the most well known of the state's more than 150 wineries. The chateau was once the summer home of pioneer lumber baron Fred Stimson. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the picturesque estate is now home to the winery's tasting room, shop, kitchens, and indoor event facilities. With vineyards located throughout Eastern Washington's lush Columbia Valley region, Ste. Michelle crafts its white wines at the Woodinville site.
Short, complimentary tours begin inside the chateau and proceed through the winery to the bottling and labeling lines, offering visitors an up-close view of the wine-making process. Each tour finishes with a chance to sample the end product. Underage guests can enjoy grape juice. Picnic fare, as well as wine and wine accessories, are available in the shop. The winery's lushly-landscaped grounds include picnic areas and an amphitheater that hosts an annual summer concert series.
Located across the street from Chateau Ste. Michelle's main gate is the Columbia Winery. Inside the charming Victorian-style building is the winery's extensive shop, lively tasting bar, and popular event facilities. The free tours, which start near the wine bar, provide guests the opportunity to learn more about Columbia's award-winning wines. The gift shop features wines and foods from the Pacific Northwest.
New wineries and wine tasting rooms continue to locate in Woodinville; currently, you'll find dozens located in everything from family estates to industrial spaces. Find out more about Woodinville Wine Country.
Redhook Ale Brewery and The Forecasters Pub are a short walk east of Columbia Winery. A mere dollar will buy you a tour of the brewery's tremendous stainless-steel vats and snappy bottling line as well as an overview of Redhook's history and brewing process. Adults can taste samples of Redhook microbrews and can keep their tasting glass as a souvenir. Forecasters' offers guests a gift shop, pub-style meals, and live music on Friday and Saturday nights.
If you enjoy objects of beauty, both natural and man-made, Molbak's garden center in Woodinville is the place for you. Molbak's offers a huge selection of nursery stock and an extensive array of items to decorate your home and garden. You can lose all track of time browsing the aisles, both inside and out, savoring Molbak's unique seasonal offerings.
A day in Woodinville is a feast for the senses. You can find fine wine, live music, and natural beauty, along with interesting and informative tours. For a perfect end to a perfect day, be sure to appoint a designated driver.