Seattle Wine Blog

This blog is dedicated to commentary on all aspects of wine, especially short entries to help you find the best wines without the usual hype and spin. These are my frank, independent opinions, usually based on tasting wine at a public event, off the shelf or at the winery. "All creative acts must arise out of a specific soil and flicker with a spirit of place" -D.H. Lawrence

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Ten Best New Washington Wineries

I believe we are now up to 450 wineries in Washington State. After California, Washington is the largest producer of wine in the U.S. The quality of wine in Washington continues to improve and at least 100 wineries are producing excellent wine. Some of the new wineries are producing great wine right out of the shoot. Here are my choices for the ten best new wineries in Washington in no particular order.

1) Fall Line - Technically speaking, Fall Line is not exactly new, but in fact, Tim Sorensen only produced less than 100 cases of wine last year and this year came up with three beauties each reflecting his goals of balance, grace and depth. All three of Tim's wines - 2004 Horse Heaven Hills , 2004 Red Mountain and 2004 Columbia Valley - are excellent.

2) Palouse Winery - George Kirkish burst upon the scene with an excellent blend called Eclipse and a Petit Sirah called Black Pearl which may be the best Petit Sirah I've tasted.

3) 14 Hands - Outstanding value! A Cabernet, a Merlot and a superb Chardonnay for only $12 retail. The Chard was one of the three best I've tasted this year.

4) Harbinger - Winemaker, Sarah Gagnon is pioneering at the westernmost outpost of Washington wine on the Olympic Peninsula near her family homestead.

5) Red Sky - Excellent reds! The 2003 Red Sky Bordeaux Style Blend was an outstanding splurge of the week,.

6) Brian Carter - Winemaker Brian Carter has made delicious wine at Apex winery for years. Now he has his own winery and all of his reds and whites are excellent, especially the L'Etalon.

7) McKinley - A very interesting Syrah from Andrews Horse Heaven Hills Vineyard.

8) Willis Hall - Excellent reds from Boeing Wine Club graduate, John Bell, especially his Cabernet Franc.

9) Edmonds - Off to a good start with a very nice Cabernet Sauvignon

10) Agate Field - Good reds from a winery right next to Sheridan Vineyards.


  • At 7:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Gene,

    I'm glad I found your blog! I'll have to try out some wines from these wineries. Palouse looks especially promising because I love a good Petit Sirah.

    -Michelle F.

  • At 10:12 PM, Blogger SeattleWineBlog said…

    Hi Michelle, I'm glad you found my blog, too! Unfortunately, Palouse sold out of the Pitit Sirah, but perhaps they will have a new vintage, but be warned the Pitit Sirah is pricey. A trip to Palouse which is on Vashon Island is a fun summer excursion. Be sure to call ahead for an appouintment and be sure to tell them I sent you. Take care, Gene

  • At 9:58 AM, Anonymous Jenn said…

    Hi Gene,

    Great site! I am new to the WA area and am looking to put together a wine tour for some friends of mine who are coming out to visit. This posting was a great way to get started. Any other suggestions or wineries we should definitely hit? We're based out of the Spokane area, if that helps. Thanks so much!



  • At 1:19 PM, Blogger SeattleWineBlog said…

    Hi, Jenn. Thanks for your comment. There are several wineries in the Spokane area, but I've never had a chance to visit any of them. The best sources of information on these would be Andy Perdue's Wine Press Northwest and the Washington State Wine Commision. The Commission publishes a useful booklet with a list of wineries, tasting hours and maps.It's free. If I were you I would head toward Walla Walla or Red Mountain where there are lots of great wineries. If you would like more detailed information or a custom designed tour itinerary, send me you e-mail and/or phone number in a comment which I will NOT publish, but I will get back to you with more info. Gene

  • At 3:09 PM, Anonymous R Dustin said…

    Totally agree on the Willis Hall entry. Check out John's Dolcetto, Malbec, and Syrah. Rumor has it he is working on a Nebbiola.

  • At 8:51 PM, Blogger SeattleWineBlog said…

    r dustin - Thanks for your comment.


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