Force Majeure: Moving to Woodinville

by Shona Milne on July 23, 2014

I’m looking forward to seeing the new place from Force Majeure which should be opening up sometime in August. They are moving from their space in Totem Lake to Woodinville. Susan told me a bit of what prompted the move and sent me a few pictures of how the space looks right now.

The move was prompted by the addition of  Todd Alexander as Winemaker and General Manager from Bryant Family Vineyards.  They needed to have their own winemaking facilities.  Susan told me that they are getting really excited about the move and it has given them a chance to rethink/redesign the tasting room, and that it’s going to be really great having all the new production capabilities under one roof. They are taking a part (almost 6,000 sq feet) of the old Chrysalis school.  Currently, they are in demolishing mode, but build-out should start soon.

The new Force Majeure will be  located in the Woodinville Commerce Center at 18720 142nd Avenue NE, Woodinville. They are close to Covington Cellars and Kaella Winery. 


Taste of Tulalip: Pre-Sale Tickets Available

by Shona Milne on July 21, 2014

Award Winning Wine and Food Weekend Offers Advance Purchase Through Ticketmaster

Tulalip, Washington — “Buy early; get in,” says Tulalip Resort Casino President/COO Ken Kettler.  He is referring to the line of disappointed Taste of Tulalip fans that were unable to enjoy the award-winning November weekend of wine, food and tradition, as the 2013 event sold out.  This year tickets will go on pre-sale at 9:00 a.m. PDT on July 18. Seats for the Friday, November 14 celebration dinner may be purchased by calling (360) 716-6888, and the passes for the Saturday, November 15 events can be paid for via Ticketmaster at

The weekend kicks-off with Friday night’s multi-course Celebration Dinner, prepared by Executive Chef Perry Mascitti and his team, paired with premium wines from around the globe selected by sommelier Tommy Thompson.  Seating is limited to 400 guests.   Saturday is filled with a plethora of wine and food demos, chef challenges, a wine seminar, a VIP Magnum party and is capped with the Grand Taste – featuring over 120 wineries from Washington, Oregon, California, New Zealand and Germany, along with a craft beer “pool garden”.  Attendance is limited to 2,000. [click to continue…]


Woodinville Wine Events – July 16th-31th

by Shona Milne on July 16, 2014

©2013 Richard Duval Images

Chateau Ste. Michelle – July 16th -Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band

Celebrate Woodinville – July 16th – Summer Concerts

Chateau Ste. Michelle – July 17th - Replay America: The Go-Go’s, Patty Smyth and Scandal, Martha Davis and The Motels & Naked Eyes Featuring Pete Byrne

Castillo de Feliciana – July 18th – Live Music & Food Truck

Brian Carter Cellars – July 18th – Bring Fido for Puppies on the Patio – Homeward Pet will be there to accept pet food donations and or money donations.

EFESTE – July 18th – Special Reserve Tasting

Chateau Ste. Michelle – July 18th – Lyle Lovett & His Large Band

Sky River Mead – July 18th – Twilight Tunes with Dylan Jakobsen

Kirkland Uncorked – July 18th, 19th, & 20th – Wine, Food, and Dogs to benefit Homeward Pet

[click to continue…]


One of my favorite wine events of the year is coming up; Auction of Washington Wines Picnic. There is plenty of wine and food and winemkers for the Picnic.  The money raised at the Picnic and the other Auction of Washington Wines events go towards uncompensated care at Seattle Children’s Hospital and Viticulture and Enology Research at Washington State University.

Picnic & Barrel Auction – Thursday, August 14, 2014 At the beautiful Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery in Woodinville, Wash., the Picnic & Barrel Auction will feature myriad activities for all to enjoy. Participants will meet and greet Washington winemakers as they mingle among the crowd to pour tastings of their newest and oldest releases. Guests will enjoy bidding on some of Washington’s most coveted limited-release wines during the exciting Barrel Auction while indulging in gourmet picnic fare presented by the talented team of chefs from Tulalip Resort Casino. Annual highlights of these food offerings include a tent devoted to cheese and a themed dessert station.  Tickets are $125 per person; $150 for early access to the Barrel Auction. Picnic blankets are $1,250 and include eight tickets with a reserved table and seating area in a prime location.


EFESTE: Barrel Taste With The Winemaker

by Shona Milne on July 9, 2014

The EFESTE tasting room is now open daily from noon to 5:00 p.m. (with the exception of major holidays), and adding unique tasting options to enhance the experience of today’s wine country visitor.

One of the new events being offered is a barrel tasting with EFESTE Winemaker, Peter Devison. This rare tasting experience in EFESTE’s cellar is scheduled for Friday, July 11 from 2-3:30 p.m. Participants will live the dream for an afternoon while Peter pours samples from barrels and offers a guided tasting of components destined to become one in bottle while explaining our reductive winemaking style. Entry is available by prepaid reservation made via the EFESTE web site for $45 per person with priority seating for Club members.

Seated educational reserve tastings on Fridays are scheduled for July 18, July 25, and August 1 with prepaid advance reservations, $25 general public, [click to continue…]

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Farm to Table: Trellis at Heathman Hotel

by Shona Milne on July 4, 2014

Guests Enjoy Chef Brian Scheehser’s Restaurant Without Walls at July Event

Kirkland, Washington — On Friday, July 11, join Executive Chef Brian Scheehser of Trellis at The Heathman Hotel for his second annual al fresco dinner at the South 47 Farm — a restaurant without walls.  Diners will be treated to a mid-summer feast featuring just culled produce, prepared with an emphasis on the terroir.  The experience begins at 4pm with casual farm tours, refreshing beverages, and appetizers followed by a five-course menu paired with an assortment of top rated Washington State wines.

“We started this yearly event with the idea of reconnecting diners to the origins of their food.  This unique setting, on an active working farm, gives our guests an up-close and personal experience of how we source much of the produce for Trellis,” says Chef Scheehser.

Seating for this special event is limited.  For reservations, please call 425-284-5858 or email [click to continue…]


New Edition of Woodinville Wine Country Magazine Offers Touring Ideas and Planning Tips for Visiting this Summer or Fall

First-time visitors to Woodinville Wine Country as well as tasting room regulars will find plenty of new ideas for exploring Washington wineries this summer and fall in the newly released edition of Woodinville Wine Country magazine, available free of charge at area wineries, Western Washington hotels or by request from Woodinville Wine Country.

Located just 30 minutes from downtown Seattle, Woodinville is home to 109 wineries and tasting rooms. In addition to a dizzying array of award-winning wines, the area offers visitors a variety of wine-centric dining options, outdoor patios and gardens and a burgeoning music scene.  All these activities, as well as articles exploring Woodinville’s expanding role in agritourism and rich rural history, are detailed in the summer/fall 2014 issue of the magazine.

This glossy, four-color visitor guide offers informative articles by top journalists including music expert Gene [click to continue…]


Woodinville Wine Events: July 1st-15th

by Shona Milne on June 30, 2014

©2013 Richard Duval Images

Don’t forget that it’s July 4th weekend. Some of the wineries are closed on the 4th.

Sky River Meadery – July 3rd – Art Opening for Lyn Linder

Convergence Zone – July 4th – -Third Annual Red, White and Blues

Celebrate Woodinville – July 4th –  Summer Concerts

Patterson Cellars and Gorman Winery – July 4th – Red, White & Bluegrass

Woodinville Lavender Farm – July 8th – Benefit dinner to support Farms for Life

Obelisco Estate – July 10th –  Barrel Room Dinner Series with Barking Frog

Castillo de Feliciana – July 11th – Live Music & Food Truck

Sky River Meadery – July 11th – Live Music with  Ivy Lane

Davenport Cellars, Des Voigne Cellars, J & A Winery, & Pondera Winery – July 12th – Summer Sizzle

Columbia Winery – July 13th – FREE Summer Concert Series – The Side Project

Woodinville Lavender Farm – July 11th, 12th, & 13th –  Lavender Festival

Weekly Events:

J. Bookwalter Tasting Studio – Mon-Thurs – 4-6pm – Happy Hour

The Station Pizzeria – Mon-Fri – 3-6pm – Happy Hour

The Station Pizzeria – Tue – Happy Hour All Day

Willows Lodge – Wed – 5:30-6:30 – Food & Wine Wednesday

Novelty Hill Januik – Wed – 5-8pm – Wednesday Wine’d Down

Purple Woodinville – Wed – Fried Chicken Night

William Church Winery – Thurs – 4:30-6:30 – ½ off select glass pours

Gard Vintners – Thurs – 12-5pm – Thrifty Thursday – Through June

Goose Ridge – Thurs – 5-8pm – The Liquid Lounge

Bunnell Family Cellar – 5-7pm – “Wine Therapy Hour”

Mark Ryan Winery – Thurs & Fri – 5-7 – Happy Hour

Butler Wine Tours– Fri – 3pm – Friday Wine, Buy & Dine with Bellevue’s Purple Cafe and Wine Bar

Matthews Winery – Fri – 6:30-9pm – Friday Night Live

Covington Cellars – Fri – 4:30-9 -Friday Night Dinners

Gard Vintners – Fri -  12-5 – TGIF — Thank Gard It’s Friday! Through June

Kestrel Vintners – Fri – 5:30-9:30 – Friday Night Rhythm and Vine

Obelisco Estate – Fri – 3-7pm – Friday Happy Hour

Long Shadows – Fri – 6-9pm – UnWine’d Happy Hour & Live Music at The Library

Alta Cellars – Fri – 5-8pm – Friday Night Happy Hour

Columbia Winery – Fri – 4-7pm – 1/2 Price Flatbread Pizzas and wines by the glass

Lachini Vineyards – Fri – TGIZ Fridays – Woodinville Residents Enjoy $5 Off any Estate Pinot Pour

Gard Vintners – Saturday – 12-8 – Workin’ For The Weekend – Through June

Village Wines – Sat – 6:30-9pm – Live Music

Covington Cellars – Sat – 5-9pm – Saturday Night Dinners

Butler Wine Tours – Sun – 3pm – Sunday Wine, Buy & Dine with Bellevue’s Purple Cafe and Wine Bar

Village Wines – Sun – 2-5pm – Live Jazz

Monthly Events:

WoodWareWine – 4-8pm – First Thursday Wine Walk – Hollywood Area – April through October

Northwest Cellars – 4-8pm – Second Thursday Wine & Art Walk – Kirkland Warehouse Wineries

WoodWareWine – 4-8 – Third Thursday Wine Walk – Warehouse District – April through October

Kestrel Vintners – 4-7pm – First Friday Happy Hour

Pondera Winery – 3-7pm – First Friday Happy Hour

Woodinville Wine Cellars – 6:30-9:30 First Friday Music

Northwest Cellars – 4-8pm – Last Friday – Happy Hour with great live Music

Sparkman Cellars – 6-8pm – Last Saturday – Live Music

Barons Winery – 11am, 1pm, 3pm – Second Sunday – Private Wine Tasting Experience in the Cellar

Industry Events:

J. Bookwalter – 4-8pm – Sunday Industry Night – Service industry workers will receive 50% off wines by the glass, the bottle and to go.

Ambassador Wines of Washington – Friday, July 11th – 4-7pm – Industry Night


Chateau Rollat: Walla Walla to Woodinville

by Shona Milne on June 25, 2014

Look for the Chateau Rollat Winery tasting room to open up sometime in July. They will be located in the the warehouse district at 18742 142nd Ave NE Woodinville, WA 98072. It’s located by Baron’s Winery and Covington Cellars.

Why wine? How did you get started in wine? Tell me about your wines.

My passion in life is winemaking.  Since my late teens, twenty three years ago, my life has revolved around wine. At eighteen years old I started working as a server and wine captain at a high end restaurant in Seattle.  This experience sparked my original interest in the wine business. I started reading wine production textbooks and any literature I could to help me develop my own winemaking style.  I toured local wineries every weekend just to immerse myself in a winery environment.

In 1992 I began volunteering at a small winery in Woodinville, WA. Within a few months this small winery offered me the position of Cellar Master/Winemaker. I immediately accepted the position and began working days at the winery and nights at the restaurant.  In the fall of 1993 the winery offered me the opportunity to produce what would become my first vintage of wine.  I produced three barrels of red wine, equivalent to 75 cases of wine, and a small amount of white wine. Fortunately I was able to accept the materials to make the wine (grapes, barrels, etc) as compensation for a portion of the hours I worked at the winery.  These experiences led me to the decision that producing Bordeaux style red wine was a commercially feasible opportunity for me in Washington State. During the harvest of 1995, I released my first vintage, the 1993 Matthews Red Wine – completely selling out of my first vintage in 30 days.

What is your role with Chateau Rollat?

Winemaking Director

Why Woodinville? Why now?

Woodinville is close to our market as well as access to other markets around the US & abroad.  I selected this area because it’s close to my home and [click to continue…]


Kirkland Uncorked: Benefiting Homeward Pet

by Shona Milne on June 24, 2014

There is also a wine garden and there will be quite a few Woodinville wineries represented.

Kirkland Uncorked Benefits Homeward Pet!
Uncork Washington’s summer food and wine festival – a portion of every ticket sold
benefits the homeless animals at Homeward Pet Adoption Center!

Enter the code: HOMEWARD when purchasing Tasting Garden tokens for
two extra wine tastes!
  • July 18-20, 2014
  • Marina Park, Lakeshore Plaza Drive, Kirkland WA
Join us at Marina Park for Kirkland Uncorked – world-class Washington wines and wonderful entertainment in an idyllic waterfront setting!
Weekend festivities include a Burger Brawl, restaurant sampling, the Uncorked Market street fair, boat show, and the CityDog magazine dog model contest.
Make sure to visit the Homeward Pet
“Potty Pals” – a few of our adoptable dogs at your service, with moist towelettes!
Hope you can join us at the event of the summer – uniting wine, food, and animal
lovers alike!
Learn more and buy tickets today-