Woodinville Wine Walks: All Cancelled

by Shona Milne on September 2, 2014

Below is an email from Alicia Hansen who ran the 1st and 3rd Thursday Wine Walks in the Hollywood & Warehouse Districts respectively. The Wine Walks are cancelled and will not be rescheduled. Alicia will be focusing her attentions on The Tasty Vacation, a resource guide to the world of culinary travel, hotels, tour companies, rail journeys, and cruises.

Seven years ago, while I was volunteering for wineries in the warehouse district of Woodinville, I realized most everyone I encountered had never heard of the warehouse district and had no idea there were so many wineries in one little area. Being the Pollyanna dreamer that I am, I decided I would try to make a difference for these hard working, small businesses.  I created a map, came up with the name Woodinville Warehouse Wineries,  started some events, purchased and designed a website,  and got into social media (I started out not knowing how to do any of this and now there are 3000+ people on the email list,  1800+ on Facebook,  300+ on Twitter and 6000+ unique monthly visitors to the website).  I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but I was passionate about helping and learned along the way.  Knowing the wineries were small and family run, where the owner/winemaker came in nights and weekends after their regular day jobs, all of my efforts were, and have always been, free for the wineries, even though more often than not I didn’t bring in enough money to pay my own bills (still don’t).  I kept doing it because I saw the warehouse district increase in popularity  and I felt I was making a difference for these businesses. After working at a greedy, ‘money-is-all-that-matters’   cooperation, I found this intensely rewarding.  It was my way of helping my community.

Sadly, the winds have changed in Woodinville and this past year has been exceptionally difficult. There are some who wish to see a single Woodinville vision, a Woodinville with one marketing strategy.   The 1st & 3rd Thurs Wine Walks and my efforts are not a part of this new look. I have tried to maintain an alternate view of Woodinville, by including all of the wineries, breweries and distilleries in the area.  I saw value in two sources of information.  But it has been an uphill battle and recent developments have changed everything.  After several anonymous calls, the Washington State Liquor Control Board…. who, for six years, found nothing wrong with the walks…. has now decided the walks are not within the liquor laws of Washington and I would have to completely restructure the events.  I have decided the battle is over and it is time to focus my attention elsewhere.  So I am very sad to say that the 1st & 3rd Thurs Wine Walks are no more.

BUT, being an eternal optimist, I am looking at this as an opportunity to move forward with The Tasty Vacation and to put my passionate, Pollyanna
energy into this new project.  Unfortunately, I have no funds to begin (wine walks were my only income
).  So, in the spirit of crowdfunding, I thought I would turn to you, my community, for help.  If you feel Woodinville Warehouse Wineries has been of any value to you…..  if you have enjoyed the wine walks…..  if you are grateful to be one of the hundreds of organizations I donated wine walk tickets to…… or if you are one of the tasting rooms I promoted for free, a thank you donation would be so appreciated!    OR if you believe in “Paying It Forward” and “Random acts of Kindness”….. if you see value in a new site where you can research national and international culinary travel…… if you want to help fund a local woman-owned business….. or if you just believe in those that try to reach their dreams, I ask for a donation to get this new project off the ground.  I would be so grateful for any amount from $1 to $1 million (a girl can dream, right?)  Scroll down for more details.

THANK YOU so much for making the past seven years an amazing journey. My heart is heavy andI will miss all of you!  There are so many extraordinary, loving, generous people I have been privileged to meet and I hope we can stay in touch.

If you have any questions, please email me at TheTastyVacation@hotmail.com


1st & 3rd Thurs Wine Walks

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  • EVENTS, both national and international, like the Barbados Food, Wine and Rum Festival, the South Beach Food & Wine Festival, the Kentucky Bourbon Festival and Munich’s Oktoberfest.
  • HOTELS that specialize in culinary encounters, like the Resort at Paws Up which features weekends like the Montana Master Chefs “The Last Best Food & Wine Festival” and the Montana Long Table “A Celebration of Montana’s Culinary Resources”. Or Jade Mountain Estates which produces the “Discover Chocolate Festival”, the “Mango Madness Festival“,  and the “Spices of the Caribbean Festival”.
  • CRUISES that delve into their port of call’s food and beverages.  Oceania Cruises have a Bon Appétit Culinary Center with an onboard cooking school and a  “Cuisines of the World” fleet-wide program, which highlights signature dishes from each port.  On Viking River Cruises , guests visit food and gluhwein filled Christkindlesmarkts (German Christmas markets) and enjoy Viking’ssignature “Taste of…” events,  introduction into the food and drink of the region.
  • TOURS, both escorted and independent, that focus their itineraries on wine tasting in Napa, culinary schools in Tuscany, beer tours of Belgium and artisan food crafters of San Francisco.  Tauck offers an eight day Tuscany & Cinque Terra tour which includes a Tuscan pasta cooking class, an olive oil tasting and a journey to Siena for a wine tasting class.  At Kensington Tours,  they will design the ultimate culinary vacation, totally private, you-totally-deserve-this luxury and completely personalized for you.
  • RAIL is an especially delightful travel option and trains often source from local purveyors. On the Royal Scotsman, they write: “With game-rich glens, Aberdeen Angus beef, a wealth of seafood and rivers of wild salmon, our chefs use the best local produce. All are served with regional specialties.”  The Hiram – Bingham you will be treated to an Andean-inspired menu as you travel from Cuzco to Machu Picchu.

  • DISNEY, since I am a HUGE Disney park fan and know all the ins and outs. With one third of all guests being adults only, Disney has created many special events, festivals, private chef dinners and specialty libation tastings to appeal to all those foodies looking for a unique experience, be it the Walt Disney World’s Food & Wine Festival, or dining with an Imagineer at the high end Flying Fish Cafe or trying a single malt whisky flight at the Rose & Crown pub.

  • RESOURCES for your research including culinary specialties by country plus a chart listing famous libations and where/why they came to be.
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