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W stands for Washington wine and Woodinville

Seattle suburb houses multiple wineries and restaurants

There are four tasting rooms located across the parking lot from the Hampton Inn and Suites in Woodinville including Tertulia Cellars. Photo credit: Marguerite Cleveland

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With over 100 wineries in Woodinville, it is the place to visit to learn about Washington wines. The number is staggering and it can be a challenge to know where to start. Woodinville Wine Country is divided into four unique districts, so for this trip, we are going to focus on the Hollywood District named after the historic Hollywood Schoolhouse.

Plan to stay at the lovely Hampton Inn and Suites Woodinville. This chain hotel actually has the feel of an intimate boutique hotel with a very friendly staff. The best feature for a wine tour is that four tasting rooms are located across the parking lot. The hotel is also a pick-up location for the Cellar Hopper which is a hop-on, hop-off shuttle service that runs Friday thru Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., until Sept. 29. It is $20 a person and they will store your wine purchases for you.

Begin your wine journey at the Woodinville Visitor Center located in the Hollywood District. In addition to visitor information, they have a shop with fun wine-related items like a wine suitcase. From there, head to the Hollywood Schoolhouse which is an event venue surrounded by a lovely garden. It houses the Alexandria Nicole Cellars Tasting Room which is a good wine stop. Across the street is the Milbrandt Vineyards Tasting Room. Owner Butch Milbrandt is an Army veteran and offers a military discount. Milbrandt was named the 2019 Winery of the Year by Northwest Wine Press. He has also partnered with the Distinguished Flying Cross Society (DFCS) to bottle DFCS Reserve Syrah with the proceeds going to the society.

Two Hollywood District eateries stand out:

Purple Café and Wine Bar is perfect for lunch. Highlights include Baked Brie with apricots, caramelized onions, candied walnuts and grapes. The Farmer's Lunch comes with soup and a charcuterie plate. The Wine Bar offers flights of wine which include three two-ounce pours with 15 different options. This is a great way to try three different wines for the size of one glass of wine. Themes include Block Party, which are wineries within 100 feet of Purple or Food Wines. Because it is a wine bar, your options come from all over the world and unexpected wine regions like Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico.

For dinner, Heritage Restaurant and Bar is a must. Chef Breanna Beike's seasonal menus of simple, yummy food reflects the care she infuses into every dish. Heritage is a comfortable, welcoming place with moderate prices for Woodinville. Don't let the simplicity fool you, these are carefully crafted dishes that are some of the best I've had in Washington. Don't miss the Heritage Hushpuppies, a Pacific Northwest take on a Southern classic. Sweet corn and Dungeness crab elevate this dish to a new level.  The Fresh Egg Pasta and Prawns pairs perfectly cooked prawns with a house-made fennel sausage, wild mushrooms all tossed in a white wine and cream pan sauce. Although this trip focuses on wine, Heritage's cocktails are worth a sample. The Empress G & T is a standout. Empress 1908 Indigo gin in a glass with a butterfly pea blossom infused ice spear is finished tableside with Fever Tree tonic which when poured into the glass turns a lovely lavender hue.

For more information on visiting Woodinville, check out:

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