Matthews Winery Brandon Hill


Imagine a town just a 30-minute drive from Seattle where more than 100 wineries and tasting rooms are within easy walking, biking, and driving distance.

Matthews Winery Brandon Hill

This is Woodinville, known as Seattle’s closest wine country. Here, you can taste pours from across the state and tour operators offer guided tasting trips with transportation included.

Begin at Chateau Ste. Michelle, the state’s oldest winery. Located on a sprawling 42.5-hectare estate, Chateau offers a variety of wine experiences, from a flight of reserve wines to a create-your-own-blend workshop. During summer, the expansive lawns outside are filled with people enjoying a picnic and a bottle of wine, and an outdoor concert series is always popular. Keep an eye out for Chateau’s famous peacocks, which roam freely around the winery grounds.

Within a kilometer to the north, several other standout tasting rooms from Washington winemakers offer distinctive pours and ample outdoor seating. Novelty Hill-Januik features elegant, single-vineyard wines in a contemporary space—a bocce ball court outside makes things extra fun. And Sparkman Cellars has an inviting tasting room with comfortable sofas and chairs for sampling their powerful yet balanced wines.

Head east, also less than a kilometer away, to visit the Hollywood District. Here, dozens of tasting rooms are within walking distance, and some are even housed in the same building complex. Charming Jaine Cottage, which looks like a cozy farmhouse, exclusively serves whites, sparkling wines, and rosés. Airfield Estates pulls from local aviation heritage to produce airplane-themed wines. Nearby restaurants like Pablo y Pablo and Purple Cafe and Wine Bar keep you fueled with fresh Mexican fare and elevated sandwiches and pastas, respectively, for further wine-tasting adventures.

Of course, it’s not all about wine. Woodinville Whiskey Co. pours tastes of its small-batch rye whiskey and offers tours of its distillery by reservation. Lunch at The Barking Frog in Willow’s Lodge is a casual yet elegant affair with seasonal menus and plenty of local wine pairings, and The Herbfarm is a star in the farm-to-table dining scene with themed menus that change daily based on what ingredients are the freshest.

Travel Info: Woodinville is a 30-minute drive (32 kilometers) from Seattle. From I-5 north, take exit 171 for WA-522 east toward Bothell. Exit onto WA-202 east toward Woodinville. Turn right from the off-ramp, right onto NE 175th Street, and left onto Woodinville-Redmond Road NE. At NE 145th Street, Chateau Ste. Michelle is on the right. Novelty Hill and Sparkman are across the street, Woodinville Whiskey is a 5-minute walk, and the Hollywood District, The Barking Frog, and The Herbfarm are a 12-minute walk away.

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