April 19, 2012, Kirkland WA — The eastside community of Kirkland, known for art galleries, shopping and eateries, has a new wine district. Three tasting room’s opened their doors on April 14, 2012 to celebrate the grand opening weekend of what the group has officially named the “Kirkland Warehouse District”. Northwest Cellars Winery, which has been at this location since 2004, welcomes new neighbors Skylite Cellars and Waving Tree Vineyards & Winery. Collectively, visitors can taste wines sourced from vineyards and AVA’s across the state; from the Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley, Horse Heaven Hills, Snipes Mountain, Red Mountain and Walla Walla Valley.
“We were extremely pleased with the support from our customers and the community this weekend,” said Bob Delf, owner of Northwest Cellars and the guiding force behind the new wine district. In conjunction with the grand opening, Delf debuted his expanded event space, which doubled the size of the tasting room. The new 800-square-foot event area (painted a Merlot shade) will comfortably host their growing demand for special event bookings from area parties, meetings and event planners.
“We are somewhat unique in the wine business with the custom-label option for our wines,” says Delf. “We grew over 25 percent last year and we are finding that we just don’t have enough space, especially for events.” The expanded space will accommodate small or large events, up to 75 to 100 people. Hanging on the walls is an exhibit comprised of colorful wine photography prints by Rick Duval of Duval Images.
“We had many positive comments during the grand opening about our new space, and everyone loved the wines,” said Delf, who greeted guests with his gracious wife Kathleen, along with their winery dog Vino, a fluffy white Bolognese.
Northwest Cellars specializes in blends. Among their most popular releases are the 2009 Sonatina, a blend of Viognier, Rousanne, and Semillon; the 2009 Cadenza, a blend of Cabernet, Merlot, and Carmenere; and their signature 2008 Intrigue, a blend of Merlot, Syrah, and Cabernet Franc.
A couple doors down in the same building complex is Skylite Cellars’ tasting room. The Walla Walla-based winery is owned by Tom and Cheryl Hodgins, and daughter Ashley Bruton. A series of custom-etched wine barrels with a long glass and wood top serves as a unique tasting bar; several wine barrel tables and chairs provide extra seating; and a beautiful wine hutch display graces the far wall.
Adorning the walls are paintings done by local artist Joy Bezanis. Her Art For Wine Lovers series combines her love of old masters’ painting with wine.
Skylite Cellars signature wines include the 2007 and 2008 Walla Walla Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2007 Skylite Cellars Bordeaux Style Reserve Blend, and the 2005 and 2007 Estate Merlot. Their second label, Hiney Wine, hatched years earlier and stems from owner Tom Hodgin’s radio days. In the 1980’s he built radio towers and radio stations, and his popular southeast Washington smooth jazz station’s radio show, “The Hiney Winery,” was an instant success. The wine label of the same name bears the drawing of (you guessed it) a woman’s “hiney”.
WAVING TREE VINEYARDS & WINERY
Waving Tree Vineyards & Winery’s tasting room is adjacent to Skylite Cellars. The winery is located in the small town of Goldendale in southwest Washington, and they have been producing wine since 2001. Owners Terrence and Evelyn Atkins had been searching for a more densely populated community to open a tasting room. They, along with daughter Kimiko Atkins and son Takashi Atkins, were on hand during the grand opening weekend to welcome visitors and introduce them to their Columbia Valley wines.
“We’ve been looking for a location for sometime, and found it here in this community,” said Terrence Atkins, adding, “it felt just the right size.” Waving Tree estate vineyards grow along the banks of the Columbia River. Many are older vines with distinctive flavors.
Waving Tree offers tastes of several different varietals ranging from their 2008 Estate Syrah, 2007 Estate Grenache and 2008 Estate Barbera. Popular sweet wines include an estate grown sweet Sangiovese Rose’, Orange Muscat, and their Barbera named Bsweet.
GREEN APPLE EVENTS & CATERING
While wine tasting, you can order food from Green Apple Events & Catering. They are located just steps from the wineries and will deliver right to you. Owners Kris Brown and Cheryl Seaton create gourmet food bites that pair great with wine, such as curry chicken satay, lamb meatballs, and cheese trays filled with aged cheddar, blue and Manchego cheese. They’ll also put together a combo “tasting plate” for around $12 per person. “We are really excited to see the wineries come into Kirkland,” said Brown. “Since we also specialize in catering events, Northwest Cellars expanded event space is another great venue we work with to create a wonderful food and wine experience.”
All Three Winery Tasting Rooms are open Fridays 3-7pm. Saturdays 12-6pm and Sundays 12-5pm.
Northwest Cellars Winery & Tasting Room 11909 124th Avenue NE, Kirkland, WA, 98034, 425-825-9463, [email protected], www.northwestcellars.com
Northwest Cellars also has a second tasting room within the collective Nectar Tasting Room space in downtown Spokane.
Skylite Cellars Kirkland Tasting Room 11901 124th Avenue NE, Kirkland, WA 98034, 509-529-8000, [email protected], www.skylitecellars.com
Skylite Cellars Winery & Tasting Room is located at 25 S. Campbell Road, Walla Walla, WA 99362; and is part of the collective Nectar Tasting Room space in downtown Spokane.
Waving Tree Vineyards & Winery Kirkland Tasting Room 11901 124th Avenue NE, Kirkland, WA, 98034, 425-820-0102, [email protected], www.wavingtreewinery.com
Waving Tree Winery & Tasting Room is located at 2 Maryhill Hwy, Goldendale, WA 98620