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Ward Johnson Winery

Charlie Johnson is a superb winemaker, and a great conversationalist. I drop in of a Saturday afternoon and he’s there, pouring and engaging the tasters in gentile, lively conversation. Charlie Johnson has been in the area for a long time and his knowledge of the regional scene is deep and broad – he even knew about a wine making group I used to belong to many years ago. They have Paint Night 3 nights a week.


The place is casual, welcoming; like going over to your favorite uncle’s house. Charlie is not casual about your tasting experience.  When he goes from the whites to the reds, he changes your glass, to optimize the taste – don’t see that at many wineries. And those wines! Ward Johnson produces 750 – 900 cases a year. Many of the vintages are sold out – the math on this is easy; the wines are outstanding and keep rewarding you for drinking them. And it’s right here in town at 1445 Elliott Avenue W., Seattle, WA 98119.   Reward yourself.

Mother’s Day Special Events, and Some Other Events

The Washington Wine community is cranking up several enjoyable and special events for the spring season. These are some of the early ones – more to come:

Saturday – May 7th:

Cave B Estate Winery: Spring Release and “Wine Trails of Washington” book signing 11am-6pm.
Chateau Ste. Michelle:  Winemaker Dinner 7-10pm
William Church Winery: Wine & Wellington Chocolate for Mom! 12-5pm.

Sunday, May 8th:

Structure Cellars, in the Sodo Urban Works complex, will be open on Mother’s Day, May 8th. Tiara’s and wine for all Mothers 1-5pm

Lachini Vineyards: Mother’s Day 11am-5pm.

Village Wines: Sunday Brunch 11am-2pm.
The Woodhouse Wine Estates: Happy Mother’s Day 12-5pm.

Other Days:

Elsom Cellars Paint Nite May 14th, 2:00-4:00 pm Paint Nite® invites you to create art over a glass of wine, guided by a professional artist and party host, Amanda Smart.
Normally $45, use promo code “Seattle” to save $20! Must be 21+.

K Vintners and Charles Smith Wines
Announces the launch of the CasaSmith label – a collection of Washington wines produced from classic Italian varietals.

DiStefano Winery presents: Artisan Hill Sip n’ Walk Weekend: Saturday and Sunday, May 14 & 15, 12-5pm each day
Tickets are $25, with $5 off voucher*

Guardian Cellars’ new Hollywood District tasting room is now open. Come out and visit them in Apple Farm Village, 14525 148th Ave NE, Suite 122.
Open 12-5 Monday-Thursday; 12-8 Friday-Saturday; 12-6 on Sunday.

Newsprint Wines, Guardian’s second label, is now open in the Warehouse District,
19501 144th Ave NE, Suite E-600. Newsprint is open 12-5 Saturday and Sunday.

Friday, May 13, 2016, 6-9pm: ANIMALE at the Downtown Bellingham Wine Walk – Join ANIMALE winemaker Matt Gubitosa and several other
wineries for an evening of strolling and tasting around downtown Bellingham, WA.

Naches Heights Vinyards – Yakima: Mother’s Day Brunch Event: Mother’s LOVE Wine & Brunch!
Treat your favorite Mom to Mother’s Day Brunch: Evie’s Catering, NHV, & Wilridge will be serving Mother’s Day Brunch from 10am to 2pm.
$25 adult/$15 kids, for mom: a complimentary glass of Riesling. Please call for reservations! 509-966-4355.

Early May (and end-of-April) Events

Barrique Cellars
Saturday April 30th Noon-6 Sunday May 1st Noon-3
We invite you join us this weekend as we blind taste through a line up of wines. Allow your senses, vocabulary and palette to get a workout. Come, taste blindly, with abandon!

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Spring Barrel Tasting – Yakima

Laura LoPresti, owner of this site, took her old pops to Yakima, WA (east of the mountains) for the Wine Yakima Valley’s Spring Barrel Tasting last week.

This celebration of Eastern Washington Wine Makers takes place in four regions: Yakima, Zillah, Prosser, and Red Mountain Wine Communities.
You get a booklet Pass listing participating wineries listed by area, we only got to 9 of the 42 listed. Some were right in town,
and some were out in the countryside, usually atop a hill with a commanding view, which are found only after driving down several sparsely
populated roads.

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This Friday, and The Prize(es)!

THE NEW VINTAGE Now in its second year. April 1st!    

The New Vintage, 2016 Washington Vintage tasting, will be held Friday night, April 1, 2016 from 7pm-10pm at Motif Seattle Hotel. Washington State-produced wine, and delicious food bites by some of the city’s most celebrated chefs in the Rosé Lounge. The New Vintage is part of Taste Washington weekend, sponsored by Washington State Wine. Motif Seattle Hotel is located at 1415 Fifth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101

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Paint and Drink Wine – and Upcoming Feasts

Paint Nite !

Creative urge? Like relaxing with wine? Check it out: several wineries host Paint Nite which is pretty much what it sounds like. Guests spend two hours creating a one-of-a-kind painting and laughing with friends at a popular local venues. Paint Nite is a global community of Creative Entrepreneurs and Local Artists sharing their passion, bar and restaurant owners connecting with their community, and creative-minded employees who love what they do.  I’ll be catching this soon.

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It’s Washington Wine Month!

Four new  wineries join the Woodinville community.

Three of Cups, in the Artisan Hill Area  Owners Lisa and Mike say “symbolizes conviviality, abundance, joy and friendship”, and who wouldn’t want that?. Wine names continue the tarot theme.

Warr-King Wines in the Warehouse District.  Owner/Winemaker Lisa Warr-King Packer calls Warr-King a true boutique winery taking a minimalist approach. Duane Bender Assistant Winemaker.  Warr-King has no tasting room currently, but they do hold events at the winery.

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Upcoming Events and A Cautionary Tale


83 bottles of wine from 28 California wineries were cited in a lawsuit filed on March 19, 2015, as allegedly having dangerously high levels of arsenic.  The allegation cites some big name labels like:Arrow Creek (Coastal Series Cabernet Sauvignon) — Bandit (Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon) – Bay Bridge (Chardonnay)— Beringer (White Merlot, White Zinfandel, Red Moscato, Refreshingly Sweet Moscato), and Charles Shaw (White Zinfandel) among several others. The suit is reported as moving through the Los Angeles Superior Court system “at a snail’s pace” because of so many defendants.

Apparently no action has been taken to date to remove any of these products from shelves. Most of these wines cost less than $10.00/bottle. For a list of wines named in the suit, click here.  Read Full Article Or, just drink wonderful Washington State wines instead!

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February/Valentines Day Wine Events

What to do on Valentines Day (and February in general)? Here’s some ideas:

February 12th – 14th

Splurg at Lachini Vineyards over Valentine’s Weekend

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SODO Urban Works

The wine industry is blossoming in South Seattle, and it’s really classing up the joint. Last month we visited some of the wineries on the “South Seattle Urban Wineries” guide. Yesterday, we traveled down 1st Ave. S. just past the West Seattle Bridge, among the marble slab purveyors, to SODO Urban Works, 3849 – 1st. Ave. S. 98134 – a small industrial suite of warehouses. From the street at a glance you’d never guess it’s an oasis of good wining and dining. Here you can often talk directly with the winemaker, get excellent suggestions for wine-food pairings, wine choices  for different entertaining events, and buy local, handcrafted Washington wines, many made in Seattle, for your holiday entertaining. Tell ya what: I think that’s pretty damn good.

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