This article originally appeared on trivago.com.
Picture driving by rolling hills covered with green vineyards, sipping your way through tasting rooms, many with spectacular mountain vistas, and explore walkable downtowns where you can easily sample a variety of restaurant completely car-free. Add on accommodations close to the wine action, and you’ve got the makings for the perfect holiday.
If your style of vacation means exploring wine country, here are some fabulous choices for getting your wine on in the Pacific Northwest.
(All photos courtesy of trivago.com)
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Wineries in the Pacific Northwest
The Willows Lodge — Woodinville, Washington
One glance at the estate grounds at Chateau Ste. Michelle and it’s easy to see why it’s the grand dame of Washington wine country. Not only is it the state’s oldest winery, but their French-style chateau in Woodinville surrounded by 105 acres includes a tasting room, gift shop, and an expansive garden with resident peacocks. Spend the day tasting and touring the winery or go one step further and enroll in one of their classes, such as learning how to blend wines. (My personal favorite is to experience the winery by attending a concert at their outdoor venue.)
If you want more, there are over 100 wineries in Woodinville, and a great way to sip and sample is to reserve a spot on the Woodinville After Hours. The event runs twice a month, June to October, and includes tastings at 12 wineries.
Across the street from Chateau Ste. Michelle is The Willows Lodge. The elegant lodge-style hotel features rooms with two-person soaking tubs, stone fireplaces and private balconies or patios, some with garden views. You’ll find everyone from the concierge to the restaurant’s wait staff is well-versed in the area and its wine.
A short walk or complimentary bike ride away, are over two dozen tasting rooms. With the hotel’s handy walking wine map, you’ll be on your way to places like Columbia Winery, which also offers wine education classes, and Novelty Hill and Januik where they share the same tasting room and outdoor patio.
For a more in-depth experience, join one of the hotel’s WineVenture guided tours on the weekend. After your day of tasting, dine at the Barking Frog at the lodge, or reserve a spot at the neighboring restaurant, The Herbfarm, for a nine-course wine tasting dinner.
trivago tip: If you want a frighteningly fun challenge, the aerial adventure park Adventura is a short walk from the lodge. Or, if heights at a leisurely pace sound more appealing, see the sunrise or sunset in a hot air balloon with Over the Rainbow.
Suncadia Resort — Roslyn, Washington
Swiftwater Cellars is easy to fall in love with. Not only for their wines but their location in the pine-scented woods in Roslyn. Inspired by the Roslyn No. 9 mine, the entire building – tasting room, restaurant, and lounge – is a mix of historic touches and modernity. Guests enter through over-sized wooden doors with original pickaxes from the mine, and inside, are high ceilings with mine shaft beams, floor-to-ceiling stone fireplaces, and a patio with views of the golf course and the 120-foot Tipple Hill. Spend some time in the tasting room learning about the wines and the winemakers. Then, head to the restaurant for cedar plank steelhead or pan-roasted Alaskan halibut. If you’re like me and enjoy sipping wine and stargazing, wrap up your evening next to the cozy outdoor fire pit and count the stars.
To return to your room car-free, hop aboard the intra-resort shuttle to neighboring Suncadia Resort. The full-service luxury resort’s 6,400-acres surround the winery and feature an inn and lodge rooms as well as vacation rentals for large groups. Being so close to the great outdoors, you’ll have panoramic vistas, access to hiking and biking trails, including 21 flights of stairs down to the Cle Elum River, fishing and horseback riding. Wine lovers will want to check out their “Wine and Dine Package” that comes with a bottle of wine and dining credit at the resort’s restaurant Portals.
trivago Tip: In the winter, sleigh rides, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, skating and snow tubing are favorite resort activities.
Grandview on the Lake — Chelan, Washington
Lake Chelan has a unique setting compared with the rest of the Columbia Valley AVA. The elevation is higher, and the lake helps regulate the air temperature making the climate more temperate. Because of this, its vineyards nestled along the golden hills surrounding the 12-mile lake experience a unique “lake effect” which allow the grapes to stay on the vines a little longer.
What does that mean to the wine drinker? Naturally balanced and complex wines. With over 30 wineries, there are plenty of tasting rooms with fantastic views, and many have restaurants or light fair to accompany their wines.
For 100 percent estate-produced wines, head to Tsillan Cellars. Their vineyard estate with Italian architecture, inlaid mosaics, Travertine pillars, and gardens with views of the countryside make you feel like you’re at an Italian country estate. At Siren Song Wines, each bottle encourages tasters to share their passion with the ones they love, and if that happens to be food and wine, join one of their wine tasting dinners or cooking classes for wine pairings. Another remarkable winery is Benson Vineyards whose property overlooks the lake and vineyards with a bistro and a summer concert series.
Where to stay? The Grandview on the Lake in downtown Chelan. This unique lakefront property has individually owned condominium units that come in an array of sizes for two guests up to ten. Most of the rooms have lake views, private patios or balconies, and many come with fully-equipped kitchens. For a romantic stay, choose the king parlor Jacuzzi room with king bed, kitchenette, and a private balcony with a lake view (Be sure to be back by sunset!). Another highlight is the outdoor lake-facing pool. In the summer, a pool bar serves cold beer and wine to enjoy along with those delightful rays of sunshine. The hotel is within walking to coffeehouses, eateries, jet boat rides, the Chelan Riverwalk Park, and a short drive to the area’s wineries.
trivago Tip: With Skydive Chelan, get an adrenaline rush by skydiving over Lake Chelan and landing at a winery for a wine tasting.