/ The Seattle Traveler
Seattle — By Mary Jo Manzanares on June 8, 2010 at 11:04 am
Filed under: Bellingham, top-feature, tour, wine

Sipping Along the Whatcom Wine Trail

An easy drive north from Seattle, Whatcom County is producing some fine artisan wines.  These wineries are often family owned, and combine an impressive variety of wines with the natural beauty of the region, local art, tasty food, and a whole lot of personality.  Owners are often on site, and you’ll usually find them eager to talk with you about their passion for wine.  Tasting and tours are usually available.  And if you’re looking for a recommendation about where to go for dinner, no one knows great food spots better than a wine maker!

pouring red wine You can drive the Whatcom Wine Trail stopping at one of the nine locations along the route:

  1. Chuckanut Ridge Wine Company – 1017 N. State Street, downtown Bellingham (map).  Located in a historic downtown building, this tasting room is casual and funky, and also offers free wi-fi for a little sip and surf.  Live Jazz is scheduled every Thursday night along with lots of other special events.  Wine currently featured include three whites and four red, including their signature, and a bit infamous, Bad Bunny, a cabernet-merlot blend.  Tasting room hours:  Thursday –Friday, 4-10 pm, Saturday 2-10 pm, and by appointment.
  2. Dakota Creek Winery – 3575 Haynie Road, Blaine (map).  Producing affordable artisan wines, Dakota Creek specializes in  limited quantities of premium wine.  Wine currently featured include cabernet, merlot, syrah, malbec, chardonnay, pinot gris, viognier, fume blanc, and two special blends – Firefighter Red (a charity blend) and Jill’s Blend (named after one of the owners).  Tasting room hours:  Thursday – Saturday, 1-5 pm, or call to arrange a visit at other times.
  3. Dynasty Cellars – 2987 Haxton Way, Bellingham (map).  This family owned winery, with a tradition of wine making that is centuries old, hand crafts wine that is drinkable right away yet will still benefit from additional cellaring.  Wine currently offered are Bordeaux varietals, with the first release set for this summer.  Tasting room hours:  by appointment.
  4. Glacial Lake Missoula Wine Company – 625 Boblett Street, Blaine (map).  Making powerful Bordeaux-style wine, Glacial lake is a garagistes-style winery. Don’t let the thought of “garage wine” put you off a visit.  It may be a back-handed compliment, but these wine are big, full bodied, with plenty of fruit.  Tasting room hours:  Fridays and Saturdays, noon – 6 pm, and by appointment.
  5. Honey Moon Mead – 1053 North State Street, Bellingham (map).  This winery is located in a refurbished glass warehouse, and operates as a wine bar, offering a light menu along with mead and cider.  Try the outdoor patio when the weather gets nice.  Honey Moon focuses on hand-crafted products, made in small batches.  Hours:  Monday – Saturday, 5-11 pm.
  6. Legoe Bay Winery – 4232 Legoe Bay Rd, Lummi Island (map).  Located on a small island in the San Juan Islands, this boutique winery uses fruit from the Columbia Valley.  Wine currently offered include chardonnay, viognier, syrah, and two signature blends, Reefnet Red and Reefnet White.  Tasting room hours:  by appointment on Saturdays and Sundays during the summer (between Memorial Day and Labor Day).
  7. Mount Baker Vineyards – 4298 Mount Baker Highway, Everson (map).  Located along the scenic drive to Mount Baker, this well established winery produces 28 different varietals, including using fruit from their own estate vineyard.  Their wines have received a number of awards.  Tasting room hours:  11 am – 5 pm daily.
  8. Samson Estates – 1861 Van Dyk Road, Everson (map).  This small family owned winery is located in the Nooksack Valley, and produces award winning artisan wines from grapes and other fruit.  Tasting room hours:  11 am-6 pm daily during the summer, till 5 pm during the remainder of the year, and by appointment.
  9. Vartanyan Estate Winery – 1626 Huntley Road, Bellingham (map).  This boutique winery offers a spectacular view of Mount Baker and an art gallery to complement its wine selections, which are made using Armenian wine making traditions.  Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on the patio and the indoor/outdoor fireplace.  Tasting room hours:  11 am-5 pm, Thursday – Sunday (April-October), and Friday – Sunday (November-March), and by appointment.

If you don’t want to make the drive on the Whatcom Wine Trail yourself, Whatcom Wine Tours offers tours on Saturdays and Sundays year round.  The tours can arrange pick ups at convenient spots around the county, and take you on a tour that will include lunch and a stop at three wineries   Tours begin at noon and end at 4 pm.  Prices start at $50/person, and do not include tasting fees or gratuity.

Photo credit: SXC

Related places:
  1. A
    Chuckanut Ridge Wine Company LLC
    1017 North State Street, Bellingham, WA
    View Details and Book
  2. B
    Dakota Creek Winery
    3575 Haynie Road, Blaine, WA
    View Details and Book
  3. C
    Dynasty Cellars
    2987 Haxton Way, Bellingham, WA 98226
    View Details and Book
  4. D
    Lake Missoula Wine Co.
    mailing P.O. Box 3377 98231, 1625 Boblett Street, Blaine, WA
    View Details and Book
  5. E
    Honey Moon LLC
    1053 North State Street, Bellingham, WA
    View Details and Book
  6. F
    Legoe Bay Winery
    4232 Legoe Bay Rd, Lummi Island, WA 98262
    View Details and Book
  7. G
    Mount Baker Vineyards
    4298 Mount Baker Highway, Everson, WA
    View Details and Book
  8. H
    Samson Estates Winery
    1861 Van Dyk Road, Everson, WA
    View Details and Book
  9. I
    Vartanyan Estate Winery
    1628 Huntley Road, Bellingham, WA
    View Details and Book
Tags: Bellingham, top-feature, tour, wine


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