Have you ever stumbled across a treasure and had to think about what you wanted to do with it? Debating on burying it so that it won't get snapped and over exposed or exposing your great find with the world in hopes of sharing the joy.. Yeah, me too & I am choosing the latter.
Welcome to the hidden gem that is:
I first discovered this place a year or so ago on a business trip down to Napa/Sonoma, California.
I didn’t know what to expect & I wasn’t really even much thinking of it (I mean we had barely even left Vancouver, it’s literally an hour and a half a way) but it was nearing lunch time and my partner and I wanted to find an interesting spot to eat.. I become interested when food is involved.
Like any respectable foodie would do; our noses perked investigating the aromas of fresh bread, goats cheese & something crisp to match.. After picking up what we needed for a picnic, who doesn’t love a good early summer picnic?!
Enter Matthews Winery with it’s seriously kick ass Sauvignon Blanc.
Well that was random I thought.
That trip came and went and as summer passed and fall began work picked up and before I knew it, that necessary time of rejuvenation happened. With only a weekend… where to get away & recreate??
Woodinville, once again. (Just a side note: I am an avid Mountain Biker – and the beautiful thing about the Pacific Northwest – You can bike in aaaalllllll seasons!)
About the WINE: This time was a little different, with help from local friends we were directed to the warehouse district… shady looking but marvellously well kept.. it was a condensed region of tasting rooms.
Well that was a surprise!
As a Vancouverite, and someone whom prides her self on taking the appropriate about of time off to rejuvenate – at this point I was pretty sold. Woodinville, Washington was definitely becoming the Napa of the North.
As our May long weekend approached a business meeting had me once again heading down to the region and as luck would have it – I found a new love. Next door to another favourite winery of ours Guardian Cellars, was Sparkman. (PS you should check out Guardian, love everything about their story! – and the Entrapment haha – Delicious!!)
I’d like to introduce Sparkman Cellars:
Home of the most robust Cab I have yet experience in our relative region.. infact I’d say Napa, Sonoma, St. Helana & Yountville may need to look out – there is a new Kingpin in town.
The Kingpin a solid 91 on the spectator, was my favourite of the day. Made with 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot and 6% Merlot grapes.
Tasting notes: Kingpin is classic Red Mountain cabernet sauvignon (think brawny powerful black fruit and iron) and a pinch of petit verdot (violets, game, spicecake). Intensely concentrated fruit aromas of blackberry, wild cherry, black plum, black currant and cigar box and cedar lead to a palatial eruption of chocolate covered black fruit, deep forest and stoney earth. Will develop for many years and last well past the end of the world.
Sparkman Cellars wine list is impressive, the descriptions even more so and pleasingly, they are well rounded. After the Kingpin, there are a few honourable mentions I’d like to add: a Malbec: Preposterous (94), a Blend: Wilderness (90), a Chardonnay: Enlightenment (90) and lastly a Syrah: Darkness (93) – Holy Yum.
One of the other beautiful things about Woodinville besides it’s secret wine region and it’s quaint charm – you are also quite literally a hop skip and a jump away from Kirkland, Seattle or Mt. Baker. So Fun, Shopping or Recreation can swiftly become part of your experience.
Next time you are looking for something to do that’s a little out of the ordinary and more than likely will border on extraordinary, check out Woodinville’s Wine Country.
words by | miss d