Washington is second only to California as the biggest premium wine producer in the US, with more than 1,000 wineries across the state generating an economic impact estimated at $7 billion. While the bulk of production centers on the east of the Cascades Mountains, many areas outside of the area are equally conducive to viniculture. The small town of Winthrop in the majestic Methow Valley is one such area.
- Lost River Winery
26 Highway 20, Winthrop, WA
This family-owned winery has been producing some of the finest wines in the Methow Valley since 2002. They have won numerous awards, including gold medals in the 2014 North Central Wash Wine Awards and the 2014 Seattle Wine Awards.
Sample their varietals in a rustic tasting room with walls adorned with local artwork. Or opt to do so in their wine patio/garden with astounding views of the North Cascades. Their vast selection includes pinot gris, nebbiolo, barbera, and Walla Walla syrah. Their wines are also sold in Seattle, Bellingham, Spokane, and all across the state.
- Brix Wine Bar & Bottle Shop
229 Riverside Avenue, Suite H, Winthrop, WA
Tucked behind the Farmers Exchange Building and overlooking the Methow River, Brix offers a convenient and scenic location downtown. This hidden gem has a massive selection of over 400 different wines from all around the world. These include Mionetto Moscato Dolce NV, a refreshing sparkling wine from Italy, and La Monastrell 2016, a full-bodied red wine from Spain.
You can also pair your wine with a delicious assortment of plates like a cheese board and a creamy curry chicken salad.
- Rockwall Cellars
10 Nichols Road, Omak, WA
Amazing wine, a relaxing location, and accommodating service make Rockwall Cellars a must-visit winery near Winthrop. This family-owned and operated enterprise is the first in Central Okanogan, and their expertise shows in their diverse collection of wines.
For red wines, try the Marechal Foch 2011 for a light yet complex flavor, or the Barbera 2014 for a more full-bodied finish. Meanwhile the citrusy zest of Dry Gewurztraminer 2013 and the fruity taste of To Di For – Lula are fine choices for white wines.
- Lone Point Cellars
6 Lakeview Way, Brewster, WA
Located in a stunning 200-acre orchard, Lone Point Cellars overlooks the magnificent Columbia River Valley. An outdoor entertainment area allows guests to enjoy the view. Or you can also stay indoors and sit by their relaxing fireplace with a glass of the winery’s own cabernet franc, merlot, and pinot noir. Other popular wines are the full-bodied malbec, the fruity sauvignon blanc, and the light and smooth tempranillo.
To sample the wines with a meal, Lone Point Cellars is open for dinner on Thursday evenings. Reservations are a must.
For longer stays, book any of six cottages featuring a deck with a sweeping 180-degree view of the valley, an outdoor barbecue area, and 12,000-square-feet of lawn space.
- Esther Bricques Winery
42 Swanson Mill Road, Oroville, WA
The intimate location of Esther Bricques Winery in the Okanogan Valley makes it ideal for any wine connoisseur. Here, superb wines come directly “from the ground to the glass,” bringing about a myriad of flavors that reflect the uniqueness of the terrior. The winery’s collection includes varieties of red, white, blend, and ice wines. Their top wines include 2015 Forbearance, 2016 Confluence, and the award-winning 2005 Ice Riesling.
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