Category Archives: Woodinville

A Quick Visit to Woodinville Wine Country

The tasting room at Januik / Novelty Hill

 A couple weekends ago, I was in Seattle, and decided to take the short drive to Woodinville, WA.  Now this is a community that is only a few miles away from Seattle, and is also known as Woodinville Wine Country to many people in the State of Washington.  An interesting factoid about this “Wine Country” is it contains no vineyards, just a whole bunch of wineries and tasting rooms.  Also along with wineries you will find some pretty classy restaurants.   There are over 50 wineries in the area, among them Chateau St. Michelle, Columbia Winery, Delille Cellars, and Januik Cellars.  Accompanying me on this trip was my sister and fellow wine enthusiast Chloe Nichols.  Unfortunately We didn’t have much time that day, so we decided on Januik / Novelty Hill and Columbia Winery as the two places we would try out.  Januik winery is owned by Mike Januik, who is formally the head winemaker at Chateau St. Michelle.  Now Mr. Januik is well known in the business and his wines are consistently recieving high scores from publications such as Wine Spectator.  Novelty Hill is a winery that is run under the supervision of Mr. Januik and also has put out some wines that have received high ratings.  The winery itself at Januik / Novelty Hill is a very impressive place; a large tasting room with a floor to ceiling glass wall that looks into the winery itself along with the barrel room. 

A view inside the winery at Januik / Novelty Hill

Of all the wines I tried, I was more impressed with the white wines as apposed to the reds, and I thought the Chardonnay, Riesling and Late Harvest Semillion I tried were all quite good.  The Chardonnay was a 2009 Novelty Hill made from grapes sourced from Stillwater Creek Vineyard.  On the nose it had an aroma of toasty oak with a hint of ripe apple, and had some nice acids on the palate with a smooth, creamy finish.  It was a bit on the oaky side, but overall a nice wine.  The 2010 Januik Riesling was from Bacchus vineyard, and had a nose of honey and apricot, with a hint of petrol.  It had a nice smooth finish with mellow acids and a taste of ripe apricot.   Finally the Novelty Hill 2007 late Harvest Semillion was a good wine to finish with.  It had a nice sweetness on the nose with a little petrol, and a nice smooth finish.  I thought that the Januik 2009 Lewis Vineyard Syrah was the best red wine I tried.  It had a nice medium purple color, and with a good balance of tannin and acids along with ripe dark fruit.  It had just the right amount of oak, which made it all the better.

The next stop was the Columbia Winery.  Just down the road from Januik / Novelty Hill, this winery has the look of a

Tasting bar at Columbia Winery

large mansion from the outside.  Inside it was also quite impressive, which included a very large tasting room that had multiple tasting bars.  The service here was very helpful and made the experience a nice pleasant time.  I thought most of the wines I tried here were very good, especially the Malbec and the late harvest Syrah.  The Malbec was a 2009 out of theColumbiaValley, with jammy fruit on the nose, and a great finish of blueberry along with smooth tannins.  I have not tried too many late harvest wines, especially a late harvest Syrah, but I was impressed none the less.  This 2009 had a deep dark purple color to it with a hint of chocolate on the nose, and had a nice sweet finish.  It is definitely a late harvest wine that would be a great one to have with dinner as well as for dessert.  So if you find yourse looking for a winery that has a nice selection of wine and a friendly staff to go along with it, stop by the Columbia Winery.

There are a whole bunch of wineries in Woodinville that I plan on visiting, so this most likely won’t be my last post about Woodinville Wine Country.  I would definitely recommend spending time in Woodinville if you in the Seattle area.  There is plenty of great food and wine to be found everywhere,  and its just a short drive away.



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