Travel: Distilleries join wineries as liquid attractions in Woodinville

FOR THE BELLINGHAM HERALDAugust 26, 2013 

Over the years, Woodinville has become synonymous with wine in Washington. The Seattle suburb of about 11,000 attracts thousands of tourists because of its many wineries and tasting rooms, including Chateau Ste. Michelle and Columbia Winery.

But the grape isn't the only game in Woodinville anymore. In the past five years, craft distilleries have found a niche in Washington's fabled wine country, and their spirits have more and more people taking notice.

From stalwart vodkas to obscure grappas to delicate limoncellos, alcohol aficionados can find something stronger for their palates in Woodinville's fledgling distillery industry.

The distilleries offer free tours of their facilities, but, for the most part, the operations are small enough that it's a good idea to check in advance to learn if and when tours are happening.

GETTING THERE

From Bellingham, take Interstate 5 south toward Seattle. Take Exit 182 for Interstate 405 south toward Bellevue-Renton. Leave I-405 at Exit 23A. Take State Highway 522 east to the State Highway 202 exit east toward Woodinville-Redmond.

WOODINVILLE DISTILLERIES

Pacific Distillery

The family-owned operation uses traditional methods and equipment to create its spirits, which include absinthe and gin. The family's herb business also plays a role in the distillery's handmade single-batch recipes. Visitors can get a look at the old-fashioned copper alembic still.

18808 142nd Ave. N.E., No. 4B, Woodinville

pacificdistillery.com

Project V Distillery and Sausage Co.

It's not quite the circle of life Disney had in mind, but Project V's winter wheat goes both into its spirits and into feed for pigs that become sausage for sale. The grain goes into handcrafted vodkas (and soon whiskey), milled, distilled and bottled on site. Then, a local farm fattens up its pigs on the spent wheat for sausage and bacon.

19495 144th Ave. N.E., No. A-130, Woodinville

projectvdistillery.com

425-398-1738

Soft Tail Spirits

Soft Tail Spirits capitalizes on its Washington location. Its specialty grappas are made from the pressings left over at local wineries, and its innovative vodka is made from Washington apples. Don't let the distillery's creativity fool you, though - its craft distilling is based on traditional equipment and methods.

12280 N.E. Woodinville Drive, Suite C, Woodinville

softtailspirits.com

425-770-1154

Woodinville Whiskey

Woodinville Whiskey roots its philosophy in people's increasingly sophisticated tastes. From coffee to beer, people are seeking premium products, and Woodinville Whiskey thinks its customers find a better product to be loyal to in its barrels and state-of-the-art equipment.

16110 Woodinville Redmond Road N.E., Suite 3, Woodinville

woodinvillewhiskeyco.com

425-486-1199

OTHER WASHINGTON DISTILLERIES

Letterpress Distilling

The Seattle distillery features vodka made with Washington wheat and barley, and limoncello sweetened with Washington blackberry honey.

85 South Atlantic St., No. 110, Seattle

letterpressdistilling.com

206-227-4522

Bluewater Organic Distilling

Located in Everett, the distillery makes gin and vodka from all-organic ingredients certified by the Washington Department of Agriculture.

1205 Craftsman Way, Suite 116, Everett

bluewaterdistilling.com

Dry Fly Distilling

Dry Fly Distilling features local ingredients from sustainable farms in its spirits, which include vodka, whiskey, gin and bourbon.

1003 E. Trent, No. 200, Spokane

dryflydistilling.com

509-489-2112

WHERE TO EAT

The Herbfarm

Dining at the Herbfarm is a seasonal experience, with its nine-course dinners created around in-season foods from throughout the Northwest.

14590 N.E. 145th St., Woodinville

theherbfarm.com

425-485-5300

Italianissimo Ristorante

Of course there's going to be Italian food in wine country, and Italianissimo Ristorante serves Northern Italian cuisine near the Wine Warehouse District in Woodinville.

15608 N.E. Woodinville-Duvall Road, Woodinville

italianissimoristorante.com

425-485-6888

Teddy's Bigger Burgers

The burger chain's Woodinville franchise is the only one outside Hawaii in America. The '50s-theme restaurant has a simple menu of burgers, fries and shakes.

17705 140th Ave. N.E., Woodinville

teddysbiggerburgers.com

425-408-1604 ?

Gobble

Gobble's menu sports all things turkey. The casual restaurant boasts slow-roasted turkey dinners, hand-carved sandwiches, and turkey lasagna and chili.

13300 N.E. 175th St., Suite 3, Woodinville

gobblerestaurant.com

425-486-1486

WHERE TO STAY

Willows Lodge

Willows Lodge is a Pacific Northwest getaway on the Sammamish River. The lodge features a spa, the distinctive Barking Frog restaurant, a garden walk and much more.

14580 N.E. 145th St., Woodinville

willowslodge.com

425-424-3900

A Big Red Barn and Breakfast

Have a country-style breakfast after spending a night in a 1939 barn converted into a cozy inn.

16560 140th Place N.E., Woodinville

425-806-4646

Auberge Inn Seattle, French Country Inn

Ten minutes from Woodinville, the Auberge offers secluded accommodations with full-service amenities and personalized charm.

16400 216 Ave. N.E., Woodinville

edgeofseattle.com

425-844-4102

Eric Lochridge is a Bellingham-based writer and editor.

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