Sipping, Shopping at Columbia Winery

April 12, 2007 at 6:12 pm 1 comment

Even if you don’t like wine, you’ll love Columbia Winery in Woodinville, just outside Seattle. The Columbia WineryIt has a gift store to die for. Wine glasses, bar ware, linens, serving pieces, decor items, some decor furniture and, oh by the way, wine. No kidding, the shop is very fun for your own home or for gifts — especially gifts for wine lovers. Out-of-the-ordinary and pretty well priced, I thought. In fact, I saw aInside the Columbia Winery Gift Shop. terrific round rustic metal “tray” table that I loved and only $150. It’s one of those “shoulda, but didn’t” things you regret later.

The Wine’s The Thing.
I was truly distracted by the gift items, but the wine is really the heart and soul of the place. Columbia is a large winery with its vineyards in both the Columbia Valley and the Yakima Valley of Eastern Washington. It’s 45 years old and was started by a small group of U of Washington professors who believed that European vinifera vines could survive in Washington. These are not grafted vines as at many other American vineyards.In the Columbia Winery shop. The winery produces Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewurztraminer. We particularly liked the Riesling and the Gewurztraminer and bought some bottles to take home.

Tours, Tastings and More.
Tour days and times are defined. Once on weekdays and 5 times on weekends. Tastings are available any time. A $5 fee takes you through 5 wine samplings. It’s a great way to get to know their wines. Columbia Winery also offers private wine education programs, private tour/tastings, cooking classes and special wine country tours. Any of these would be fun to try.

Willows Lodge in Woodinville.
If you want to spend a couple of days in wine country, you Entry to the Willows Lodgewill certainly enjoy the Willows Lodge, next to the Columbia Winery and across from Chateau Ste. Michelle. Very convenient. While we only took a day trip to Woodinville, I did ask for a tour at the Willows and was cordially received.

The Willows has a Pacific Northwest decor, but with high tech amenities. Deep soaking tubs in the rooms. Digital showers. Very luxurious and comfortable. Goose down pillows. Fireplaces. French press coffee, patios/balconies with garden Herb Farm Restaurant at Willows Lodge.views. Very elegant. The Willows also offers a nicely appointed onsite spa with a wide variety of services. The Barking Frog Restaurant is on the property (where we had lunch and found it excellent). The Herb Farm is a most unique restaurant on Gardens at the Willows Lodge.the property, using its own kitchen garden produce as it prepares 9-course dinners for its guests — with wine, of course. You’ll have to check out its Web site to really see what the Herb Farm is all about. Sounds decadent and wonderful. We’d like to try it the next time we’re up there. The Willows Lodge rooms and suites can accommodate up to 4 gals and they are willing to bring in a rollaway if necessary. I believe the room rate is around $200/night. That can really bring Ruthie lives in the lobby of the Willows Lodge. She has her own ottoman from which she enjoys greeting guests.the cost down of staying in such a luxurious setting. By the way, Willows Lodge offers getaway packages for touring wine country, a spa package and one called the Desperate Diva package.

NEXT: Downtown Seattle

1) More Wineries. Do Some Research.
Visit and request their booklet on “Touring Washington Wine Country.” There are many other wineries around Seattle, Tacoma and Bellingham. And don’t forget all the vineyards that are a 2-4 hour drive from Seattle. Also visit for info specifically about Woodinville wineries.
2) What Else To Do Near Woodinville? Lots. Golfing, shopping, biking, rafting, kayaking, hot air ballooning and of course, sampling wines and dining. The Willows can provide informtion on these activities.
3) Seattle or Woodinville? I’d recommend both. Fly into Seattle/Tacoma. Spend a day and night there. Then drive up to Woodinville for another 2 days. It’s an easy drive back to the airport. (Of course, there’s a whole lot more to the Seattle area that are also worth exploring, but we didn’t get to them on this first, brief trip. Whalewatching, ferrying to islands, going out to the mountains and so much more.
4) Cruise Ships. Nearly 200 cruise ships come through the Port of Seattle each year — mostly on the way to Alaska. If you’re planning a cruise, depart from Seattle and enjoy the area before you head to Alaska.
5) Airline Service to Seattle. Midwest Airlines flies out of Kansas City nonstop to Seattle, with easy connections through Milwaukee. (Departing from Milwaukee, we were in Seattle by 11:30 A.M.) But starting June 18, Midwest will fly nonstop to Seattle/Tacoma from Milwaukee, giving you more flight options. You can book those flights now.


Entry filed under: Seattle, Wineries and Vineyards.

Touring the Wineries; Sipping the Wine Seattle — Coffee, Fish and Designer Fashion

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. rayray7  |  November 18, 2007 at 4:14 pm

    Thanks for the fascinating article on wine gifts at Columbia winery. I was only aware of the major wineries in california. I will definitely research and write about the wine gifts at the winery in Seatle on my blog Great post!


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