Monday, June 6, 2011

Getting Vintage in Bothell

During the Puget Sound war in 1856, the Sammamish native American tribe was relocated to reservations from an area of the Sammamish River Valley from Lake Washington to Issaquah Creek.  Shortly thereafter, English settlers staked claims in the area resulting in the incorporation of the present-day Bothell, Washington in 1909.  Do you suppose those early settlers imagined that 102 years later, Bothell would both be host to the Vintage Bothell Wine Walk and Bothell would lay claim to the record for the most overtime periods in a high school football game?  Heh, I'd like to think so.

Despite being just shy of 3 miles from the wine mecca known as Woodinville, I had yet to explore downtown Bothell and the Vintage Bothell Wine Walk last Friday was the perfect opportunity for me to do so. Sponsored by the Greater Bothell Chamber of Commerce, this event married 12 in Washington wineries with 9 Bothell main street business for an afternoon of wine...and well, walking. Makes sense for a wine walk, no?

The event started at 5:00 PM, but due to a late afternoon meeting at my paying gig I didn't roll into Bothell until around 5:45 PM; by that time I ready to get to work tasting. I was joined by my friend Paul, you may remember him as the original Washington Correspondent for The Oregon Wine Blog; conveniently his wife was willing to drop us off at Alexa's Cafe so we could grab  our tickets and get going. Thanks LaDonna. We were pleased to find a robust, spirited, and sold out crowd milling about Main Street. Wine map and glasses in hand, we were off to partake in the offerings. The following wineries were pouring at the event:

  • Convergence Zone Cellars
  • Red Sky Winery
  • Page Cellars
  • Kana Winery
  • Lantz Cellars
  • Challenger Ridge Estate & Winery
  • Open Road Wines
  • Northwest Cellars
  • Barrage Cellars
  • Northwest Totem Cellars
  • Davenport Cellars
  • Dubindil Winery
  • DiStefano Winery

As we went from business to business tasting wine, one of the really positive attributes of this event became clear: the connection between the local merchants, wineries, and residents of the community. Many of the business proprietors were seen mingling among the crowd, interacting with potential customers who may have never set foot inside the stores but for an opportunity to taste wine. Guests of the wine walk spanned multiple demographic groups, and I found downtown Bothell to be a cute and fun place to spend an afternoon. Oh yea, the wine was good too.

Paul and I only made it through about half of the wineries on the list, but heck, all 12 should have shot my palate beyond recognition. While it's hard to peg a favorite, the NW Totem Cellars Merlot was a winner in my book, and Paul walked away enamored with the Barrage Cellars Nuclear Blonde Chardonnay and the Davenport Cellars R.H.D.

At the end of the event, we ate a bratwurst and walked home in the fading sunlight. The bratwurst hit the spot. So Seattleites, next time time you are heading to and from Woodinville, take a minute to check out downtown Bothell. There's plenty to do and see, and perhaps you'll stumble upon the next Vintage Wine Walk! Or at least 9 periods of overtime in a football game.


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