You may have noticed something very unusual in the sky lately. The sun can be a tentative visitor here in the Pacific Northwest (especially this year), but with the arrival of June, it’s time to revel in these precious few months when blue skies and warm temps finally come out to play. And when it comes to al fresco indulging, Woodinville presents the ultimate playground: a nearly endless selection of local winemakers serving up food, wine and gorgeous grounds on which to stretch out and savor both nature and nourishment.

So what’ll it be? Chateau Ste. Michelle offers a classic pastoral setting for both picnics and summer concerts, while across the road, a beautiful garden patio provides the perfect place for lounging and noshing at Columbia Winery. Right next door to Columbia, the graceful grounds of Novelty Hill-Januik pairs deliciously well with a glass of Cab and appetizers.

For more hidden gems, head up the hill to the secluded retreat of JM Cellars for some chilled white and bocce ball. Or drive across the valley to the bucolic setting at Adams Bench Winery, home to Woodinville’s only working vineyard. Down the road toward Redmond, Wilridge Winery and the Sky River Mead Tasting Room sit high on the hillside with gorgeous views of the Sammamish River Valley and Mount Rainier to accompany your tasting.

And that’s merely a sampling. There are dozens of wineries throughout Woodinville where wine, food and setting combine to create the perfect summer afternoon. This is when wine country is at its most seductive, so why resist? Throw on something white and comfortable and pull up a lounge chair.

[Photo: Richard Duval Images]