June 21, 2018

If you’re a Sideways fan and have always dreamt of screaming, “You’re going to make me drink f–king Merlot. I’m not drinking f–king Merlot!” whilst brandishing a tasting glass at speechless friends who don’t know as much about wine as you do, consider making a pilgrimage to Woodinville, Washington in late August and early September at “crush-time.”

Washington State, like Northern California, has a cool, laid-back vibe as well as some of the best wines in the United States. Woodinville is one of the state’s major wine centers and harvest time here is when travelers get to be wine-makers for a few brief, golden autumn days.

It’s wise to plan early for your autumn journey to this cool, rain-moistened part of the Pacific Northwest where a short warming season of summer gives way fast to cold, cloudy winters, which astonishingly makes an amazingly wide list of varietals here thrive.

In fact, Woodinville’s year-long passes to wine tastings, their “Passport to Woodinville,” are already sold out for 2018. But oenophiles need not worry, there’s still time to sign up for “the crush” and help local vintners bring in the grapes just around and after Labor Day.

Some wineries that let you work full or half days for the fun and the wine of it include DeLille Cellars, Chatter Creek Winery and JM Cellars. You’ll be doing a lot of bending and lifting but volunteers get to drink free wine and sometimes get hats, t-shirts and other souvenirs. A workman’s lunch is usually included.>>>Read the entire article on Forbes