There are few things more enjoyable (at least, in our humble opinion) than wandering around Woodinville, spontaneously stopping into a tasting room and finding some fantastic wines with which you were unfamiliar. With the abundance of tasting rooms in Woodinville, it is easy to be somewhat aimless during your day of wine tasting. There is, however, another approach worth considering. A bit of advanced planning can pay off with the discovery of some of Woodinville’s hidden gems.

There are dozens of wineries that are crafting exceptional wines but where the staff and business hours are more limited. Most of these wineries would be more than happy to welcome you for a tasting outside of their weekly hours if you call ahead for an appointment. Here are a some wineries worth making an effort to visit when they are open or calling ahead for an appointment.

Adams Bench Winery

Located on a pastoral property with views west toward the Olympic Mountains, this winery is worth making plans to visit. Adams Bench makes about 1000 cases a year of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet blends.

Baer Winery

A mainstay in the warehouse district for more than a decade, Baer Winery has remained small by comparison but large by reputation. It’s a 3,000-case winery that makes highly-coveted red blends and an unoaked Stillwater Creek Vineyard Chardonnay.

Covington Cellars

Founded in 2002, Covington Cellars offers a diverse line-up of wines that have earned a devoted following. A production level of about 3,000 cases a year has enabled Covington Cellars to maintain its artisan approach to winemaking.

Love That Red Winery

Love That Red Winery is a red wine-only, boutique winery with a horse racing-themed brand. A newer winery – founded in 2013 by Bellevue businessman Terry Wells – it’s caught the attention of a number of reviewers, one rating the 2013 Stakes Race Syrah as “excellent”.

Page Cellars

A fortuitous flight in the late 90’s with some established winemakers helped seal the deal for the dream Jim Page had envisioned for years. In 2000, he and his wife, Rothelle, saw their dream come true with the opening of Page Cellars. Since then, the winery has earned numerous accolades for its wines and enthusiastic endorsements for its entertaining tasting room.

Warr-King Wines

Lisa Packer had more than twenty years under her belt in the high-tech world when she decided to pursue her passion for winemaking. It’s a labor of love that has paid off with Warr-King Wines. Lisa’s minimalist approach to winemaking allows her wines to reflect the unique terroir of Washington State.

W.T. Vintners

It’s no wonder this up-and-coming winery has limited hours when you consider the schedule of co-founder and winemaker, Jeff Lindsay-Thorsen. When he’s not making wine at his warehouse location, Jeff is working as the lead sommelier at one of Seattle’s best restaurants. His wines are certainly impressing reviewers, with one declaring them “an incredible value!”

[photo: Adams Bench Winery]