I am headed to Washington, finally, and we will be spending 2.5 days in the Woodinville area. My wife and I both enjoy Rocks Syrah and are interested in the collective wisdom of fellow Berserkers of the top 3-5 Rocks Syrah producers with tasting rooms in Woodinville.
I am in the process of my own research and the first I’ve come across is Rocky Pond, any comments on this producer? They seem to source from a number of well-known vineyards.
Beyond that, I’ve only just begun my research.
Also, if anyone has any dining recommendations, I’d appreciate those as well. So far, I’ve learned of The Barking Frog and Purple Cafe and Wine Bar.
Thank you all in advance for your recommendations.
I am no expert of woodinville and there are a bunch of wineries that I am not familiar with, but I cannot think of a single rocks producer located there. I glanced at a list of woodinville tasting rooms and not one jumped out that I know has Rocks fruit. In Seattle, Proper/Rotie have a room, and I think SoDo has one or two.
Others likely know better, and I can’t say I am the authority on who gets Rocks fruit these days, but here is a short list off too head:
sleight of hand
looking at this Betz gets some which is new to me.
Thank you for the response and additional info in the SoDo area. Since posting I found that Two Vintners has a tasting room that is co-opted with Covington Cellars and the tasting includes both, I may take a flyer on that.
Not familiar with Rocky Pond. Here are my recommendations since you are interested in wines from the rocks:
Strong recommendation to taste at Sleight of Hand and Rotie in the SODO area of Seattle. Not far from there is the K Vintners tasting room which has some great Walla Walla syrahs including several from the Rocks area. BTW, the K Vintners Phil Lane, Royal City, and Hidden syrahs are not from the Rocks per se but have a lot of similar savory character.
In Woodinville, I increasingly like WT Vintners which make a few wines from Stony Vine vineyard in the Rocks but their whole line is excellent, in a really restrained and balanced style. II (two) Vintners makes at least one syrah from the Rocks and Dusted Valley makes the Tall Tales syrah which can be very good. I recommend checking out Trust to see what they are pouring.
I’d say WT Vintners and Two Vintners are two of the best in Woodinville for what you are interested in.
Another option in Woodinville is Village Wines - which is a little wine bar which has a variety of WA wines so you might be able to knock off a few of them that might not have a tasting room in Woodinville. https://www.myvillagewines.com/
Two Vintners is a great option for classic Rocks Syrah.
Three of Cups has a Rocks Grenache, and I believe they’re close to Two Vintners.
Betz is now making a Rocks Syrah as well, and if you’re spending a few days in Woodinville tasting, I’m assuming they’re on your radar.
And yah, Sodo district is great option to explore if you have time. Rotie Cellars has a lot Rocks options, Sleight of Hand too. Is K Vintners vineyards in there, or just right next to it? Either way, lots of Syrah options from them.
I was just there this past weekend for a concert.
Barking Frog can be very good.
If you can get reservations at the Herb Farm, it’s outstanding
I’d skip Purple Cafe. We had a very uninspiring meal made worse when paired with a pyrazine afflicted rosé. It highlights the fact Trip Adviser has no credibility regarding fine dining. It also highlights the fact my definition of experience is recognizing my mistakes as I repeat them, as I belatedly remembered we didn’t like our last two meals there.
For wineries, I don’t know much about Washington Syrah. In the past Betz didn’t give tours except for release parties for members, but maybe that’s changed. Bob Betz is an amazing wine maker.
Reynvaan can be very good.
Mark Ryan, Avennia, Betz, Ross Andrew (RIP), Savage Grace, Efeste, Longs Shadows, all in Woodinville, all make good WA Syrah, though not necessarily Rocks District, more Boushey, Red Willow, Ceil du Cheval and other sites that grow good examples imo.
Rotie, Latta, Sleight of Hand, Full Pull, all in SoDo, all make syrah, some from Rocks of M-F. Rotie Northern, and Love Rocks Syrah are excellent examples with da funk.
Rocky Pond is near Lake Chelan, about as far as you can get from WW and still be in Columbia Valley. I’ve never tried their wines.