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Reviewed Wineries

South Seattle Artisan Wineries Winter 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

This is part of a report on the South Seattle Artisan Wineries. Additional sections of the report will be posted to the blog. Download a complete .pdf copy of the report here.

South Seattle is home to nine wineries that have banded themselves together under the moniker South Seattle Artisan Wineries’. The wineries are generally grouped into two areas. The first, near Boeing Field, includes Cadence, OS, and :Nota Bene. The second, near the Mariner’s baseball stadium, includes Elsom, Falling Rain, Sodovino, and Stomani. Between these two areas are two wineries, Fall Line and Laurelhurst Cellars.

Both the physical location and wineries themselves are largely short on charm. These are production facilities located in the nether land between highways 99 and I-5. Surrounding the wineries is an industrial dead zone interspersed with office parks and warehouses. The jumble of highways and train tracks makes finding some of the wineries a bit of a challenge the first time around. With many of the facilities in office parks, one feels very, very far from the vineyards upon arrival. Even the city can seem far off at times.

However, these wineries are labors of love, with most of the winemakers working other full-time jobs. What the wineries lack in terms of charm they try to make up for with quality wine and largely succeed. To the south, Cadence, one of the early wineries to locate in the area, is one of Washington’s top wineries, producing consistently exceptional wines known for their balance and structure. Cadence’s focus on graceful balance is juxtaposed by nearby OS Winery, known for their big, brawny reds. To the north, friends and former classmates from WSU operate out of a common building that includes Sodovino, Stomani, Falling Rain, and Elsom. The building is located a block off the elevated expressway (two words: earthquake insurance).

The South Seattle Artisan Wineries open infrequently, usually on the second Saturday of the month during certain times of the year as well as for releases. The wineries are also open by appointment. See a list of planned openings here.

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