Washington State’s Sparkling Wine Trail
Located just outside Yakima, Treveri Cellars remains the state’s beacon for bubbly. Founded by the father-and-son duo of Juergen and Christian Grieb, their singular focus on sparkling wine has earned them a host of accolades and a dedicated following. From familiar fizz like their Blanc de Blancs and Sparkling Rosé to experiments like Sparkling Müller-Thurgau and Sparkling Syrah (a sparkling red wine), a visit to the Germanic-inspired tasting room is a chance to explore a broad and ever-growing roster of wines. Sweeping views of the Yakima Valley are a highlight of the large patio, on which you can enjoy a glass or even a bottle of wine in addition to your tasting.
For those who prefer to sip their wine in view of water, Karma Vineyards, on the shores of Lake Chelan, awaits your arrival. There, you can sample an elegant selection of méthode Champenoise wines, like their Blanc de Blanc, Blanc de Noir, and Rosé, or duck in to their restaurant, 18 Brix, to sample Chef Alicia Alvarez’s expressions of local ingredients in dishes always designed to pair with the wines. If that view of Lake Chelan doesn’t quite get the blood pumping, then perhaps contemplating the vast and majestic Columbia River from Cave B Estate Winery in Quincy will do the trick. What better to enjoy while staring at one of America’s largest rivers than a bottle of Blanc de Blanc:
the 2017 vintage is currently being poured, with notes of Asian pear and ginger along with a creamy texture. You might even choose to time your visit with a concert at the nearby Gorge Amphitheater, one of Washington’s preeminent music venues: headliners later this year include Beck, Mumford and Sons, Dave Matthews Band, and Bon Iver. Following the ocean-ward path of the Columbia brings you to our final two sparkling wine destinations, which are located in the town of Lyle, just above the Columbia River Gorge. There, you can explore the sparkling Grüner Veltliner from Syncline Winery, aptly named “Scintillation.” This traditional method, zero dosage wine almost tastes like the Columbia River itself: cold, pure, and vividly energetic. Make a reservation in advance and you may even get the directions to their coveted and secret picnic spot a short hike away! To finish off your journey, nearby COR Cellars has their own delightful take on sparkling wine, leaning on the aromatic varieties Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris to craft a floral but focused wine under their AGO label, which you can enjoy on their garden patio while taking in views of Mt. Hood. —Zach Geballe
ABOVE: Cave B Winemaker Freddy Arredondo and his niece enjoy a relaxed tailgate picnic; RIGHT: Guests enjoy COR Cellars’ aromatic AGO sparkling wine on the patio
Top: Carrie Arredondo; Bottom: Patrick Fessler; opposite page top: Courtesy Visit Santa Barbara
Searching for world-class sparkling wine in Washington State is a trickier proposition than finding great still wine. Many of the state’s pioneering wineries and vineyards looked for the warmest growing sites they could find, producing grapes that were well-suited to robust reds but less able when it came to bright bubbly. That said, a combination of newcomers and a few stubborn standbys have created an unexpectedly vibrant sparkling wine scene.