Whatcom County may not be the first Washington wine destination that you think of, perhaps not even the second or third, but this area, an easy drive north of Seattle, is producing some fine artisan wines that you should know about.
The wineries are small, often family-owned, and find balance not only in the blending of grapes, but also in blending the natural beauty of the region with local food, art, and personality. A drive along the Whatcom Wine Trail will give you a chance to meet winery owners, tour facilities, taste what’s on offer, and get your wine questions answered.
You can drive the Whatcom Wine Trail, stopping at one of these locations along the route (in alphabetical order):
- Dynasty Cellars – 2987 Haxton Way, Bellingham. This family-owned winery, with a tradition of winemaking that is centuries old, hand-crafts wine that is drinkable right away yet will still benefit from additional cellaring. Wine currently offered include Meritage, Zinfandel, and Merlot. Tasting room hours: Friday and Saturday, 1-8 pm.
- Glacial Lake Missoula Wine Company – 1678 Boblett Street, Blaine. Making powerful Bordeaux-style wine, Glacial Lake is a garagistes-style winery. Don’t let the thought of “garage wine” put you off a visit as these are big, full-bodied wines, with plenty of fruit. Wine currently offered include Deluge, Kolk Rose, Mars, and Harbor Light Red. Tasting room hours: Saturdays, noon-6 pm, Sunday, noon-5 pm.
- Honey Moon Mead – 1053 North State Street, Bellingham. Located in a refurbished glass warehouse, this winery operates as a wine bar, serving a light menu along with mead and cider. Try the outdoor patio when the weather gets nice. Honey Moon focuses on hand-crafted products, made in small batches. Hours: Monday -Saturday, 5 pm-midnight.
- Legoe Bay Winery – 4232 Legoe Bay Rd, Lummi Island. Located on a small island in the San Juan Islands, this boutique winery uses fruit from the Columbia Valley. Wine currently offered include chardonnay, viognier, and two signature blends, Reefnet Red and Reefnet White. Tasting room hours: 1-6 pm during the spring and summer, 3-6 pm in the fall and winter.
- Mount Baker Vineyards – 4298 Mount Baker Highway, Everson. Located along the scenic drive to Mount Baker, this well-established winery produces 28 different varietals and uses some fruit from their own estate vineyard. Tasting room hours: By appointment.
- Samson Estates – 1861 Van Dyk Road, Everson. This small winery located in the Nooksack Valley produces artisan wines from grapes and other fruit. They also offer chocolates made with their wines. Tasting room hours: 11 am-6 pm daily during the summer, weekends during the remainder of the year, 11 am-5 pm. Closed during the holiday season.
- Vartanyan Estate Winery – 1628 Huntley Road, Bellingham. With a spectacular view of Mount Baker and an art gallery to complement its wine selections, Vartanyan offers artisanal wines made in the Armenian winemaking traditions. Enjoy your wine on the patio or by the fireplace, depending on the weather. Tasting room hours: Friday-Sunday, 1-5 pm.
Discover an often overlooked Pacific Northwest wine region with a trip to Whatcom County and the Whatcom Wine Trail.