Washington state is the second-largest producer of wine in the United States, after California, and as in California, wineries are all over the state. However, the biggest concentrations are in eastern Washington's Yakima Valley and Walla Walla areas. Spend a week driving through the state's various wine regions and you'll get a good feel for the diversity of wines produced.
Day 1: Seattle & the Woodinville Wine Country
Start your wine tour in Seattle, and head north of the city 30 minutes to the Woodinville area. Here you'll find a couple of the state's largest wine producers -- Chateau Ste. Michelle and Columbia Winery -- as well as some of its smallest. For the ultimate wine country experience, stay at the Willows Lodge and have dinner at The Herbfarm.
Days 2 & 3: Yakima Valley
From the Seattle area, head 140 miles east on I-90 and I-82 to Yakima, which marks the start of the state's main wine-grape-growing region. The Yakima Valley wine region stretches for 70 miles between Yakima and the Tri-Cities area (Richland, Kennewick, and Pasco). So many wineries are in the area that you can easily spend 2 days tasting and still leave plenty of wineries for a return visit. The biggest concentrations of wineries are near Zillah, at the west end of the valley, and near Prosser, at the east end. Spend the first night in Yakima and the next night in the Tri-Cities area.
Days 4, 5 & 6: Walla Walla
Walla Walla is Washington's hottest wine region, and I'm not talking about the climate. This little college town is packed with great wineries, excellent restaurants, and good places to stay. All in all, Walla Walla is the best place in the state to taste wine. Keep an eye out for memorable syrahs and viogniers. Many of the best little wineries are only open to the public on Saturdays, so be sure to plan your schedule accordingly. You won't want to miss these gems, many of which are tiny operations near the airport.
Day 7: The Columbia Valley
From Walla Walla, head west by way of the Columbia River Gorge. This hot, windy region produces some fine wines. Maryhill Winery has one of the most spectacular settings of any winery in the state and also produces a wide range of decent wines. Plan to picnic on the winery's terrace overlooking the Columbia River. Continuing west, you'll pass several more small wineries. Spend the night at a B&B or luxury lodge in the Columbia Gorge and then continue on to Portland or back to Seattle to fly home.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.