Woodinville bills itself as a venue for Washington wine discovery, but the latest winery to set up shop there is an Oregon operation.
Lachini Vineyards is the first winery not bonded in Washington to open a Woodinville tasting room. While Woodinville Wine Country executive director Cynthia Dasté says in-state wineries haven't yet made much of a fuss about Lachini's arrival, she concedes the Oregon winery's foray into Woodinville could signal a retail-shop grab by wineries with roots elsewhere.
"It's certainly a possibility," Dasté says when asked about the potential incursion of wineries from California and other winemaking regions. "It will be interesting to see what happens."
Woodinville's proximity to Seattle and its annual visitor count of 500,000 no doubt appeal to wineries located in the rugged, isolated pockets of farmland where wine grapes typically thrive. There are now more than 6,000 wineries nationwide, many of which would be eager to reach the wine-loving tourists who flock to Woodinville.
Zerba Cellars, which currently has a tasting room in Woodinville, identifies itself as an Oregon winery, but hasdoes not have (Update: Dasté yesterday told Voracious that the winery was bonded in Washington, but -- as she indicates in the comments below -- meant the winery was not bonded in Washington) paperwork to qualify it for membership in Woodinville Wine Country. Only wineries bonded in Washington are eligible to join the trade group, which promotes Woodinville tourism.
"Lachini could become an affiliate member, but they won't be able to vote," Dasté explains. "We won't include their logo on our brochure or website."
Still, the expansion of Woodinville's winery lineup could attract still more visitors to the area, which may explain why Washington winemakers aren't grumbling about Lachini moving in.
"I haven't heard anything negative about it," Dasté says.