Oeno Files

These Sparkling Wines Are Made in Washington

A few of these are widely available for your New Year's Eve consumption.

By Allecia Vermillion December 19, 2012

Wine geeks dig Syncline's hard-to-find sparkling wine.

 I mean, you can go the traditional Champagne route when it comes time to toast 2013's arrival. But at last count, eight wineries around the state make sparkling wine, many in the traditional methode Champenoise, meaning bubbles come from a secondary fermentation in the bottle, rather than carbonation. A few are widely available on Seattle store shelves. Others are seldom available outside the winery, but two have even been poured in the White House. But according to the Washington Wine Commission, these are the wineries that bring the sparkle.

Domaine Ste. Michelle (aka Chateau Ste. Michelle)
The powerhouse Woodinville winery does its brut in the methode Champenoise for its line of sparkling wine. Most bottles run about $12 (though the Luxe is about twice that) and have been known to sink fancier bottles in blind tastings and is easy to find around town.  www.domaine-ste-michelle.com

Hard Row to Hoe Vineyards
The sparkling brut rose (a sangiovese-pinot blend also done in the methode Champenoise) called Good in Bed, which is about all you need to know. It also won a double gold medal at the Seattle wine awards. Bottles go for $40, though you’re hard-pressed to find them outside the nautically tinged Lake Chelan winery, its wine club, and the tasting room in Manson.  www.hardrow.com

Karma Vineyards
Another Lake Chelan winery, this one makes several varieties of methode Champenoise sparklers, and even stores them in an underground wine cave. The brut, brut de brut, and estate pink run between $40 and $50. www.goodkarmawines.com

Mountain Dome Winery
Should you find yourself ringing in the new year in Spokane, this winery at the foot of Mt. Spokane dates back to 1984 and is all about the bubbles, making more than 3,000 cases a year of both vintage and nonvintage brut, a brut rose, and a cuvee forte. www.mountaindome.com

Pacific Rim
Riesling is the primary game at this winery outside the Tri-Cities in West Richland. That includes  sparkling and sweet sparkling versions, which both bear the name White Flowers. And, ooh, you can get it on Amazon Wine for $16 a bottle plus shipping. www.rieslingrules.com

The winery on the Columbia Gorge is known for its Rhone varietals but its small-batch releases of methode Champenoise blanc de blanc, made entirely of Chardonnay grapes from the Celilo Vineyard, are also building a following. If you happen to come across one of these bottles, don’t hesitate. www.synclinewine.com

Treveri Cellars
A newer winery predominantly dedicated to sparkling wine, Treveri had a major moment last year when Hillary Clinton’s executive chef opted to pour the Yakima winery’s extra-brut chardonnay and syrah brut at State Department holiday events and diplomatic reception rooms. Treveri’s lineup is becoming more widely available around Seattle at places like Whole Foods and online. www.trevericellars.com

Westport Winery
Okay, so the winery makes a red blend that's an overt nod to Twilight. It also produces an effervescent cranberry wine, Rapture of the Deep, and a sparkling gewurtztraminer called Going Coastal, $26 and $31 a bottle respectively. A portion of each bottle's proceeds benefits a corresponding charitable organization. Find these wines at the Westport tasting room in Aberdeen. www.westportwinery.com



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