Urban tasting rooms ‘the icing on the cake’ in Seattle

Seattle urban tasting rooms are "the icing on the cake" for Washington winemakers.

My Latest in The Drinks Business:

Urban tasting rooms ‘the icing on the cake’ in Seattle

With wineries increasingly opening neighbourhood tasting rooms, L.M Archer reports on how the strategy is paying off in Seattle.

Silicon Valley Bank’s most recent industry report revealed a rise in urban tasting rooms, with Washington state leading the way.

“This is another spot where we as an industry have moved along in a really positive way,” McMillan observed. “Not everybody needs to have an urban tasting room. But they can be quite handy.”

Most Washington state wineries grow their grapes in rural eastern Washington, and some operate wineries and tasting rooms there.

Moreover, 130-plus tasting rooms and wineries currently operate in Woodinville, a suburb near Seattle in western Washington, home of Chateau Ste. Michelle.

Additionally, urban centres like Seattle prove a lucrative way for winemakers to meet consumers where they live – in their own neighbourhoods.

Neighborhood Vibes

“A lot of my colleagues that are in eastern Washington, producing and making their wines, also have tasting rooms out there, and have opened tertiary or secondary locations in the Seattle area, where the people are,” says Ben Viscon, president of Seattle Urban Wineries (SUW), and owner/winemaker at Viscon Cellars.

Viscon, located in West Seattle, opened the area’s first tasting room in 2014. Today, three other wineries dot the same busy intersection along California Ave SW.  Indeed, neighbourhood vibes drive Seattle’s tasting rooms, from SODO (south of Seahawks Dome), Pioneer Square, and Pike Place Market, to Ballard and beyond.

There are 20-plus other wineries, mostly right in our own neighbourhoods, that are making pretty decent juice,” notes Viscon. “Everybody’s got their own vibe, their own profiles, their [own] wines.”

“For the most part, our winery members were founded by locals who either currently live here, or have lived here at some point,” adds Nancy Crosier of VinoSocial marketing and social media, and vice president of SUW. “They care about this city, and act on their desires to better our local community.” READ MORE HERE.

I am pleased to share my article in The Drinks Business on Seattle Urban Tasting Rooms with you here.

Read more of my work here.


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