Traveling to Woodinville this weekend? Have your passport ready.
The annual Passport of Woodinville Weekend wine tasting event is today and Sunday.
If you haven’t already bought your passport, your out of luck; 4,500 individuals already snatched them up.
With all the excitement and buzz surrounding this year’s event, the Reporter asked for some insider tips for avoiding the crowds and enjoying the wine.
1 Arrive early, stay late: To account for the growing popularity of the passport weekend, the Woodinville Wine Country sold 1,000 extra passports for Sunday.
“Every year the event grows and so does the amount of people who want to take part in it,” said Cynthia Daste, the executive director of the sponsor, Woodinville Wine Country. “With 4,500 people attending this year it would be best to arrive a little prior to 11 a.m. on Saturday or opt for Sunday because it’s slightly less busy.”
The event runs from 11 a.m to 4 p.m on both days. Passport holders have their pick of which of 30 wineries to visit.
2 Drive safe: With all that wine tasting it is important to designate a driver to navigate those windy Woodinville roads. To eliminate the coin toss for who will be behind the wheel, many participants plan ahead and ride in style. Beth Rosenzweig, the owner of the Eason Estates Bed & Breakfast offers one solution.
“For those who want to make it a weekend event, our bed and breakfast is located just minutes from the wineries and we still have rooms available,” Rosenzweig explained. “This year we’re having a 28 passenger charter bus pick us up and drive us around the event.” If you’re attending with a smaller group, a limo might be the right fit.
“You’d be surprised at how many people get limos and make the entire day an experience,” Daste said. “It’s a great idea.”
3 Plan ahead: Staff at Willow Lodge in Woodinville have taken part in many Passport Weekends and gave some words of advice. It is best to pace yourself. Make a plan ahead of time to map out the order in which you want to visit the wineries. Some of the boutique wineries participating in the weekend rarely open their doors to the public so Passport is the perfect opportunity to get an inside peak.
Passport holders who have not picked up their passport and glass yet can do so at Columbia Winery from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.
For more information on Woodinville Wine Country visit www.woodinvillewinecountry.com.