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The upstairs lounge area at Charles Smith Jet City. (Image: Charles Smith Wines)

Georgetown and SoDo are officially wine neighborhoods now

Last month, Seattle Refined asked if "Georgetown (could) become the next hotbed for wine in the Pacific Northwest?" in regards to the opening of Charles Smith Jet City. While that answer has a lot of moving parts, it is within reason to say that the wine neighborhoods of SoDo and Georgetown are on the upswing.

In the world of Washington wine, we can look to certain areas as hubs for wine. Yakima, Walla Walla, and Woodinville are magnets that pull in visitors in droves. For Yakima, the density of vineyards and tasting rooms beckon. Likewise for Walla Walla. And when you consider Woodinville, Seattle-area wine drinkers have access to dozens of tasting rooms of some of the state's finest wineries and the megalopolis's of Columbia Winery and Chateau Ste. Michelle.

But slowly and methodically, Georgetown and SoDo have been staking their claim as a wine destination on their own. And it's reasonable to consider the opening of Charles Smith Jet City as a tipping point. Charles Smith Wines are beloved near and far and anything he does is sure to make a splash.

But it's not just Charles Smith and his Jet City that are drawing visitors for vino. You can look a bit north of Georgetown to SoDo and consider that Elsom Cellars opened their charming new tasting room in the Spring to welcome Seattleites to try Jody Elsom's suite of red wines. I particularly liked the 2009 Horse Heaven Hills Malbec and 2009 Isabella red blend (named after Jody's daughter) on a recent visit. Or consider the stalwart Esquin a few blocks north of Elsom on Fourth & Lander. This wine shop has long been a destination for wine aficionados for years. Head east on Lander from Esquin and you'll find yourself at the Garagiste warehouse and wine shop. I touched on Garagiste last year, and Jon Rimmerman and crew hold it down with their email offers of unique wine finds for collectors and daily drinkers alike. A quick visit to Garagiste's shop and you can find deals that have been curated by the Garagiste crew.

Or swing by Georgetown via Airport Way (be sure to grab some barbecue from Jack's BBQ) to visit Bartholew Winery at the Old Rainier Brewery or Cloudlift Cellars on Lucille. Of course, the aforementioned Charles Smith Jet City will be a destination for winos. Ben Smith's Cadence wines show restraint and a spirit of the vineyard they're sourced from. Their urban winery is worthy of a visit. Also, in Georgetown is Paul Zitarelli's Full Pull Wines (read my interview with Paul here). His subscription service sources wines from Washington's many wineries and have begun moving their periscope to wines of note from around the world. Full Pull has also been dipping their toe into making their own wine as well. Added bonus to Full Pull as they know how to host a party. Their tasting event this spring was not to be missed with wineries like Avennia, Rotie Cellars, Sleight of Hand, and Tranche pouring for the revelers in attendance. Next door to Full Pull in the same complex are a couple of other Georgetown wine destination; Scarborough, home of their artful labels on their suite of wines, and Kerloo Cellars and their newish tasting room at this 1st Avenue building.

While answering the question if Georgetown or SoDo is the next hotbed in the Pacific Northwest akin to Woodinville, Walla Walla, the Willamette Valley, or Yakima, these neighborhoods have wineries and shops to be destination-worthy in their own right. Cheers to that.

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