Washington goes Italian

Recently I had a friend in town and we decided to head out to Woodinville for an afternoon of wine tasting and catching up.  My friend has spent time in Italy and loves Italian wines, so I researched Italian-style wines in Woodinville. Cascade Cliffs Vineyard and Winery focuses primarily on Piedmont varietals. The best part is that I had not been to this tasting room, so it was new for us both. 


Cascade Cliffs tasting room is located in Woodinville’s West Valley District. We arrived in the early afternoon and were delighted to find we had the tasting room to ourselves. The gentleman pouring for us that afternoon was himself from Italy, which made the whole experience that more enjoyable. To be able to taste Italian wine varietals while learning the history from someone with an Italian accent is priceless.  As the afternoon went on, the tasting room got busier.  Many guests were club members who each proclaimed their love for the Cascade Cliffs wines. 


We were guided thru the wine line up starting with white wines and working our way through the reds. One white wine that stood out was called Symphony.  Of course, I thought this was a blend of grapes and just named Symphony, so I was shocked and delighted to learn that Symphony is actually the grape varietal. We were educated that Harold Olmo developed this grape in 1948 at the University of California, Davis. It is hybrid of Muscat and Grenache Gris grapes. With this knowledge, I was expecting a sweet wine, and in the glass the aroma was quite fragrant, further convincing me it would taste sweet. To my surprise, it is a dry white wine and absolutely delicious.  This grape is typically used as a blending grape, but at Cascade Cliffs they let the grape shine in this single variety wine. 

March 2019 Wine Photo1.jpeg


Once onto the red wines we were deep in Italian wine territory. From Barbera and Dolcetto to Nebbiolo, each was perfectly crafted to showcase the grapes of Italy here in Washington! The Blood Red Barbera is a big, bold, and beautiful wine. Bolder than an authentic Italian Barbera, this one is made to please the American palate. With intense fruit in the glass, it would perfectly complement any Italian meal or to sip along with delicious chocolate for a treat. 


Cascade Cliffs Vineyard and Winery estate is located just north of the Oregon border on the Columbia River Gorge.  Besides the Woodinville tasting room, they have a tasting room in Hood River, Oregon. Next time you want to experience something a little bit different in the Washington wine scene, give Cascade Cliffs a taste!