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Cork Dork: 'Passport to Woodinville' Just Part of Spring Wine Events

Some Woodinville wineries are opting out of the annual event and hosting their own open houses and wine release parties.

More than 30 tasting rooms are participating in this weekend, but others are opting out this year, either just opening their doors separately or hosting separate events.

Those that are open but not part of the event will charge a separate wine tasting fee not covered by the Passport cost. So be sure to check your passport carefully to confirm the participating wineries, or check the .

The Passport to Woodinville runs 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Below is a list of wine open houses or wine release parties through the end of May.

Friday, April 27

• will be throwing a party for the release of the 2010 Kennedy Shah Reserve Riesling from 5 to 8 p.m.

Saturday, April 28

will be hosting its 2009 Cabernet Franc release party from noon to 5 p.m.

• will be releasing the 2009 Tough Guy, a Bordeaux-style blend made with fruit from the venerable Klipsun Vineyard on Red Mountain. Tickets to the release party are $35, with all of the proceeds plus 20 percent of bottle sales dedicated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Saturday, April 28-Sunday, April 29

• will be hosting its Spring Release party from noon to 5 p.m.

• will be releasing its Mistura Blanco, a Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon blend, and its Gecko Rosé.

Sunday, April 29

• will be hosting its annual Spring Barrel Tasting from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For $25 guests can enjoy barrel samples of wine, current releases and pizza by Via Tribunalli.

Friday, May 4

• will be releasing its 2009 Claret, Columbia Valley.

Friday, May 4-Sunday, May 6

• will be hosting its Spring Wine Club Release for wine club members only.

Saturday, May 5

• will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo with its Cinco de Drinko festivities with drink specials.

• will be opening its tasting room in the Warehouse District for the first time this year.

Saturday, May 12-Sunday, May 13

• will be releasing its 09 Syrah, 09 Red Wine and 11 Riesling.  

• will be hosting its Ring of Fire release party for wine club members at the Warehouse District winery from 1 to 5 p.m.

Saturday, May 19-Sunday, May 20

•Sparkman Cellars will host a release party for the general public from 1 to 5 p.m.

West Side Wine Walk Waltzes into Woodinville

Some of the tasting rooms in the southwest corner of the Hollywood Hills Tourist District will be participating in the West Side Wine Walk on April 26 from 6 to 9 p.m. For $20 guests can taste wine at Brian Carter Cellars, DeLille Cellars (Carriage House), Lachini Vineyards, and Sparkman Cellars. Food will be prepared by Woodinville-based caterer Le Petit Terroir.

Tickets can be purchased here and picked up at Brian Carter Cellars on April 26.

Wine Pick of the Week: 09 Isenhower Cellars Sangiovese, Desert Hills Vineyard, Yakima Valley

The husband and wife team of Brett and Denise Isenhower, retired pharmacists, moved to Walla Walla in 1998 and started making wine in 1999. Ten years later,  they opened a at 15007 Woodinville-Redmond Road in Woodinville. The end of 2009 is also when they harvested the fruit for this wine.

The Isenhowers source fruit from some of the best vineyards around the state. Their 09 Sangiovese comes exclusively from the Desert Hills Vineyards in the cool north part of the Yakima Valley. It is the cool weather that helps retain the acidity that defines Sangiovese.

This Sangiovese features layers of bing cherries, ripe strawberries, baking spices and smoke. The food-friendly acidity defines this wine. Pair with traditional Italian pasta dishes such as tajarin in a meat ragu.

The wine is available at the Isenhower tasting room for $29.

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