Coordinating a fun and relaxing social event for groups can be a little challenging. Running out of ideas? Picture this. A comfortable, yet sophisticated afternoon that a group of colleagues, friends, or family could all enjoy. A beautiful, spacious venue nestled in a European-esque location. Luxurious wines poured for every guest. You guessed it, we mean wine tasting, and we know the perfect spots, tours, and itineraries that might just be the answer to your post-event group needs and special occasion plan-aheads.
Just 20 minutes north of Bellevue are over 100 different wineries and tasting rooms all waiting to be explored in the picturesque Sammamish River Valley, collectively known as Woodinville Wine Country. As fall comes around, the air warmed by the summer months combined with gradually cooler nights ripen these local grapes to perfection. Fall also means that Crush has arrived: the most awaited time of year for wine makers and enthusiasts when the grapes are traditionally harvested. What better way to celebrate the turn of the season than with a visit to the wine country?
“Great, wine tasting would be nice,” you may think, “for a romantic date for two. But how would that work for my colleagues who just want to relax without crowding up to a counter where we rub shoulders left and right?
Not to worry; planning assistance for group tastings is only a phone call away. Below you will find a multitude of group wine tasting options to fit every size and schedule.
The Dinner Wine & Dine Tour
If you want to sample the best of the region all afternoon and enjoy your favorite wine over dinner without doing a stitch of planning, then Butler Seattle and Purple Café and Wine Bar in Bellevue’s Wine & Dine Tour is for you.
For 50 dollars per person, Butler Seattle’s award winning tour team will first take your group on a relaxing and elegant trip to at least three of Woodinville’s finest tasting rooms via luxurious Mercedes Benz Sprinter. Then you will be returned to Purple Café and Wine Bar in Bellevue just in time for dinner. Purple Café and Wine Bar waives the corkage fee if you’d like to pour your favorite new bottle for dinner. To join Butler’s Wine Tour you can purchase tickets online at least 48 hours prior to a tour start time or call for availability at 206-233-9233. You and your party will be thoroughly spoiled for the evening, a welcome option for the busy meeting planner or multi-tasking maid of honor.
The All Day Wine & Dine Tour
You quite possibly saw the above Wine & Dine tour and thought, “I want that but I’d like to spend most of a day exploring Woodinville wineries.” Well, you’re in luck. Barrel Wine Tours offers a full day tour that includes luxury transportation, a knowledgeable guide to introduce you to the winemakers at four boutique wineries in Woodinville, all tasting fees, and a three course wine-paired meal. Now you’re really getting pampered. Tour length is 6 hours at $149 per person for 8 minimum guests, $139 per person for 12 guests, and $129 per person for 16.
The Connoisseur’s Wine Itineraries
Let’s be honest, you and your associates know your wines. You don’t really need a guided tour; what you’re looking for is some stellar suggestions that only a Woodinville wine scene insider would know. Then let us point you to Woodinville Wine Country’s unique wine tasting itineraries that include the area’s most historic spots and local favorites.
The One Stop Showstopper
If you’d rather unwind at a single location (rather than take a tour), then a group reservation at one of Woodinville’s favorite wineries such as Novelty Hill Januik Winery may be right up your alley. Novelty Hill Januik’s spacious and upscale tasting room will certainly wow your guests after a business meeting or as part of a girl’s day out.
A reservation for groups greater than 12 people consists of an hour and a half seated tasting at 20 dollars per person to sample one of three 5 wine menus: ‘Racy Whites’, ‘Big Reds’, or ‘Mixed Favorites’. These sensual menus introduce guests to a medley of complex blends and award-winning favorites. Add a fresh, handmade pizza to the mix if you visit on a weekend between 11am and 4:30pm. Make your group reservation by calling 425-481-5502 for availability.
The Distinctive Private Event:
Maybe a group reservation sounds like great fun, but you have a vision for your event. You can picture the details down to the lighting and the dessert menu. If this is the case, Novelty Hill Januik is an excellent choice, but contact them to reserve a space for your special event. They offer a range of private spaces, from their Board Room, to outdoor bocce ball, to a full winery buy out. Plus, Novelty Hill Januik’s experienced planners and in-house culinary team will be ready to pull out all the stops.
Whether it be a unique tour itinerary, a comfortable wine and dine tour, a casual afternoon tasting, or a spectacular private event, Woodinville Wine Country is a spot that has something for everyone in your group. So forget the stress of planning and micromanaging your next group event, and escape to the wine country this fall. Cheers!
From top to bottom: Images courtesy of Purple Cafe & Wine Bar, Butler Seattle, Woodinville Wine Country, Woodinville Wine Country, Benjamin Benschneider Photography, Novelety Hill, Visit Bellevue Washington.