It’s safe to say that much of what we considered normal has been turned on its head in 2020. And the way we have always enjoyed a tasting at a winery or distillery, or grabbing a pint from our favorite local brewery, has certainly changed along the way. With the ups and downs and new COVID-19 restrictions that businesses have faced, this truly has been the year of the pivot. But just as local craft beverage producers get creative on the brewery and the cellar floor, they’re bringing the same level of genius to their tasting-room seating. While there are plenty of options to enjoy heated patio seating at many locations, these producers took it one step further and built an innovative solution to elevate the outdoor tasting experience. Ready to get cozy with a wine flight or sip a cold beer under twinkling lights? Here are six unique spots to check out when you sip outdoors this winter.
Treveri Cellars in the Yakima Valley is well-known for its options for bubbles, from Syrah to Riesling to a delicious Rosé. You can now sip that sparkling wine while sitting in a cozy bubble on Treveri’s lawn. After all, what goes better with bubbles than more bubbles? Each outdoor bubble is well ventilated and decked out with comfortable furnishings and twinkling white lights. Plus, you’ll have access to a delicious menu of charcuterie and appetizer options, paired with craft cocktails, to make your bubble experience that much better.
Snoqualmie Pass, Washington
A stop at the top of Snoqualmie Pass isn’t complete without a visit to Dru Bru, and for many, the brewery is a post-hike or apres-ski destination. After all, not many things pair better with a cold brew than a stunning mountain view. Now, Dru Bru is proving that metal shipping containers can totally be comfortable. The brewery crew has set up containers with picnic tables inside spaced six feet apart, paired with firepits and string lights for a charming indoor/outdoor vibe.
As many other breweries, wineries and tasting rooms have done, Threshold Brewing in Portland had a new structure built for outdoor seating. But this isn’t your typical tent. Threshold was able to utilize parking spaces outside the taproom door for fully covered, pergola-style seating. The custom-built wooden platform includes four tables with wooden benches, paired with heaters and string lights for a comfortable outdoor option
What if you could go hang out and drink wine in a tent? You can at COR Cellars in Lyle, Washington. Personal tasting tents are available for groups of four or five, offering beautifully decorated seating options. And with the tents perched on the hill just above the winery, you’ll be able to sip wine with a Columbia Gorge view.
Willamette Valley Vineyards
Need a spot to drink wine with your quarantine pod? The Wine Pods at Willamette Valley Vineyards are nothing short of dreamy. The winery has set up heated pods throughout the multiple terraces on the estate property, offering an option for safely enjoying wine and food pairings. Plus, the view is incredible! But you’ll have to wait just a bit – due to Oregon’s current statewide freeze, Wine Pods are not currently available. But they will reopen for reservations as soon as the governor declares it is safe to do so
How about sipping in a greenhouse? Stoup Brewing in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood has set up tents with heaters and fire pits for regular seating, or you can reserve The Greenhouse @ Stoup for a unique experience for your group of four or five. Keep dry and warm in your own little private corner of the beer garden, decked out with – what else? – plants! And to make it even sweeter, a portion of your reservation fee will be donated to a worthy local cause of your choice.
Not interested in sitting outside? You can still enjoy your favorite sips or try a new option. Check with local beverage producers about options for crowler or growler fills, curbside pick-up or direct shipping to continue showing your support.