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With growing conditions similar to France’s Loire Valley and the Northern Rhine Valley of Germany, Skagit County is home to a growing number of wineries. Take a tour and sample handcrafted wines at tasting rooms from Fir Island to Rockport and you’ll see why Skagit winemakers are excited about the future here.

Most of Skagit’s winemakers still import their grapes from Eastern Washington growers, but some have begun growing estate varieties in Skagit soil. White wine grapes such as madeleine angevine and siegerrebe are known to grow well in Skagit’s mild climate, while pinot noir grapes are being grown at an increasing number of area vineyards as well.
According to the Skagit Valley Wine Association the county is home to 20 to 30 grape producers and seven wineries, five of which have vineyards. The valley grows 100 acres of wine grapes valued at more than $1 million, according to data from Washington State University.
The association reports that the local industry began in 1995 when Pasek Cellars Winery opened in Mount Vernon and produced a few hundred cases a year. These days, more than 25,000 cases of wine are produced in the county.

20376 E. Hickox Road, Mount Vernon | PH: 360-848-6673

Carpenter Creek started producing handcrafted wine from its idyllic location near the Skagit River in 2001. The vineyard is situated on seven acres at the end of a country lane, tucked among fir and cedar groves, just far enough off the beaten path. The winery produces about 3,000 cases per year.

Directions: Take exit 225 off Interstate 5, go east and turn right on Cedardale Road. Turn left on Hickox Road. The winery will be on your right at the end of the road.

Hours: Open for public tastings 11 am to 6 pm Thursday through Sunday

43095 Challenger Road, Concrete | PH: 360-853-7360

Challenger Ridge Vineyard and Cellars produces pinot noir, viognier, a number of blends and dessert wines. The 13 acres of vineyards are four parcels planted with pinot noir, and the business also contracts a few acres of grapes in the Yakima and Red Mountain regions. The winery now produces up to 3,000 cases per year and has opened a tasting room in Woodinville.

Directions: Take exit 232 off Interstate 5. Head east on Cook Road, east on Highway 20, turn left after mile post 85, two miles before Concrete, then east on Challenger Road.

Hours: Open for public tastings from noon to 6 p.m., Friday through Sunday and noon to 5 p.m. Monday. Tours are available with advanced reservations.

8243 Sims Road, Sedro-Woolley | PH: 360-856-6248

The vineyard is surrounded by a 40-acre apple orchard and a salmon-bearing stream and includes a tasting room and wine garden. This year the winery also features a wooden pavilion, where it hosts a summer concert series on Friday evenings. The pavilion also can be booked for private events.

Eagle Haven Winery began making wines in 2003 and produces four fruit wines and five grape wines, totaling about 1,000 cases annually.

Directions: From I-5, take exit 230 at Burlington, turn east onto W. Rio Vista, and follow signs to Highway 20 east. Continue about 4.5 miles east of Sedro-Woolley, turn right onto Sims Road.

Hours: Open 11 am to 5 pm Friday through Sunday and by appointment.

58575 Highway 20, Rockport | PH: 360-873-4073

Established in 2002, Glacier Peak Winery sports five acres that produce the company’s estate wines, including pinot noir, Agria and siegerrebe. Glacier Peak also produces cabernet sauvignon, syrah and merlot. Annual production is about 750 cases.

Directions: From I-5, take exit 230 at Burlington, turn west onto W. Rio Vista, and follow signs to Highway 20 east toward Concrete. Travel about 40 miles to milepost 104, just east of Rockport.

Hours: Noon to 6 pm Monday through Friday, 11 am to 5 pm weekends, holidays and by appointment.

18729 Fir Island Road, Mount Vernon | PH: 360-445-4048

Gene and Kathy Pasek started Pasek Cellars in 1995 and opened a tasting room on Mount Vernon’s First Street in 1997. In 2002, the winery was moved to a larger facility on Old Highway 99 South, just south of downtown Mount Vernon, and the tasting room to Conway in the red Skagit Barn. A longtime favorite is cranberry wine, and other offerings include Arabica coffee dessert wine, blackberry dessert wine, blackberry wine, chardonnay, guava, loganberry, muscat canelli, passion fruit, pineapple, raspberry and syrah port. The winery produces about 15,000 cases per year.

Directions: From Interstate 5 take exit 221, go west to Conway’s Skagit Barn.

Hours: 11 am to 5 pm daily

This small, homegrown winery is not open to the public, but its fare is available at local grocery stores. Owner Gary Lamb produces about 150 cases of fruit wine each year. He buys the fruit from other farmers in the Skagit Valley.

16163 Highway 536 (Memorial Highway), Mount Vernon | PH: 360-428-6894

Tulip Valley produces red and white table wines from Eastern and Western Washington grapes, and Burro Loco traditional artisan hard cider from locally grown apples. The wines and cider are available in the tasting room at the 1920s roofed dairy barn April through December. The wines include Chardonnay, Voignier, sweet and dry Rieslings, and Gewurztraminer. Offering new and different wines each year. Coming soon: over 9 new red varietals including Tempranillo, Cabernet, Merlot and Malbec.

Directions: Four miles west of Interstate 5 at Mount Vernon on State Route 536 (Memorial Highway), just east of Beaver Marsh Road.

Hours: Spring & Summer open Friday, Saturday & Sunday. Winter open Saturday and Sunday, except when it snows. Call for hours.