The Washington Public Market and Wine Cellars has opened in Snohomish, providing yet another good reason to visit this charming, old city on the river.
The year-round public market just up the street from the historic riverfront main street features 25 local Washington wineries, each set up with its own bar in a sparkling setting.
This public market is a huge venture in these tough economic times. It provides the opportunity for nearly 100 small-business vendors, as well as the winemakers, to chat with the consumers and offer tastes of different sensations.
Wines include the 2009 Old Vine Semillon of Open Road wine, made of grapes from 27-year-old Rosebud Vineyard on the Wahluke Slope, a Double Gold winner at the 2011 Seattle Wine Awards. Open Road also won a Bronze Medal for its 2010 Chardonnay at the 2011 Tri-Cities Wine Competition.
Open Road released its 2010 Tempranillo in January and is planning to release its 2011 Barbera in February .
Kenny and Penny Johansen bring their wines from Fall City. Jennifer Kimmerly brings her Masquerade Wine from Bellingham, and Pat Atkinson brings Elevation Cellars’ Monolith and Imperium from Woodinville. It’s a centrally located clearinghouse of our own unique Washington state wines.
The market also hosts artists and crafters, some of whom, like recycledbottleart.com, exploit a wine theme in their crafts, like wine-barrel tables, cork trays and long-burning cabernet-colored candles in wine goblets.
Tasting fees range from free, $1 or $3. Admission to the whole affair is $5, but you get that back if you buy a bottle from any of the wineries.
Investors were so committed to the project, and to help the small businesses, they practically gave the spaces to the wineries for the first few months. Now it’s up to the market to sustain the effort.
Come spring, the public market will branch out to local produce, with outdoor vendor space for Washington farmers.
Snohomish is an important historic town of Snohomish County, and its Victorian-style houses and old main street along the river illustrate that history.
It is also the southern hub to the Centennial Trail of Snohomish County, which now extends north, beyond Arlington, almost to the Skagit County line. It will reach the county line later this year.
The Centennial Trail is great for biking, hiking, skating, running, and plain, ol’ walkin’.
Don’t forget, Snohomish is famous for all its antique shops, and Historic Downtown Snohomish is planning a citywide antique sale Feb. 10 through 12.
This spring, the Snohomish Wine Festival will keep the market open, from 6:30 to 10 p.m. on March 10, at the public market and Wine Cellars of Washington, 1011 Second St., in Snohomish.
Where to eat in Snohomish? Fred’s Rivertown Alehouse is a cool place, The Repp is uptown and a few restaurants on First Street have decks over the river — perfect for a warm, spring day.
Snohomish is about 40 minutes northeast of Seattle. Take Interstate 5 north to Everett and head east on Highway 2, or go north on Highway 9 from Woodinville.
SARAH ARNEY lives in the Stillaguamish Valley, where she enjoys walking, cycling, eating good food and sips of many kinds.