Saturday, June 11, 2016

Discover Spokane's Cork District: Historic Buildings and Washington Wines

The downtown Nectar Tasting Room is located
in one of Spokane's historic brick buildings
Spokane, Washington is a great getaway destination for wine enthusiasts. With an ever-growing number of tasting rooms in the vibrant downtown area, the Spokane Cork District will provide you with opportunities to taste Washington wines and talk with Spokane wine experts.

While the Cork District extends to the surrounding areas, the 20+ downtown wineries and tasting rooms will keep you busy tasting, appreciating and discovering some reasonably priced fine wines. Two interesting, and very different, tasting experiences on a recent visit ensured our desire to return and experience more of the Cork District.

Nectar Tasting Room (Main and Stevens)
A tasting of Washington wines at Nectar Tasting Room in downtown Spokane, Washington not only was a convenient way to discover very drinkable and affordable Washington wines we found that it is housed in a historic Spokane building as are many of the tasting rooms in the Cork District.
Josh Wade, owner of Nectar Tasting Room,
and local wine expert, shares winery stories
with us as he pours Washington wines.

Nectar Tasting Room is a co-op of five Washington wineries. They offer over 40 wines by the glass or bottle, the largest selection of Washington wine by the glass in the Spokane area. Wine tastings are only $5 for a flight of five. They also have food available through a local caterer. Friday nights, look for live music.

We enjoyed our time at the modern, light-filled tasting room. The room is available for special events.

You'll love the historic building by the
railroad tracks housing the
Barrister Tasting Room
Barrister Winery - W Railroad Avenue
Barrister Winery is housed in a fascinating 100 year old brick building practically track-side in the Davenport Arts District of downtown Spokane. The award-winning winery was created by two attorneys with a true love of wine. Interestingly they started their adventure into wine-making by purchasing a home wine-making kit. And things took off from there.

The historic building where the winery is located has indoor meeting and event space and an outdoor patio. The 25,000 square foot facility houses production, a large single-stack barrel room, an expansive tasting room and a one-of-a-kind event venue.  The old brick and massive timber structure creates a unique ambiance that nicely blends a bit of Spokane history with the historic art of wine making. The building was once used to work on cars delivered by train on the tracks just across from the building.

We were treated to a dinner in their barrel room. We arrived at the basement room via freight elevator and were entranced by the atmosphere created by flickering candles set on the French Oak barrels. The glow against the timbers and and basalt rock walls make this room a romantic wine and dine setting for small groups.
The Barrel Room at Barrister Winery
provides an enchanting venue
for small gatherings.

The Barrel Room at Barrister Winery provides an enchanting venue for small gatherings.

Barrister's also has a tasting room downtown, across from the Davenport Grand Hotel.

Visiting the Cork District
You can walk to many of the tasting rooms from your downtown hotel.

Spokane's Cork District website lists the wineries and tasting rooms, features special events, has an online brochure with map and is a great place to find out about events and package deals for wine tasting getaways.

The District also features two additional wine tasting clusters.  A short drive to the northeast you’ll find the Mount Spokane Cluster and just minutes east of downtown, the Spokane Valley Cluster, both featuring award winning wineries.

And, if you are flying Alaska Airlines, look for their Alaska Wine Pass.

More Information
Note: As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary meals/tastings  for the purpose of review. While this has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.