Growing Roots in Woodinville

  • Written by Submitted by Joseph So

Surrounded by lush forests and farmground, the quiet town of Woodinville is almost rural. Thirty minutes from major cities like Bellevue and Seattle, Woodinville is growing more popular as a tourist attraction. One industry that is growing rapidly in the Woodinville community is the wine industry.

Wine has been a critical part of Woodinville culture for about 40 years with more than 100 different wineries. Some of its more famous locations such as Chateau Ste. Michelle have been around since 1976. Each of the 100 wineries has a different process on how they create it.

Think of wineries as restaurants; some are more personal with detailed processes like handpicking and choosing the grapes. Others are more into mass production, using machine picking and pressing to meet the rapid demand that they have.

“I choose not to expand my business,” said JM Cellars owner John Bigelow. Bigelow is the owner of JM cellars; a local winery in Woodinville which was established in 1998. Bigelow prides his business on producing a diverse wine selection while still keeping the high quality that his customers expect from him. “It gives me time to pick my own grapes and my process,” Bigelow said.
Wine was not always a huge part of everyday life in Woodinville. Its wine industry is fairly new, starting with the establishment of Chateau Ste. Michelle in 1976. Soon many more wineries followed suit as well.  The city also played a big part in the expansion of the wine industry. In 2007, the planning commission completed and enacted the Economic Development Strategic Action Plan which was a plan to develop Woodinville into a premier tourism destination. It allowed for business owners to get leases and licenses easier.
With businesses being able to get their licenses easier, this prompted the boom for the wine industry in Woodinville.

“I really feel like the growth has been amazing; when we started in 2000, there were four tasting rooms and now there are 52,” said Bigelow.

Using its rural surroundings to its advantage, Woodinville was able to become an epicenter for outdoor activities such as golf, horseback riding, hot air balloon riding and hiking.

Based on these activities that targeted an older demographic of adults (ages 30+), wine was able to fit right in and quickly become one of Woodinville’s most sought after luxury. Out of 800 wineries in Washington, 100 of them are in Woodinville and that number is only expanding as Woodinville’s popularity increases. As John Bigelow said, wine “puts Woodinville on the map.”

Joining the fight: how a Woodinville-native is working to cure cancer

  • Written by Kirsten Abel, Features Writer

Mark Verburg is a pre-med senior at Boston College, but he’s already spent more than five years researching cancer vaccines. A Cedar Park Christian School graduate, Verburg is currently a CancerVac Fellow with the Sonora Cancer Research Center, also known as CICS (pronounced “six”).

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EvergreenHealth nurse Susan Johnson honored as a March of Dimes Nurse of the Year

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

KIRKLAND – EvergreenHealth is proud to announce Susan Johnson, RN, received the March of Dimes 2016 Nurse of the Year award in the Community Health and Public Health category.

Johnson, who is a nurse in EvergreenHealth’s Redmond Emergency Department, was selected out of more than 260 nominees and received the honor for her continued dedication and work on behalf of victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and human trafficking.

“We congratulate Susan on this award and thank her for working diligently to address these critically important issues for our patients and the community,” said EvergreenHealth CEO Bob Malte. “This honor is well deserved and is especially meaningful as it recognizes Susan for her exemplary work within her passion.”
Johnson is a practicing forensic nurse examiner and uses her specialized knowledge of the legal system and skills in injury identification, evaluation and documentation to provide medical testimony in court and to consult with legal authorities. She often visits local police stations, educating officers and detectives on how to connect victims with services and care. Johnson also shares her knowledge and experience with local high school students, utilizing her passion to mentor and teach to help young people identify risk factors and understand their consequences.

In 2014, she helped EvergreenHealth establish one of the first clinical skills labs in the Puget Sound area, providing advanced skills and training to forensic nurse examiners throughout the region.

Johnson’s efforts to make these programs and trainings more available to communities throughout the state helped EvergreenHealth become a designated clinical skills lab training site, one of only 11 such sites in the nation. 

Johnson received the Community Health and Public Health award at the March of Dimes Nurse of the Year awards event, held at the Meydenbauer Conference Center in Bellevue, Wash., on Nov. 18, 2016.

To learn more about the March of Dimes, please visit

Local business offers trips to Peru

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

Woodinville resident Matilde Melendez, a native of Peru, has been working on developing her small travel business, Conquer Peru, since January. She began to design custom tours, excursions and adventure trips to her native country after her kids were grown and she was looking for something interesting to do.

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