Several wineries and tasting rooms, as well as a distillery, are helping establish the area.
New to the group is DiStefano Winery, which recently held the grand opening for its second tasting room.
It’s sharing space in a log house with Soft Tail Spirits, located between Hollywood Hills and Forgeron Wineries, off of Woodinville-Redmond Road.
“We’ve wanted to open a second tasting room for some time now,” says Mark Newton, DiStefano’s owner. “We had planned to go into the Woodinville Wine Village, but then that project imploded and we were back to square one. We’ve been looking in the area ever since, but it’s been hard to find a place because there’s very little retail space available.”
Newton explains that it was important to secure a space at the other end of the Valley from where his main winery is located.
“We needed to go to where the people are — the critical mass,” he adds. “The people are in the Hollywood area and they don’t leave once they’re there because there are a number of wineries and tasting rooms all in one place and they don’t have to walk very far.”
Newton considers himself lucky to have been able to find the new location, as he says it’s an ideal spot which gets a lot of traffic and visibility. And it’s already proving to be successful.
“Our sales are at the same level as our other tasting room and we only just opened six weeks ago,” notes Newton. “It was definitely the right step for us to take.”
The new tasting room, which Newton describes as an extension of the winery, is a cozy space with art on the walls and an adjacent private patio.
“It’s so peaceful out here,” he says. “People can enjoy nature while they enjoy some good wine. They can relax and savor the experience. It’s not some belly up to the bar place.”
Along with DiStefano’s award-winning wines, the facility will also offer food, such as artisan charcuteries and flatbreads, and high quality cigars.
“We’re looking to attract long term customers,” comments Newton, “especially people who want a high quality glass of wine and who are interested in learning about wine. Our staff is educated to talk about wine. They’re sommeliers, who enjoy sharing their knowledge about wine and the winemaking process.”
Newton plans to hold a variety of arts and music events at the new tasting room and notes that the large grassy area nearby is ideal as an outdoor venue.
“There’s a lot that’s going to be happening in SoHo,” he adds. “We are creating an identity for wineries here and it will be the next, up and coming area.”