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Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery celebrates 20 years

Chateau Ste. Michelle Chateau Ste. Michelle invites the community to its "20 years in the Neighborhood" celebration on Sept. 22 from 12-4 p.m. The event marks the winery's 20 years in Woodinville.
   Visitors are invited to enjoy a complimentary tour and tasting of current releases; sample fresh grape juice from the 1996 harvest; watch cooking demonstrations by winery culinary director John Sarich; and listen to live music.
   The retail shop will also sell selected wines at 1976 prices. A three-dimensional anniversary cake modeled in the shape of the chateau will be served to all guests.
   In addition to complimentary activities, visitors may taste a selection of Chateau Ste. Michelle's rare, older vintages, including the 1976 Cabernet Sauvignon, for $5. The price of the tasting includes a souvenir glass.
   Chateau Ste. Michelle pioneered vinifera grape growing in Washington state and has been producing classic European varietal wines since 1967. In 1976, the winery moved its operations from a small Seattle warehouse to Woodinville, where it built a French chateau on 87 wooded acres. The estate was once home to Seattle lumber baron Frederick Stimson. Over the last 20 years, more than four million guests have visited the winery.
   "When Chateau Ste. Michelle opened its doors 20 years ago, the winery quickly became a favorite destination for locals and tourists alike," said winery spokesperson Katie Sims. "In the early years, many visitors didn't know Washington state made premium wines. Tours at Chateau Ste. Michelle became an important way of introducing eastern Washington's world-class grape growing region to thousands of visitors. In the process, they became believers in Washington state wines."
   Other anniversary activities include door prize drawings for oversized bottles of wine at Jackson Browne's concert at the winery on Sept. 21, the last "Summer Festival on the Green" performance of the season.
   The Woodinville Historical Society will present a 125-year pictorial history of the community surrounding the winery during the anniversary celebration on Sept. 22.
   For further information on Chateau Ste. Michelle's "20 Years in the Neighborhood" celebration, call 488-3300.