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Monday, Jun. 07, 2010

10 Great Northwest Winery restaurants

The concept of wineries running their own restaurants is catching on throughout the Pacific Northwest, with British Columbia leading the way and Washington quickly catching up. Here are 10 winery restaurants to try while visiting wine country.

Tendrils Restaurant

The on-premise restaurant of Cave B Estate Winery and Cave B Inn at SageCliffe pours only house juice. Freddy Arredondo gave up his culinary career to begin making wines for the family operation, and his bottlings complement chef Joe Ritchie's cuisine because of their high acidity and low alcohol. Don't miss the beet salad paired with the Sangiovese.

348 Silica Road N.W., Quincy, WA 98848, 509-785-2283, sagecliffe.com.

BBQ in the Vineyard

One of the best meals you will have at a winery is BBQ in the Vineyard at Lake Chelan Winery on the north shore of Lake Chelan. The Kludt family was the one of the first to convert orchards to vineyards in this destination region, and it has created a great family-friendly atmosphere for its outdoor barbecue. It's open 4 to 8 p.m. daily from May through October.

3519 Highway 150, Chelan, WA 98816, 509-687-9463, lakechelanwinery.com.

Taverna Tagaris

When the Tagaris family decided to build a new winery in Richland, Wash., it knew it wanted to create something special. The result is Taverna Tageris, a beautiful on-site restaurant like no other. There is year-round indoor seating and a seasonal outdoor patio. The food tends toward Mediterranean. The wood-fired oven helps make this a special stop.

844 Tulip Lane, Richland, WA 99352, 509-628-0020, tagariswines.com.

Wine O'Clock

Susan Bunnell runs the Wine O'Clock Wine Bar at Bunnell Family Cellar at the Vintners Village in the heart of the Yakima Valley. This superb full-scale restaurant is just steps away from a dozen wineries, and the food is superb. A speciality is pizza from the wood-fired oven.

548 Cabernet Court, Prosser, WA 99350, 509-786-2197, wineoclockwinebar.com.

The Chateau Restaurant at FairE Le Pont Winery

Debe Brazil and winemaker/husband Doug helped pioneer the restaurant movement among Washington wineries. Lunch inside the historic fruit packing warehouse - now Chateau Faire Le Pont - is available every day but Sunday. Dinner is five days a week. Linen-covered tables are a dropped napkin away from the winery's majestic tasting bar.

1 Vineyard Way, Wenatchee, WA 98801, 509-667-9463, fairelepont.net.

Cellar Door Bistro

One of the original winery restaurants in the Northwest, the Cellar Door Bistro is inside Sumac Ridge Estate Winery in Summerland, B.C. It is open nearly year-round and relies on the abundant fresh ingredients available in the Okanagan Valley.

17403 Highway 97, Summerland, BC V0H 1Z0, 250-494-0451, sumacridge.com.

Cucina at Cana's Feast Winery

Cana's Feast, formerly known as Cuneo Cellars, is in the Yamhill County town of Carlton and is one of the few Oregon wineries with an on-site restaurant. Like the wines, the food is Italian inspired. The Cucina is open seasonally and is available for lunch Fridays through Sundays, with dinners on Fridays and Saturdays.

750 W. Lincoln St., Carlton, OR 97111, 503-852-0002, www.canasfeastwinery.com.

Passa Tempo Restaurant

Across the courtyard from Nk'Mip Cellars is the restaurant for Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort & Spa. It carries a bistro feel and inspired cuisine, starting with phenomenal breakfast offerings and including tapas that spotlights local cheeses and cured meats. From the patio, one can watch nesting osprey and gaze across Lake Osoyoos.

1200 Rancher Creek Road, Osoyoos, BC V0H 1V0, 250-495-8007, passatemporestaurant.com.

King Estate Restaurant

Amid the huge plantings of organic vineyards are 30 acres of berry patches, gardens and orchards. Executive chef Michael Landsberg gets his pick for the 200-seat restaurant that opened in 2006. Among the memorable touches are jars of estate honey and jams made with wine grapes.

80854 Territorial Road, Eugene, OR 97405, 541-942-9874, kingestate.com.

The Sonora Room Restaurant

Guests of Burrowing Owl Estate Winery's swanky cottages will see suggestions for familiar wines under each item on the menu, considered by many to be the finest in the South Okanagan. Every bottle emptied in the restaurant gets treated and reused at the winery.

100 Burrowing Owl Place, RR#1 Site 52, Comp 20, Oliver, BC V0H 1T0, 250-498-0620, bovwine.ca.