Keeping Up with Damsel Cellars

There’s a winemaker in Woodinville who says, “Not all damsels are in distress.” That vintner is Mari Womak of Damsel Cellars. For nearly two years I’ve had the great pleasure of working with her. The truth is, a lot of winemakers relish days hiding out in the cellar. However, that’s not the case with Mari. In fact, keeping up with Damsel Cellars and all that Mari is doing can be a challenge.

Winemaker Mari Womak, photo courtesy of winery friend Wen (@grnlakegirl on Twitter)

Regardless, she’s still accessible to Damsel’s wine club and consumers. Perhaps that’s the secret to her success. Somehow, Mari knows how to make serious wine yet keep the tasting experience fun and engaging. It’s not about ego or being a “rockstar winemaker.” However, a rockstar partnership is indeed part of the story. Here’s a glimpse at what is keeping Damsel Cellars so busy besides her fantastic vino (pro tip:  her Mourvedre is particularly spectacular). If you’re a fan of supporting small locally owned businesses, take a look and plan to rescue some wine!

Hint:  read all the way to the bottom for a giveaway alert!

She’s Gone Hollywood

In March this year, Damsel Cellars opened a second Woodinville tasting room. The flagship winery in the Artisan Hill district remains open for tasting on weekends. However, the location in the livelier Hollywood Hills district is open daily.

Cozy seating at Damsel’s Hollywood tasting room

Nestled between Purple Café and Wine Bar and the Dusted Valley tasting room, the former outpost of Fidelitas has been totally transformed with help from White Label interiors. The relaxing vibe feels like a friend’s living room. Books that adorn the coffee tables entice guests to curl up on one of the comfy sofas and settle in with a tasting or glass pour while savoring some wildly tasty fromage from the cheese case.

Enjoy outdoor seating at Damsel’s Hollywood location as weather permits

By the way, goodies in that extraordinary cheese case are procured by Rachael Lucas, another damsel known as the Cheese Lady. Each month she creates a show stopping pairing with one of the Damsel’s wines and an artisan cheese.

Swoon worthy cheese selections abound at Damsel’s new tasting room

Wine is for Giving Back

The wine industry is well known for giving back to the community, and Damsel does so in big ways. Earlier this year Damsel co-owner Heather Anderson launched Duke’s Damsel on a Train Foundation with a wine project called Up River Red in partnership with Duke’s Seafood, a Seattle institution. Joined by Train lead singer Pat Monahan, the initial collaborative bottling was released in May to a flurry of media attention. The special Cabernet can be found at Duke’s locations and consumed knowing that proceeds go toward preserving and restoring wild salmon.

Additionally, Damsel Cellars is once again a supporter of the Auction of Washington Wines and its Winemaker Picnic and Barrel Auction*. At this wildly fun event, winemakers casually roam the ground pour their best wines for guests. Plus, a limited number are invited to take part in the barrel auction. Last year, Mari’s remarkable Cabernet Franc garnered a top bid of $1,300. She’s poised to do it again this year!

Keeping up with Damsel Cellars Fun Events

Meet the Winemaker

Dates: July 22 and July 23, 2023
Location: Hollywood Hill tasting room
14467 Redmond-Woodinville Rd NE
Woodinville, WA 98072

Winemaker Mari will be in the house pouring her expressive vino at the Hollywood location this weekend!

WA Wine We Love You

Date: July 30, 2023
Time: 2pm
Location: Surrell
Advance tickets available online.

One of my favorite places to experience Washington wine in Seattle is at Chef Aaron Tekulve’s restaurant, Surrell. Help Mari kick off Washington Wine Month here along with 10 other wineries at this fun tasting event.

Cheesy Thursdays

Date: August 3, 2023
Time: 2-5pm
Location: Hollywood Hill tasting room
14467 Redmond-Woodinville Rd NE
Woodinville, WA 98072

The first Thursday of each month, cheesemonger extraordinaire, Rachael, selects a special cheese to accompany one of Mari’s prized wines. Pro tip: pick up a bottle and some cheese to take home so that you can re-live the experience (and maybe share with others).

Artisan Hill First Fridays

Date: August 4, 2023
Time: 4-7pm
Location: at the flagship winery and tasting room
18746 142nd Ave NE
Woodinville, WA 98072

Visit Damsel Cellars for happy hour specials (there may be library wine involved!). Surrounding businesses like Chef Danilo Amato’s The PicNic Table are also open. Create your own self-guided tour as a fun way to meet up with friends and kick off the weekend.

Auction of Washington Wines Winemaker Picnic and Barrel Auction*

Date: August 11, 2023
Time: 4pm VIP, 5pm General Admission
Location: Chateau Ste. Michelle grounds
Advance tickets to this popular event available online. If you want the VIP experience, HURRY before they’re no longer available.

Taste and bid on Mari’s coveted Cabernet Franc and help raise money for the greater community. This is a great opportunity to mix and mingle with some of the gifted winemakers in the state and try their latest creations. Not to mention, there’s always some tasty food!

*Want to win a pair of tickets? Check out my Instagram page for details!

Make a reservation at one of the Damsel’s tasting rooms online.

For more regular updates, check out the Damsel Cellars Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts.