By The Glass

Whitestone Winery's tasting room finds a new home downtown.

You can now plug your parking meter once on Post Street and hit two of Spokane’s newest wine tasting rooms in one visit. Whitestone Winery opened its new tasting room on February 11, sharing a main entrance with neighboring Cougar Crest Estate’s space, which opened last September.

“They’ve been really great in welcoming us. We all try to support each other,” says Whitestone’s regional manager, Kathleen Proud.

Whitestone Winery’s previous location downtown on Cedar Street was more of a destination location, and Proud hopes the tasting room’s new spot will reach a broader customer base.

“We wanted to show the tourists that come here that Spokane has good wine,” says Proud.

Whitestone is strategically located near the Davenport Hotel and offers free delivery to hotel guests. They also serve happy hour Monday through Thursday from 4 pm to 6 pm, with a dollar off on glasses of wine and complimentary nachos with any purchase.

Photos on the tasting room walls depict the stunning Whitestone vineyards — 16 acres of grapevines tucked up against the cliffs along the shores of Lake Roosevelt, roughly 60 miles from Spokane.

“The land and climate is good for Bordeaux-style grapes,” says Proud. As a boutique winery, Whitestone produces between 2,000 and 2,500 cases of red wine made exclusively from the estate’s own grapes.

At the tasting room, Whitestone’s cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon and merlot are available by the bottle ($22-$27), glass ($8) or $5 for a flight of four wines. For those who insist on drinking white wine, Whitestone humorously offers a “Not Whitestone” made from pinot grigio grapes from outside of the estate.

Proud says Whitestone is known for merlots, and I can see why. Smooth as silk with dark fruity notes, one glass made me want to sink into one of the tasting room’s plush leather chairs and pour another glass. I think that’s just what Whitestone’s winemaker Michael Haig had in mind when he set out to make what he describes as “formal wines for a casual lifestyle.”

Whitestone Winery tasting room • 8 N. Post St. • Open Mon-Sat noon to 7 pm • (838-2427)

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