Januik – Novelty Hill Review
Address: 14710 Woodinville-Redmond Rd. NE Woodinville,Washington 98072.
Phone Number: 425-481-5502
Tasting Hours: 11:00-5:00
Region: Puget Sound AVA, Woodinville, Woodinville Tourist District, Washington
Reviewer: Denise Gangnes
Review Date: 3/7/2012
Reviewer: Denise Gangnes
With more than 80 wineries in the Woodinville valley, how do you set yourself apart? 1) Build a 33,000 facility next to the two of the largest tasting rooms in the area 2) Use award-winning architects to create a distinctive facility that serves multiple functions, and 3) Boast an internationally recognized winemaker with 25 years of experience, more than 10 of them with Chateau St. Michelle. Januik (pronounced Jan-uk) and Novelty Hill wineries have joined forces to do that and more.
The Place: Architects will explain in great detail how the Januik/Novelty Hill facility is designed to replicate the rhythm and geometries of the agricultural landscape. The average visitor might need to use a little more imagination or a few glasses of their award-winning wines to fully understand the nuances in this stark but subtle design. Colorful work by northwest artists adorns concrete slab walls that comprise the facility, juxtaposed with slatted wood and colored resin to create a design truly reflective of the northwest.
The Experience: While the oversized tasting room is clearly designed to accommodate large groups, guests can more thoroughly appreciate the facility to its maximum on a fair weather day by enjoying multiple outdoor terraces. Strategically placed on the south side of the building to coax the last rays of the afternoon sun into the tasting room and onto the stepped patios that grace the exterior, its perfect for sampling delicious offerings from the full-size kitchen. We have visited the facility on numerous occasions; the most memorable was to enjoy a free performance by a local jazz singer on the large graveled patio. A glass of Merlot and tasty appetizers with friends made for a relatively inexpensive and relaxed evening.
The Wines: Novelty Hill and Januik are two independent wineries sharing the substantial tasting room and production facility, the common link being Mike Januiks winemaking expertise. For $7 you can taste four wines, and theres not a clunker in the bunch. Among the most highly rated are the Novelty Hill 2009 Stillwater Creek Vineyard Viognier, the 2009 Grenache, and the 2008 Columbia Valley Merlot, although some of these vintages can sell out quickly. Expect to pay $20+ per bottle to take one home.
Extras: Wine Club members are invited to private dinners, offered select bottles for purchase not available to the average taster, and have access to the unique Cellar Manager, a secure private online wine inventory system. If youre planning to visit the facility, you might want to call ahead, as they regularly host large groups such as Microsoft and Boeing for corporate events, as well as weddings and other private functions. At the time of this writing, the winery was offering Sunday Supper, boasting a seasonal menu created by Executive Chef Megan Hartz with wine for $35. Events are expected to pick up during summer months.