Crush Grapes and Dine with Wine Masters by Volunteering in Washington During Harvest Season

There’s something romantic about the art of winemaking. The careful cultivation of the vines, the crushing of grapes, and the slow fermentation within oak barrels. Each step in the process infuses vitality into that final glass. While many people dream of having their own vineyard, it takes a lot of work to maintain one and even more to actually create a successful winery.

A Taste of the Winemaker

Those who want a preview into a winemaker’s lifestyle without investing their livelihoods into buying a winery will be happy to know that many wineries offer volunteer opportunities during harvest. In Washington, there are various “wine camps” where you can help work in the field, network with fellow wine connoisseurs, and have opportunities to rub elbows with some of the best wine masters in the nation. The most notable wine camps include the Betz Family Winery, JM Cellars, and Patterson Cellars.

A typical day as a volunteer may start out sorting grapes, punching the cap during fermentation, and even stomping grapes in bins! Finish it off with an end of day meal with the vineyards as a backdrop. While you may not get paid in money, the experience alone is far worth the time.

Get Involved in the Modern Wine World

If you want to get involved in the wine industry, but aren’t into the physical aspect of working the vineyard, you might want to check out Woodinville Wine Country Volunteers. This group works to spread tourism throughout the Washington region through PR, social media, partnerships and events. If you have an interest in marketing and wine, this might be a great option to expose yourself to the world of modern wine.

Woodinville Wine Country

With the famous winery Chateau Ste. Michelle at its cornerstone, Woodinville, Washington has made its mark on the viticultural map. Today there are over 130 wineries and tasting rooms in the region, many of which you can do tastings year-round with the purchase of the Passport to Woodinville. The passport costs $50-60 and grants the buyer free tastings at participating wineries. For a true Woodinville experience, reserve a room at Willow’s Lodge, where every guest room and suite has a stone fireplace and soaking tub. This is the perfect place to grab a bottle of wine from your favorite winery and relax by the fire to celebrate a hard day’s work.

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