Why drive when you can bike? No parking hassles. Fresh air. Exercise. It’s a win-win plan. So, with your bike equipped with panniers or you wearing a backpack to hold soon-to-be-purchased new bottles of wine (and snacks and water bottles), you’re ready to begin your two-wheeled tasting room tour of downtown Spokane’s Cork District.
Begin anywhere on the map of wineries—which includes 14 in the downtown vicinity (a few others are located outside the downtown core). Find the digital map at Corkdistrict.blog, and use it to navigate. This tour description takes you to all 14 tasting rooms; however, that’s probably too many to visit and taste samples all in the same day. So pick and choose three to five tasting rooms you’d like to visit. Or get lots of great exercise and complete the full tour; just be sure to limit your sampling and drink and ride responsibly (see tips below).
For this suggested cycling route, begin in the Kendall Yards area of the West Central neighborhood. Here, just steps from the Centennial Trail off Summit Parkway, you’ll find two wineries: Craftsman Cellars and Maryhill Winery.
Leave Kendall Yards via the Centennial Trail and pedal east through Riverfront Park to Post Street, where you’ll find Tempus Cellars and Cougar Crest Winery. Nearby inside the Davenport Hotel are two tasting rooms: Va Piano and Arbor Crest. Next, head west on Sprague Ave to the two tasting rooms in the Theater District: Helix Wines and Terra Blanca, located within a block of each other.
While on this side of downtown, you can cycle south to Barili Cellars at Post and 2nd Avenue. Then proceed east to a cluster of three wineries off W. Pacific Ave, which includes Robert Karl Cellars, Bridge Press Cellars, and Overbluff Cellars. Further east, off Sprague Ave on Scott Street is V du V Wines. When you’re ready to head back towards the downtown core, take the new University District Gateway Bridge that begins at Riverside & Sherman. Pedal north over the railroad tracks to a paring lot off Martin Luther King Jr. Way, near the WSU Spokane campus. From here, it’s an easy route to Barrister Winery’s downtown tasting room at Main and Washington.
Cork District Biking Tour Tips
- Taste responsibly.While it’s tempting to savor and truly enjoy every sip, especially when you’re paying a tasting fee, after too many “samples” a buzz will start to kick in. Cycling while under the influence can be dangerous. Limit the number of tasting room stops or limit your tasting.
- Make time to enjoy al fresco dining while downtown. Some wineries offer a small menu of food items, and there are plenty of great dining options downtown where you don’t stand out while wearing biking gear. Besides, it’s Spokane—flaunt your helmet hair and cycling attire.
Bring bus fare. Especially if you biked to downtown from your home neighborhood, you may need alternative transportation home, whether it’s because of the extra load of wine you purchased along your tour or because that fuzzy-head feeling is impairing your cycling skills. Board a Spokane Transit bus (bike racks available) or call a friend.