EVEN THOUGH SPOKANE is Washington's second-largest city, it has lagged behind in developing as a wine region.

While such wineries as Arbor Crest and Latah Creek have been around for more than three decades, a few other producers have come and mostly gone, even as regions such as the Yakima Valley, Walla Walla Valley and Woodinville have developed into bustling wine destinations.

Fortunately, Spokane is evolving into a true wine-and-culinary destination, thanks to artisan producers such as Barrister Winery, Robert Karl Cellars and Nodland Cellars. With its historic brick buildings, downtown Spokane is slowly becoming gentrified, giving way to small wineries, locally owned restaurants and complementary businesses.