Kitsap Wine Festival ‘Must Taste’ list

Saturday is the 3rd annual Kitsap Wine Festival (held from 2 to 5:30 p.m.).

Like last year, we are compiling a list before we head down there of the wineries we don’t want to miss. With 36 wineries pouring, we suggest if you plan to go that you make a list too, before picking up your glass at the Harborside Fountain Park.

We went to last year’s event and had a wonderful day — the setting was absolutely gorgeous, but it was also hot, hot, hot. While our advice for last year was to wear sunscreen, we think with this year’s weather we’re better off to advise attendees to bring an umbrella.

We don’t know what wines will be poured at the event, so in the interest of time we’ve instead compiled a list of the wineries we hope to visit — including a number of newer ones that have us intrigued. After we talk with festival goers to find out the wines we should try, we’ll move on to the wineries we know and love to see what their new vintages offer.

Here’s our list in alphabetical order:

Anam Cara is Celtic for “friend of my soul” and anything Irish has some kind of magic. They are out of Oregon so we are looking forward to their Chehalem Gewurztraminer, Riesling and Pinot Noir.

Ginkgo Forest Winery is the newest and smallest winery near Mattawa, Wash. We just did a tasting of wines that came from grapes sourced from the winery’s vineyard and would love to see what this Wahluke Slope AVA has in common. The desert heat in this area suggests high grape sugars. Wines include: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, a red blend, dry Gewürztraminer and a late harvest Gewürztraminer.

Isenhower Cellars Denise and Brett Isenhower spent two years researching where to make wine in the Western United States. In 1999 they founded Isenhower Cellars in Walla Walla. Isenhower Cellars has “by the acre” contracts with seven excellent vineyards. Those farmers are growing in an environmentally sustainable manner. Their wines are based on Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Merlot, Roussanne, Tempranillo, Mourvedre and Syrah. We hope they bring on the El Conquistador a blend of 47 percent Tempranillo, Mourvedre and 20 percent Syrah.

NW Totem Cellars Mike Sharadinis the owner, operator and winemaker. This winery also has contracts with some great Washington vineyards like Chandler Reach (also attending the festival), Elerding Vineyard, Sagemoor Farms and their Bacchus Vineyard block of Cabernet Franc. Wines include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, a Bordeaux Blend (reminder: Cabernet, Merlot, Cab Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec are the five red grapes allowed in Bordeaux), and the Potlatch Red which is a blend of Syrah, Tempranillo and Petit Verdot.

Other wineries new to us are Barrage Cellars, Angel Vine, Dubindel, Masquerade, Stottle, Syzygy, Trust, Twelve and Winston Church Winery.

We hope to see you Saturday! (If you’re planning to attend send us your list, or comment here, with the wineries you don’t want to miss).

2 thoughts on “Kitsap Wine Festival ‘Must Taste’ list

  1. I didn’t get to add some of my “Must Taste” wineries that I hope to try Saturday before I posted this.

    Here’s a couple that I can’t wait to try, since I’ve seen there names all over the Washington wine scene.

    Robert Ramsay Cellars: “A small craft winery devoted to creating wines that people enjoy. We specialize in Mourvedre, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and red blends built on fruit from Horse Heaven Hills, Snipes Mountain and Boushey Vineyards.”

    Camaraderie Cellars: “A craft winery that celebrates the bounty of life found in food, wine, hearth and table and the friendships grown in their sharing. Camaraderie Cellars wines are counted among the ‘must have’ by all those who enjoy wine. Our commitments are to making world class quality wines, valuing our growers as true partners, and deepening our customer’s enjoyment of wine and food.”


  2. Brynn and Mary! Thanks for the post and your interest in our wines. The Kitsap Wine Festival was one of the best events I’ve attended. Seamlessly organized, a great crow and excellent volunteers. Almost ashamed to say that it was my first ferry trip over and the ride (and scenery) was glorious. The roster of participating wineries was terrific and the food hit that perfect “not-too-fussy-but-delicious” mark. I’ll be back via ferry next year, so save yourselves a spot at the front of the line 😉

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