Cheers To You

An exploration of all things wine with local wine expert Mary Earl.
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Archive for the ‘Washington Wines’ Category

Winemakers dinner at Alderbrook Resort and Spa

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Looking to splurge in November? Here’s the details for an upcoming event in Union at the Alderbrook Resort and Spa that highlights Dusted Valley Winery, named the 2013 Winery of the Year by Wine and Spirits Magazine.

The release sent by the resort has all the details:

Indulge in a unique culinary experience at Alderbrook Resort & Spa. On Saturday, November 16, guests are invited to an elegant dinner featuring varietals from Dusted Valley Winery, paired alongside exquisite dishes prepared with locally-sourced food from Alderbrook’s Executive Chef, Lucas Sautter.

Dusted Valley Winery, a locally owned and operated winery based out of the Walla Walla Valley helps set the stage for this festive, harvest meal. Dusted Valley’s winemaker will be onsite throughout the evening to answer any questions regarding the winery’s award-winning wines. Located alongside the breathtaking shores of Hood Canal, guests will dine on six courses prepared by Alderbrook’s renowned Chef Lucas Sautter, served with a red or white wine blend to complement its specific flavors.

Reservations can be made by calling (360) 898-5500. Want to stay the night and experience more of Alderbrook? Enjoy the full-service spa, get in a round on the 18-hole PGA-class golf course or come back for seconds at The Restaurant at Alderbrook. Room rates start at $179. We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

What: Wine Maker’s Dinner with Dusted Valley Winery
Where: Alderbrook Resort & Spa, 10 E Alderbrook Drive, Union, WA 98592
Date: Saturday, November 16, 2013
Time: Social begins at 6:30 p.m., dinner begins at 7 p.m.
Cost: $109 per person
Reservations: (360) 898-5500


What we’re drinking: Woodinville wines

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Brynn writes:

On Sunday in the Kitsap Life section our getaways feature this month is going to be on Woodinville, written by your’s truly.

It’s fitting that my last Kitsap Life story would be on Western Washington’s wine country. (Yes, you read that correctly, my last story. My last day at the Sun will be Oct. 29.)

This post isn’t about my departure, it’s about all the great wineries you can experience with a short jaunt across the water (Puget Sound and Lake Washington) by exploring Woodinville.

I remember when Woodinville was known as the home to Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia Winery and Red Hook Brewery. Now it’s home to more than 80 wineries and a number of great restaurants. It really does make a great day trip from Seattle, and it’s a heck of a lot easier to get to Woodinville to go wine tasting than it is to drive across the mountains to Eastern Washington.

A month or so ago my husband and I found ourselves with a rare day off together and a babysitter eager to watch the kid (thanks grandma!) so we decided we’d take advantage of our good fortune and do a little wine tasting. With 80+ wineries to choose from it was a little daunting to figure out where we were going to go, but I just hopped online and started looking at the different wineries listed under the Woodinville Wine Country website. (Also look at the Warehouse District winery website when planning your trip because there are some great wineries in that area too.) Within an hour I had our Woodinville wine tour mapped out.

Here’s the list I created:

  • Airfield Estates
  • Alexandria Nicole Cellars
  • Dusted Valley
  • J.Bookwalter
  • Otis Kenyon
  • Ross Andrew Winery

I didn’t expect us to make it to every winery, but I wanted a couple “fall backs” in case we went somewhere and it was busy. (Or if we really did make it through our top picks quickly, we’d have somewhere to go.) We ended up visiting (in this order): Ross Andrew, J.Bookwalter, Alexandria Nicole, Airfield Estates.

By the last winery we were maxed out and ready to head across the street to Purple Cafe and Wine Bar, where we had an excellent dinner.

If you’re planning a trip to Woodinville, do your homework before you go so you have a rough idea of what you want to see, but also know that once you get there there are so many wineries you can easily change your mind and pop into any storefront and likely have a great experience.

Of the wineries we visited, Alexandria Nicole is one not to be missed. The atmosphere is great and so are the people pouring wines. Plus their wines (in my opinion) are fantastic. We loved their 2012 Shepherd’s Mark, a blend of 65 percent Roussanne, 20 percent Marsanne and 15 percent Viognier. This wine won a gold medal at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and a double gold at the 2013 Seattle Wine Awards. This wine has notes of pineapple, pear, citrus and peach and the floral characteristics of Viognier come through on the nose. ($24)

The 2010 a Squared Cabernet Sauvignon was also good with its dark fruit flavors and hints of vanilla on the finish. This is a great fall/winter wine and would pair well with heavier meals like roasts and lamb. The blend is 86 percent cab, 6 percent cab franc, 6 percent malbec and 2 percent petit verdot. ($24)

I also loved J.Bookwalter’s Chardonnay, which had just the right balance of weight from its fermentation in barrels and stainless steel. The wine had aromas of pear and honeydew with a slightly nutty hint on the finish. This was a creamy wine that I am kicking myself for not purchasing while we were there.

I was excited to try Ross Andrew because I had not heard of this winery before, which is hard to believe because the winemaker has been in the business for a long time and studied under one of the best in the industry, Master of Wine Bob Betz. The tasting room was recently remodeled and is done in a minimalist, modern style. It’s in the same building complex as Pepper Bridge/Amavi Cellars, Mark Ryan and J.Bookwalter, and right across the parking lot from Alexandria Nicole. If you plan on heading to Woodinville you could spend your afternoon just cruising between these wineries without even having to move your car.

We enjoyed the 2011 Meadow White Wine (so much so we bought a bottle) and the 2012 Meadow Rose (again we bought a bottle). The Rose is the first Washington Rose I’ve tried that reminds me of the Provincial style Roses I drank while in France. It’s dry with a crisp finish. The white wine would be a perfect pair with crab, scallops or white fish. Both wines were $16.

If you’re thinking about planning a trip to Woodinville, check out my story in Sunday’s paper (or online). Now’s a good time to head over there because they’ve finished the craziness of crush and the craziness of the holidays hasn’t picked up yet.


What we’re drinking: Dubindil Winery

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Mary writes:

Dubindil Winery, a small winery in Snohomish, recently pulled down three medals at the Seattle Wine Awards. A double gold for the 2010 Columbia Valley Syrah, a gold for the Rowan Red and a bronze for the 2010 Cabernet.

A Double Gold award is very prestigious. This award is The Best of The Best.

And fortunately for us, we were able to taste the Rowan Red and the Double Gold Syrah at the Kitsap Wine Festival.

Owners Lisa and David Henrickson started as home winemakers and volunteers for other wineries for a number of years before taking the big leap into the commercial production in 2010.

Imagine three years later hitting a double gold for one of your first commercially made wines. Pretty darn impressive.

The winery name is a combination of nicknames their kids gave each other — Dubin and Dil. Rowan Red is their proprietary name for their red blend even though this year’s is just Cabernet. Now you too know the code names.

The 2010 Yakima Valley Rowan Red is 100 percent Cabernet aged in French oak for 21 months. The bright berry with hints of herbs, pepper and currants are nicely balanced with smooth tannins and good acidity.  Only 97 cases made. $18/bottle from the winery.

The 2010 Columbia Valley Syrah, the double gold winner, is 100 percent Syrah. It comes from several vineyards which is why you won’t find a vineyard name on the label. This multi-faceted Syrah has a bouquet of violets, blueberries, mocha, and licorice.

It’s a mouthful of blueberries, mocha and licorice. With smooth tannins and great balance. Sold out at the winery but you may be able to find it at specialty stores.


Airfield Estates riesling with spiced pumpkin soup makes hearty harvest meal

Friday, October 4th, 2013

As we see the sun set earlier and the leaves start to change, we find ourselves subconsciously moving away from recommending crisp white wines for fall recipe pairings because, let’s be honest, they really are the best to sip on a hot summer day.

But for Ann Vogel’s spiced pumpkin soup, we’re making the conscious decision to hang on to our summer just a little longer and recommend Airfield Estates 2011 Riesling to drink with this fall soup.

Located in Prosser, Wash. this family-run winery chose its name to recognize the World War II air base that once resided on the farm. The riesling vines that produce the grapes for this wine are some of the oldest on the farm, planted in 1979.

You might wonder why we would recommend a light-bodied wine for this thick soup. The answer is riesling is a great pairing for foods with weight and a little heat. The pear and citrus fruit flavors in this wine add a feeling of fall harvest to this dish. Heat up a loaf of crusty French bread and you have yourself a hearty lunch.

Airfield’s riesling isn’t overly dry, so you’ll pick up notes of sweetness but the natural acidity balances that out, leaving your mouth with a slight pucker on the finish.

It’s a beautiful pale yellow and the bottle has a slight hint of frizzante, leaving the fruit flavors dancing on the tip of your tongue.

This wine also pairs nicely with shellfish or lighter poultry and pork dishes, so consider adding the pumpkin soup as an accompaniment to be enjoyed before a main meal and serve the riesling for both courses.

Another bonus about Airfield Estates? The wine is easy to find. The 2011 riesling retails around $15.


What we’re drinking: Knipprath Cellars

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Brynn writes:

Based in Spokane, the only chance we were going to get to try this winery’s wines was at a local tasting. Lucky for us they were at the Kitsap Wine Festival in August.

This was probably one of the most interesting wineries at the wine festival, largely because the wines produced aren’t everyday wines.

Knipprath focuses on Portuguese and Spanish grape varietals grown in the Northwest. The winery also has a heavy focus on Port wines and different flavor variations of Port.

Some of the Ports poured at the wine festival by winemaker Henning Knipprath were: NV Spanish Nudge Coffee Port, NV Au Chocolate Cabernet Port and my favorite of the three, NV Lagrima White Port.

Knipprath also poured a 2010 La Bodega Del Norte Touriga Nacional Red, which is a red wine made from Portuguese grapes traditionally used for Port.

The Lagrima White Port had a nutty finish similar to what you would find in sherry, but it was rounded out with a balanced sweetness of a dessert wine.

The grapes that make up the white port are Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Albariño, a white grape with Portuguese origins that is also grown in Spain.

The wine is aged in neutral oak casks for 30 months, which helps give it that nutty finish.

I’m not a huge fan of wine that’s been infused with chocolate flavors, but the Au Chocolate Port had a strong chocolate nose and subtle finish. Knipprath uses cocoa beans to infuse the chocolate flavors in the Cabernet Sauvignon he uses to make this Port-style wine.

For you coffee lovers out there, the Spanish Nudge Coffee Port had a nice combination of Syrah and dark roast coffee. Knipprath infused the wine with cinnamon sticks, giving it a cinnamon nose. This was another interesting combination that had a lot of people coming back for second tastings. (A certain someone who also writes this wine blog, but who asked to remain anonymous — hint her name rhymes with “Berry” — also enjoyed this wine and its complexity.)

Learn more about Knipprath and how to get the wines at the website: knipprath-cellars.com.


2013 Harvest: Reports from the field

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

 

Cab Franc

Brynn writes:

Every year around this time I see posts on Facebook and email updates from our local winemakers. Many of them are making regular trips to Eastern Washington to harvest grapes and check the conditions of their vineyard blocks to determine the best time to pull the clusters from the vines.

I’ve always wanted to get a report from them about how harvest is going and to hear their initial projections about the vintage, but never want to bother them since I know they’re busy and running on minimal sleep. This year I took a chance and sent an email to the winemakers of Bainbridge Island (Amelia Wynn Winery, Eagle Harbor Wine Company, Eleven Winery, Fletcher Bay Winery, Rolling Bay Winery) and Mosquito Fleet Winery in Belfair to see if they’d be interested in sending me email updates of how things are going in the field.

I haven’t heard back from everyone, but a number of the winemakers wrote back almost immediately — some with reports from the field, others saying they would be sending me updates as harvest went along. My plan is to compose periodic blog posts that includes their reports from the field — either as a direct copy and paste from what they sent me, or my summary of what they have to say.

I was surprised to hear that a number of white grapes have been harvested and are already back on the peninsula fermenting. Matt Albee, winemaker for Eleven Winery, said his Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio grapes were about two weeks ahead of schedule this year.

Below is a list of the wineries I’ve heard back from and quick summaries of how things are going. As you’ll see, Amelia Wynn winemaker Paul Bianchi has supplied a great report from the field. I’ve copied and pasted his emails so you can see the life of the local winemaker around this time of year.

Amelia Wynn (Email from winemaker Paul Bianchi sent Sept. 17):

Timing is everything at harvest and plans take shape over weeks. When it’s time to pull the trigger the vintner puts the vineyard on notice for an agreed upon harvest date.

The players are: vineyard owner, vineyard manager (if not the owner), picking crew being paid by the pound, the custom crush facility (if used) and most importantly the truck rental agency because you need a big truck if you’re hauling more than 5,000 lbs.

This Sunday (Sept. 15) in Walla Walla it was 95 degrees with 20 mph drying winds. Not a good day for grapes. So the green light was given to pick on Tuesday (Sept. 16). Predicted light showers turned out to be heavier than anticipated, complicating the day.

All grape bins were covered and because the crush schedule got screwed up, our Merlot was to be destemmed around 11 p.m., making for a very long day for the crush crew. We have to be at Artifex at 8 a.m. Wednesday (Sept. 18) to pick up the destemmed grapes and then drive west to Prosser to press the Cab Franc and Viognier. The latter I need to pick up at the Elerding vineyard.

The pick date for the Viognier was established last week and all players were put in motion. The Cab Franc was given a green light Sept. 16 to be picked on the same day as the Viognier.  The intent is to make a 500 mile truck rental, two nights on the road, and use of commercial equipment as efficient as possible.

What has gone down toward the end of the 2013 harvest is: A record-setting hot summer has skidded to a slow walk with a cooling trend that is in fact a relief because the  grape varieties were rippening too close together as a result of the high temperatures. With a cooling period the wineries can pace the harvest dates so work in the winery is not chaotic.

When I return to the island tomorrow night (Sept. 18), I will have the following grapes fermenting or preparing to ferment:  Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cab Franc Rose, Viognier and two clones of Merlot from Walla Walla.

Here’s a summary of what winemaker Paul Bianchi’s days looked like Monday/Tuesday:

  • Monday: catching the 8:10 p.m. ferry and arriving in Prosser at midnight, staying at the Best Western.
  • In the morning dropping off bins for Cab Franc, which will be picked and pressed on Wednesday (Sept. 18) for a Rosé. Also dropped off two 275 gal juice totes where the cab franc will be pressed as well as 4,000 lbs of Viognier.
  • Drove on to Walla Walla where we will pick up 3 tons of Merlot and have destemmed at Artifex, a custom crush facility.
  • Sept. 18 back on the road to Prosser where we will pick up 2 tons of Viognier at Elerding vineyard and then to Kestral winery where the Cab Franc and Viognier will be slowly pressed in a membrane press.

Eleven Winery (Email summary from winemaker Matt Albee, sent Sept. 16):

I have Sauv Blanc and Pinot Grigio fermenting, and am leaving tonight (Sept. 16) to pick Viognier tomorrow (Sept. 17); Roussanne/Marsanne and Syrah on Thursday (Sept. 19).

The very hot summer perhaps favors later-ripening varieties like Cabs and Mourvedre, but so far everything is good quality!

We picked Sauvignon Blanc on Aug. 29, Pinot Grigio on Sept. 9 (originally scheduled for Sept. 4, but pushed back due to forecast of rain, which ended up not hitting our vineyard). This week we will see if last week’s extreme heat had much impact. There seems to have been a lot of rain for September in Eastern WA, but my sources have largely been spared (whew!).

Fletcher Bay Winery (Email from winemaker Jim Wilford, sent Sept. 16):

My plans for harvest this year include: Tara Rouge ( Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon), a Walla Walla Cab Sauv, a Red Moutain Zinfandel, a dry Rose, Semillion and a Pinot Grigio.

Pinot Grigio is being picked, everything else is still on the vine.

Perennial Vintners (From winemaker Mike Lempriere’s newsletter):

The 2013 harvest is looking fantastic! It will be our largest local harvest to date. The Frambelle is done fermenting, it’s tasting superb already.  We will be getting an excellent harvest of Melon de Bourgogne, so mid-2014 we’ll have our signature wine available again!
The vineyard is mostly done with for the year, at this point we’re mostly just waiting for Mother Nature to finish the job of ripening. We do still have to spray for Botrytis mold, but other than that it’s just trying to catch up on weeding.  It’s a beautiful time to visit the vineyard as the grapes have gone through veraison, meaning they ‘re ripening and turning color.
From Facebook: Mike said they harvested the Siegerrebe Sept. 8.

Mosquito Fleet Winery (Email from winemaker Brian Petersen, sent Sept. 16):

Crush has just begun for us here at MFW and we are excited! We brought in a couple tons of our first white: A Viognier from Elephant Mountain. The fruit is very nice, tremendous flavors and great acids.

We will only be producing around 100 cases of Viognier this year. Partially fermented in stainless steel tank and partial barrel fermentation, which we will ferment and age sur lie and go through malolactic fermentation.

This Thursday (Sept. 19) we are bringing in Merlot from Double Canyon Vineyard and on Saturday (Sept. 21) we will bring in our first Malbec off Elephant Mountain as well. We are looking forward to this too.

We have increased our Pepper Bridge Vineyard fruit and we are now sourcing Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon from there as well. The PB Merlot will be ready in about a week.

Then it’s Cab Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Touriga Nacional for our Port.

It will get very, very busy here shortly.


What we’re drinking: Forgeron Cellars

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Mary writes:

During the Kitsap Wine Festival at Harborside Fountain Park, one of the outstanding wineries was Forgeron Cellars from Walla Walla. We tasted three of their wines that left us wanting to go back for more.

Forgeron’s founding winemaker/managing partner is  Marie-Eve Gilla. Born and raised in France, she earned her Diplome National d’Oenologie (Masters) at the University of Dijon. After moving to the US, she worked at Argyle, Covey Run, Hogue and Gordon Brothers.

Forgeron Cellars opened in Walla Walla in 2001 and may be hard to find as their production is 350 cases here and 300 cases there. The wines are diverse, some very French in style and others American. Although based in Walla Walla the winery sources its grapes from vineyards outside the Walla Walla AVA, looking for the perfect growing conditions to support the wines it produces.

The 2012 Ambiance from Columnbia Valley is a blend of 38 percent Viognier, 23 percent Roussanne, 23 percent Marsanne, 16 percent Grenache Blanc. These grapes typically make up a white Rhone. Also of note, there isn’t much Grenach Blanc grown in our state, in fact the word is there’s only one vineyard in Washington with this Rhone varietal.

The wine had a nose of melon and ornage peel with flavors of tropical fruits and a crispness that made it so refreshinng. It was aged in neutral French oak to round it out. It was perfect with Anthony’s mini crab stacks.

The second wine I tasted was the very American grape, Zinfandel. This 2010 Zinfandel is actually a blend of 77 percent Zinfandel from Alder Ridge Vineyards and 23percent Primitivo from the Wahluke Slope.

This full bodied Zin had a nose of blackberries and a wonderful balance of blackberry and mocha with a finished of black pepper. My food pick to match with this was the Minder Meats pulled pork sandwich. Yum!

Forgeron’s 2010 Late Harvest Riesling from Dionysus Vineyard — one of the state’s oldest vineyards — was exquisite. This wine had a nose of sweet apricots, honey and botrytise that went on and on. The flavors were as wonderful as the nose, honeyed apricot and botrytise. Very, very good.


What we’re drinking: Finnriver Cidery

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Mary writes:

Finnriver Cidery has been popping up in my glass a lot lately. So I just have to share the delights this wonderful farm is pouring out.

At the fifth annual Kitsap Wine Festival at Harborside Fountain Park, this Chimacum Cidery served up their Pear Cider, Pear Brandy, Artisan Sparkling Cider, Black Currant Wine and Spirited Apple Wine.

The Sparkling Pear Cider was incredibly refreshing on that hot summer day. It’s a semi-sweet blend of organic apples and pears which was a nice match with the ahi tuna from Anthony’s.

The other wine that got my attention was the Black Currant Wine. So concentrated it stained the glass and the aromas were pure black currant. It’s port-like in that they blend with apple brandy and is sweet, well-balanced dessert wine.

My next encounter a few weeks later, was with the Blind Wine Group who hosted a Méthode Champenoise tasting. The rules were specific: bring a bottle that was made in the traditional méthode champenoise.

This means that the wine goes through a second fermentation in the bottle. Traditionally, a bottle of Champagne would go through this process anywhere from one to three years.

Finnriver uses the riddling racks, hand turning the bottles and disgorgement methods to make a naturally carbonated sparkling cider. It’s a labor intensive process and well worth the wait.

Of the 12 bottles of sparkling wine and champagne presented at the tasting, no one guessed that it was not made from grapes like the other eleven. It was that good.

And just in case you think that I’m exaggerating, take a look at the medals it has garnered:

  • Double Gold Medal, 2011 Seattle Wine Awards.
  • Silver Medal, 2011 Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition.
  • Silver Medal, 2011 Northwest Wine Summit.
  • ‘American Champagne Toast,’ 2012 Good Food Awards
  • Silver Medal, 2013 Seattle Wine Awards
  • ‘Best of the Northwest, Dry Cider,’ 2013 SIP Magazine

Finnriver is such a delightful place to visit. I encourage you to drop in and savor the farm community, the cidery and the fresh air either in person or online: www.finnriver.com.


Watermelon notes in Washington rose compliment watermelon, cucumber salad

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Having recently made the salad recommended by Ann Vogel in a slightly different variation, Mary was delighted to find a wine to pair with it. The version she made didn’t have olives or cucumbers, but it did have fresh basil torn into bits.

We were picnicking at Rainy Daze Brewing in Silverdale and, after tasting the salad, brewery owner Danette Pigott begged for the recipe while Mary begged for more of her porter.

But back to the wine. We have always had a thing for a rosé from the south of France. These wines are the best, we think, for a warm summer day’s meal with the chilled sweet and salty flavors of this salad.

Rosés from Provence are not easy to find in Kitsap County, so instead we’ll go with a couple of rosé wines more readily available because they’re from the other side of the mountains. Both of the wineries we’re recommending have been around for a long time and are very good at turning out fantastic wines at bargain prices.

Barnard Griffin’s owner/winemaker, Rob Griffin, has produced wonderful wines in Washington since his first days at Hogue Cellars. He continued to make Hogue wines while opening his own winery.

His rosé of Sangiovese, has been a long time favorite with its vibrant color, lovely tart raspberry, sweet cherry flavors, and its crisp finish. Sangiovese is a natural with the sweet fruit and salty olives and goat cheese in Ann Vogel’s watermelon, cucumber salad.

One of the Walla Walla Valley’s oldest and largest wine producers is Waterbrook Winery. Opened in 1984 by the Rindall’s, it is now owned by Precept Brands. Its rosé wine is also made with 100 percent Sangiovese. This medium-bodied wine with rosé bud and watermelon aromatics has strawberry and melon flavors with a crisp finish.

Every refreshing sip makes you want another bite and then another sip.

Both wines work solo or with food and retail for under $12.


Do you have your Kitsap Wine Festival tickets yet?

Friday, August 9th, 2013

It’s August and you know what that means, it’s Kitsap Wine Festival time.

This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 17 starting at 2 p.m. at the Harborside Fountain Park next to the Bremerton ferry terminal.

There looks to be a good line up of wineries that will be pouring from different tables set up around the fountains, and according to the event’s website there will be even more food offerings this year.

Here’s just a few of the wineries we’re looking forward to tasting:

  • Camaraderie Cellars
  • Convergence Zone Cellars
  • Davenport Cellars (their 2009 Snowflake from Bacchus Vineyard was one of our favorites from the 2010 festival)
  • Dubindil Winery (we liked their 2008 Syrah poured at the 2011 festival)
  • Knipprath Cellars (their website says they specialize in Northwest grown Portuguese and Spanish grapes, with a focus on Port wines. Sounds intriguing.)
  • Maryhill Winery (they always have a strong showing at the festival, especially their crisp white wines, perfect for a hot day)
  • Mosquito Fleet Winery (If you haven’t visited this Belfair winery yet, now’s your chance to try their wines. Make this one of your first stops of the day, you don’t want to miss what they’re pouring.)
  • Stottle Winery (based in Lacey they have tasting rooms in West Seattle and Hoodsport)

It looks like this year’s line up of wineries is a little smaller than years past — 25 compared to last year’s 30-plus — which means you’ll be able to visit more tables and try more wine. (We were disappointed to see some of our favorites from year’s past: Chinook Wines, McCrea Cellars and Kiona Vineyards and Winery, won’t be there this year).

For beer lovers Hale’s Ales and Silver City Brewery will be pouring their brews and Finn River Farm Cidery out of Chimacum will be pouring its hard ciders.

Tickets are $50 and can be purchased from this site.

We love this festival because, well let’s face it, it’s the only wine tasting festival in Kitsap (that we know of). We also enjoy it because of the scenery — love the proximity to the water and the ferry — and because it’s close to home. Another bonus? If you like what you’re tasting you have the chance to buy the wine, which isn’t usually the case at tasting events like these.

For more about the festival, which serves as a fundraiser for the Harrison Medical Center Foundation, visit the event website at www.kitsapwinefestival.com.


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