Less than a week until the Red Wine and Chocolate Tour!

The Red Wine and Chocolate tours are taking place the next two weekends of the month: February 9 & 10 and 16 & 17. We are so excited for this fun annual event! If you haven’t made plans for a romantic Valentine’s Day weekend, we would like to invite you to the Olympic Peninsula to taste some fine Washington Wine and enjoy the stunning natural beauty of our corner of the nation.

Tickets may be purchased at participating wineries during the event. The $30 ticket and glass package entitles you to a special commemorative wine glass, complimentary wine tasting and delectable samples of chocolate at each winery during the Red Wine & Chocolate Weekends. Note: this event does not take place at one location, but at each individual winery, so you can visit those you are interested in exploring.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Red Wine and Chocolate.

Tickets are not required to attend this event. A $5.00 wine tasting fee will be charged at each winery for non-ticketed visitors.

Here are some of the fun pairings you can look forward to experiencing during your Washington Wine and Chocolate Tour:

Fairwinds Winery: Experience the tallest chocolate fountain on the Peninsula – back by popular demand – with a delicious assortment of fruits and sweets for dipping. The rich dark chocolate pairs exceptionally well with Fairwinds’ Port O’ Call, a mellow port wine. Visitors can also taste the latest vintages of Gewürztraminer and Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend, and taste barrel samples of the soon to be released 2005 Champeaux Vineyards Cabernet and a 2005 Merlot.

Harbinger Winery: This year Harbinger Winery is thinking outside the box! Sample some out-of-this-world chocolate desserts with new releases and old favorites. Experience the “other taste” – umami – a Japanese word for savory, with the winery’s holy trinity sample, the award-winning Dynamo Red paired with Harbingers’ own chocolate potato chip creation. Afterwards, taste the Petit Sarah-infused “chocolate rocket,” and share your “dirty little wine secrets” in the “Confession Room” while trying a secret bonus pairing that inspires one to be a better wine drinker! Bar Hop Brewery, co-located at the winery, will treat beer lovers to their annual Venezuelan Chocolate Porter.

We look forward to seeing you soon!


Olympic Peninsula Tours: Hoh Rainforest & Rialto Beach

If you want to experience the isolated and dramatic Olympic Mountains, your visit will be incomplete without a visit to the remarkable and rare Hoh rainforest.

On the west slopes of the Olympic Mountains lies a misty and moist landscape of giant, big leaf maples, and a vast variety of shrubs and flowers. The weather systems coming out of the Pacific Ocean make this area a temperate rainforest. In the summer months of July and August and into September, little moisture is available for this dense forest. The Hoh forest receives the bulk of its moisture in the winter months, with constant rain and thick mists –up to 140 or more inches a year.

These conditions are ideal for Douglas fir, western hemlock and Sitka spruce.

Olympic Peninsula tours

This could be you!

Within a fairly narrow range of the rain forest, the largest recorded of these and other species exist. Their size is often exaggerated by heavy club mosses hanging in festoons from branches high above the forest floor. While it is certainly wetter here during the winter and spring months, it is no less impressive. You just need to wear boots and a rain jacket!

If you are leaving from Sequim, we recommend you get an early start – head towards Forks by 8:o0 a.m. and you will get to the Hoh by 11 a.m., or before. Take a walk on the deep forest trail: “Hall of Mosses.” With the exception of a short steep bit at the beginning, this is an easy walk with a number of stops along the way.

Pack a picnic lunch, or stop in Forks for a burger or something of the like before heading towards the coast and Rialto Beach. It will take you about 1.5 hours to drive there from Forks. Rialto Beach is just north of the mouth of the Sol Duc River and               Quilleute Indian Reservation. Do some beach combing or sit on a beached log and contemplate the Universe.

After a big trip like that, some wine tasting on the way home will be the perfect way to end an exhilarating day on the stunning Olympic Peninsula!


Red Wine & Chocolate in Washington State

Next month is our big red wine and chocolate tour!

Liven up your winter with an amazing trip to the Olympic Peninsula for a weekend of delicious wines and creamy chocolate.

Featuring a host of unique sweet and savory combinations, the Red Wine & Chocolate Tour takes place two weekends in February,  Feb. 9-10 and Feb. 16-18 (Presidents’ Day Weekend) from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Of course, this is a wonderful event for couples to share. Take a weekend to relax on the scenic Olympic Peninsula and enjoy trying some award-winning Washington wines. Meet the vintners and other wine lovers. Have a unique, romantic Valentine’s weekend.

Tickets may be purchased at participating wineries during the event or beforehand on the Olympic Peninsula Wineries website.  The $30 ticket and glass package entitles you to a special commemorative wine glass, complimentary wine tasting and delectable samples of chocolate at each winery during the Red Wine & Chocolate Weekends.

washington wine tours

The 2012 Red Wine & Chocolate tour featured a chocolate fountain at Fair Winds Winery in Port Townsend.

Highlights from Red Wine and Chocolate Tour 2012

Fair Winds Winery: Last year, Fair Winds released their latest vintages of its Gewürztraminer, Port O’ Call and a Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend. Guests experienced the tallest chocolate fountain on the Peninsula with an assortment of fruits and sweets to dip in the rich dark chocolate. Patrons had the opportunity to tour the winery and its operations, with occasional barrel tastings.

Camaraderie Cellars: Featured a Syrah, paired with a cocoa spice-rubbed pulled pork, cooked on site in the winery’s wood-fired oven. The winery debuted the 2009 Syrah, along with some red blends and the ever popular Cabernet and Merlot varietals. Last year marked Camaraderie Cellar’s 20th year and special taste treats included Molly Baby chocolate shortbread cookies, Equal Exchange Fair Trade chocolate bars and a savory chocolate bruschetta. Special pricing for the event weekends should help you stock your red wine supply.


Olympic Peninsula Tours: Lake Crescent and Hurricane Ridge

The Olympic Peninsula is a visually stunning place with large areas of wilderness. This makes it an amazing place to visit.

There is a lot to see and for someone that doesn’t know where to start, a tour can be a great way to see the Peninsula. We will use some of our winter posts to write about our favorite itineraries for touring the Olympic Peninsula.

Lake Crescent and Hurricane Ridge

Explore some of the finest examples of the marvelous Peninsula ecosystem on a day tour to Lake Crescent, Marymere Falls, and Hurricane Ridge.

Lake Crescent is a deep, blue lake carved out by glaciers 15,000 years ago. From the visitors center take an easy walk through a tall and verdant forest to Marymere Falls, a lovely cascade steeped in moss and ferns.

Head back through town and up to the Heart O’ the Hills and wind your way up to the spectacular view from Hurricane Ridge, easily one of the most famous vistas in Washington. By the time you reach the top, you will have traversed from sea level to sub-alpine forest. From Hurricane Ridge, looking across the valley of the Elwha, far below, one can gaze upon the many snow-capped peaks of the Olympics, cloaked in glaciers.

Olympic Peninsula Tours

Sunny, snowy, Hurricane Ridge.

Wineries on your Route:

Black Diamond Winery: Hours ~ October, November, December: Saturday and Sunday 12 – 5 p.m. Closed in January, February & March. Address ~ 2976 Black Diamond Rd. Port Angeles.

Camaraderie Cellars: Hours ~ May through September, Friday-Saturday-Sunday  11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Open on event weekends. Appointments invited at other times. Address ~ 334 Benson Rd. Port Angeles

Harbinger Winery: Hours ~ Open Daily from 11a.m.- 6 p.m. Sunday ~ 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Or by special appointment. Address ~ 2358 Hwy 101 West.

Stop by on your way there or back to warm up in the tasting room with some delicious Washington wine, created in one of the most beautiful places in the nation!



Great Wine Lover Gift: 2013 Red Wine & Chocolate Tour

While you may still be finishing up your holiday shopping, we have a great gift idea for the wine or chocolate lover in your life. Why not buy them tickets for our annual Red Wine and Chocolate tour?

We are hosting two fun weekends of sweet decadence and lush wine on Feb. 9-10 and Feb. 16-18 (Presidents’ Day Weekend) from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Washington wine events

Treat yourself to something sweet as we wait for Spring! Olympic Peninsula Red Wine and Chocolate Tour. February 9, 10 and 16, 17, and 18, 2013

Olympic Peninsula Winery Assoc. president Vicki Corson says, “the wineries would like to extend a special invitation to anyone who has not participated in our Red Wine & Chocolate tour in the past to come out and join us for a perfect Valentine’s or Presidents’ Weekend getaway! Participants who visit all eight of our wineries will be entered into a drawing for an elegant wine-themed gift basket.”

Tickets may be purchased at participating wineries during the event. The $30 ticket and glass package entitles you to a special commemorative wine glass, complimentary wine tasting and delectable samples of chocolate at each winery during the Red Wine & Chocolate Weekends.

Travel from winery to winery on the majestic Olympic Peninsula, visiting each unique property and explore both Washington wine and the Olympic Peninsula. Tickets are not required to attend this event, however, a $5.00 wine tasting fee will be charged at each winery for non-ticketed visitors. You must be 21 or over to purchase tickets and/or participate in wine tasting.

Washington Red Wine & Chocolate 2012

Here’s a peak at the happenings from last year’s Red Wine & Chocolate so you can get a feel for the event:

  • Wind Rose Cellars of Sequim made it’s debut at Red Wine & Chocolate last year, featuring its newly released 2010 Dolcetto. Wind Rose’s wines are made with Italian grape varieties grown in Washington State. These award-winning wines were paired with delicious chocolates crafted by Linda Moates of Sequim’s Cocoa d’Amici. Chocolates samples included Hazel Nut Crunch, Pistachio Fig and Ginger Cinnamon.


Port Angeles Events for December

Port Angeles, the largest town on the Olympic Peninsula, has a couple events taking place next month you may want to attend.

Port Angeles Farmer’s Market

Attending the Farmer’s market in the morning is a great way to start the day. Buy a steaming hot cup of coffee, peruse the different food stuffs for sale from local farms and artisans. Pick out something delicious to for dinner and surprise your family. Then, stop by one of our member wineries for some Washington wine to complement the meal.


Veggies from local producer Nash’s Farm. Photo courtesy of Devon Beck.

The market takes place from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. every Saturday, year round. Other items for sale include Fair Trade organic coffee, organic bread, produce, eggs, jams and honey, unique handcrafted candles, soaps, hats, baskets, pottery, scarfs, tie-dye.

Second Weekend Art Event

For a small and somewhat remote town, Port Angeles has its fair share of artists.  On the second Friday of every month, the galleries hold openings and shows to kick off another weekend of art events.

Saturday morning take a walk with artists Bob Stokes, Harry von Stark and others to learn more about artists’ media, methods and inspirations. Meet at the Landing Mall on Railroad the Second Saturday of the month at 11:00 a.m.

Galleries in Port Angeles

Landings Art Gallery – Located inside the Landing Mall at 115 Railroad Ave., the work of local artists is on display and for sale. Many of these same artists work in the gallery as volunteers rather than paying a large membership fee. Showing now are artists from Port Angeles, Sequim, Port Townsend, Port Ludlow, Shelton and Burlington. Paintings, jewelry, metalwork and woodwork are some of the media for sale.

Studio Bob – Located at 118 1/2 E Front St., Studio Bob is an active participant in Second Weekend events. Stop by Friday night for a new art opening promoting different groups of artists.

Waterfront Art Gallery – This space is a cooperative gallery of local artists and quality crafts people. Located at 120 W. First St., Waterfront Gallery displays watercolors, oil, pastel, wood block, glass, photography, jewelry, pottery, magnets and cards.

Do you know what goes perfect with art? Wine. That’s why they serve it at every opening! Learn about how wineries on the Olympic Peninsula use the best grapes from all over the state when making their products.

Port Angeles Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival

Friday thru Sunday, October 12-14, 2012 ~ Free Admission ~ Downtown Port Angles, WA

The Dungeness Crab

Renown in culinary circles the world over, the Dungeness crabs is named for the Dungeness Valley right here on the North Olympic Peninsula. What better way to honor our delicious local crab than to eat a LOT of it?

Seafood Festival Details

The festival begins a 4:00 p.m. Friday with the Community Crab Feed. Come to the big tent and dig in! You’ll get $5 off fresh crab dinners and there will also be wine, beer, coffee, desserts and live music.

Throughout Saturday and Sunday, the Crab Fest cooking demos will give you a chance to learn how to make some great seafood recipes. This year’s special guest chefs are Becky Selengut, the author of Good Fish, and Garret Schack, Executive Chef of Vista 18 in Victoria, B.C. They and Olympic Peninsula chefs will show you how it’s done, including how to correctly clean and cook a whole crab.

Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival Port Angeles

A healthy helping of fresh local seafood at the Port Angeles Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival

When you come to downtown Port Angeles, you can’t miss the big tent. That’s where to go to get a big plate of freshly cooked delicious seafood. And just outside, the main stage will keep the live music going all weekend long.

On City Pier, more than 50 craft, merchant and food vendor booths will be set up for you to shop, eat (more!) and peruse. City Pier is also the place to go for the fun and daring of the the grab-a-crab tank derby. The Feiro Marine Life Center is right there, too. Kids and adults enjoy the exhibits, especially the touch tank with live sea creatures. Both Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. everyone like to get a good spot on the pier and its tower to see the exciting U.S. Coast Guard air-sea rescue demonstration.

For those with a slight competitive streak, there’s a Hollywood Beach volleyball tournament Saturday and Sunday and a 5K fun run on Saturday.

Sunday’s Crab Revival and Sunday Brunch serves up a fine breakfast menu from 9-10:30 a.m. and there’s a non-denominational service with live gospel music.

Olympic Peninsula Wineries are proud to be a major sponsor of this annual event celebrating our fresh local seafood. Be sure to stop by the Crab Festival Wine & Beer Garden to taste wines from all eight wineries.

September 28-29, 2012 Dungeness River Festival in Sequim, WA

Driftwood Art

In addition to fun exhibits, presentations, live music, food and dancing, the annual Dungeness River Festival also showcases the creativity of local artists with the Olympic Driftwood Sculptors Art Show.

Friday & Saturday ~ 10 am to 4 pm ~ Free Admission
Railroad Bridge Park at 2151 W. Hendrickson Road in Sequim, WA

The annual Dungeness River Festival celebrates the waters that are so precious to the Sequim-Dungeness Valley. Every year, local, state, federal, tribal and non-profit entities active in the Dungeness watershed provide interactive, educational exhibits for the enjoyment of all ages. In addition to the fun exhibits, the festival entertains visitors with live music, food, nature walks and more.

The theme for this year’s Dungeness River Festival is “Let’s Go Green!” In keeping with this theme, the 2012 River Festival in Sequim will be offering a new event: Landscaping with Nature. On Friday at 2:30 pm, Joe Holtrop, District Manager of the Clallam Conservation District, will give a presentation in the Dungeness River Audubon Center. Afterwards, he will lead a walk in Railroad Bridge Park. Property owners and gardeners will be sure to learn a great deal from Joe’s many years of experience in sustainable landscaping.

On Friday, the Five Acre School band, Sound Waves, will play marimba music that will make you want to dance! They will play two sets on the River Stage, one at 10:30 am and another at 12:30 pm.

For Friday’s events, children will be visiting on school field trips to take part in the day’s activities. They can play the ‘Animal Olympics,’ enjoy the educational games provided by the exhibitors and, if they bring a T-shirt or pillow case, they can make their very own fish print. These are just a few of the fun ways the festival inspires a sense of stewardship in the next generation.

On Saturday, highlight events include the 10 am traditional welcoming ceremony by the Jamestown S’Klallam drummers and singers. Festival goers can also see beautiful artwork by the Olympic Driftwood Sculptors. Their fourth annual art show will take place in the River Center both Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm. Saturday also features fun dancing events with the Olympic Mountain Cloggers at 11 am and zumba at 12:30 pm. The afternoon delights continue with ongoing exhibitions, Music in the Park, and a drumming circle.

For more information on this family-friendly Sequim, WA event, visit DungenessRiverCenter.org.

Port Townsend 2012 September Festivals: Wooden Boat Fest and the Film Festival

Wooden Boat by Swedish boat builder Carl Gustav Pettersson

Walk through Point Hudson Marina in Port Townsend to see beautifully crafted wooden vessels of every type, from kayaks to three masted ships!

Two of the biggest events of the year are coming to Port Townsend, WA in September. Don’t miss these favorite cultural festivals on the Olympic Peninsula:

September 7-9, 2012 Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival
This is the 36th annual festival celebrating the tradition of wooden boat building on the Olympic Peninsula. Come to downtown Port Townsend and Point Hudson Marina to see the beautiful boats, learn, sail and buy. More than 300 wooden boats will be on display. There will also be many opportunities to learn through hundreds of presentations and demonstrations offered throughout the weekend. The bustling crowds, fun activities for the kids, exciting races and live music add to the festive atmosphere of this Port Townsend maritime heritage celebration.

For more information and to buy tickets online, visit WoodenBoat.org/festival.

13th Annual Port Townsend Film Festival

The magic of cinema returns to downtown Port Townsend, WA with the 13th Annual Port Townsend Film Festival this September.

September 21-23, 2012 Port Townsend Film Festival
This beloved Pacific Northwest film festival fills Port Townsend’s streets with movie lovers of all ages and tastes. It’s a wonderful block party with the added excitement of a surprise celebrity guest every year. In addition to enjoying great films, there will be informative discussion panels and talks with filmmakers, actors and writers.

Watch classic movies as well as exciting premiers of new films at different movie venues in town and on the giant screen set up in the middle of downtown. This year’s outer space theme is behind the new addition to the 2012 PT Film Fest: the Area 51 Cocktail Lounge. Area 51 at 607 Water Street will keep you “refreshed” throughout the weekend.

See the full schedule of events at PTfilmfest.com. Tickets can also be purchased online or at the venues listed on the website.

Choose local wines and ciders made by the wineries of the Olympic Peninsula during these great events! Many of the fine cafes and restaurants in Port Townsend, WA serve Olympic Peninsula wines. On your way to and from Port Townsend, stop by our Olympic Peninsula wineries. You can also take a break from the crowds and visit the local Olympic Peninsula tasting rooms.

Visit Olympic Peninsula Wineries during Labor Day Weekend 2012

Olympic Peninsula Wineries Map

As you drive along Hwy 101 during your Olympic Peninsula Labor Day weekend, the wineries in Port Townsend, Sequim and Port Angeles are right along your route.

The Olympic Peninsula is a great place to vacation any time of the year, but Labor Day is the traditional last hurrah for summer vacationers. There’s a big surge of travelers to our area, seeking that last taste of summer. What better way to taste it than to spend your Olympic Peninsula Labor Day weekend visiting our local wineries! All the wineries of the Olympic Peninsula will be open that weekend.

For quick reference, below are the Olympic Peninsula Wineries’ hours during Labor Day weekend. For full information on hours throughout the year, please visit each winery’s page on this site or their respective websites.

Wind Rose Cellars: Friday 1-7 pm ~ Saturday & Sunday 1-5 pm  ~ Monday 1-4 pm
Olympic Cellars: Open Daily 11 am – 6 pm
Harbinger Winery: Friday-Saturday 11 am-6 pm ~ Sunday 11 am-5 pm ~ Monday 11 am-6 pm
Finnriver Farm & Cidery: Open Thursday-Monday, 12 to 5 pm
FairWinds Winery: Friday-Monday 12 to 5 pm
Eaglemount Wine & Cider: Friday-Monday 12 to 5 pm
Camaraderie Cellars: Friday-Sunday 11 am-5 pm ~ Monday 11 am-3 pm
Black Diamond: Friday-Sunday 11am -4pm ~ Monday closed

In addition to the fun of touring our wineries, pick up some local wines for your Olympic Peninsula camping trips or hiking, kayaking and biking excursions. There are so many ways to enjoy the natural beauty of our waters and mountains. A bottle of award-winning Olympic Peninsula wine adds just the right touch when you’re looking out over the Strait Juan de Fuca, or walking among the stately old growth trees of the Hoh Rainforest.

Keep a few extra bottles to take back home or join the wine clubs to keep the Olympic Peninsula wines and fond memories flowing all year long.

From all of us at the Olympic Peninsula Wineries, we wish everyone a fun and safe Labor Day Weekend.

2012 County Fairs on the Olympic Peninsula

Olympic Peninsula county fairs

Flying high at the county fair.

Late summer is the beginning of the harvest season. It’s a tradition throughout the agricultural communities of the U.S. to have county fairs celebrating the bounty produced by local farms. The wineries of the Olympic Peninsula are proud to be part of the rich agricultural heritage of the North Olympic Peninsula and the counties of East Jefferson and Clallam. Every year, all of us look forward to the Jefferson County and Clallam County Fairs. The Jefferson County Fair in the eastern part of the Olympic Peninsula will be having their festivities first. Clallam’s County Fair follows the next weekend. Tickets are available at the gate or you can save on the cost by pre-purchasing your tickets.




2012 Jefferson County Fair in Port Townsend, WA
August 10-12, 2012 at 4907 Landes Street
Hours: Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. ~ Sun. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

2012 Clallam County Fair in Port Angeles, WA
August 16-19, 2012 at 1608 West 16th Street
Hours: Thurs-Sat: 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. (gates close at 9 p.m.) ~ Sun. 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Thursday is Kids’ Day, so children 12 and under are FREE until 6 p.m.

Both fairs will offer competitions, fun fair rides, demonstrations, live music, art shows and much more. Get an elephant ear, walk through the different exhibits of animals, foods and crafts and enjoy the family-friendly atmosphere of the local county fairs!

We highly recommend you check out both fairs since every county fair is a little different. The many different microclimates and growing conditions in our area affect the flavors of similar products. For example, the honey from one farm won’t taste the same as the honey at another farm because the bees are feeding from different kinds of flowers. It’s part of the magic of experiencing handcrafted local foods.

While you travel between fairs, be sure to stop at the wineries of the Olympic Peninsula which are located all along the route between Port Townsend and Port Angeles. It’s a perfect way to get a full taste of the local foods, ciders and wines of the Olympic Peninsula’s fields, orchards and vineyards!

Wine Pairings with Lamb Chops with Lavender & Herbs Recipe

Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb with Red Wine ReductionDuring the 2012 Lavender Weekend in Sequim, all the Olympic Peninsula Wineries will be joining in the celebration. To whet your appetite, we’ve found a great recipe with lavender to share: Grilled Colorado Lamb Chops with Lavender. Each of the eight wineries of the Olympic Peninsula shared their recommendations of wines to go with this simple and delicious lavender and lamb dish. Try this lavender recipe and have your own tasting with a wine or cider from each winery! We also suggest taking the Olympic Peninsula Lavender Weekend Wine Tour. Each winery will have additional wine and lavender pairings to suit every palate.

For the stronger flavors of the lamb, rubbed with lavender and herbs then grilled, each winery recommended these selections from their wines…

Black Diamond Winery: Muller Thurgau. This Reisling cross is slightly sweet with spicy undertones.

Camaraderie Cellars: Merlot, with its blackberry and cherry flavors or their slightly peppery/spicy Syrah.

Eaglemount Wine & Cider: Raptor Reserve, a blend of Cab-Sauv, Merlot, and Cab Franc. Also Apple Mead or Quince Cider.

FairWinds Winery: Lemberger, an unfiltered red with mellow yet complex flavors of fresh fruit and spice.

Finnriver Farm & Cidery: Sparkling Appleblueberry, an off dry champagne method cider or the dry Artisan Sparkling Cider.

Harbinger Winery: El Jéfe, a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvédre and Petite Sirah. Or Bolero (Tempranillo + Grenache)

Olympic Cellars: Their full-bodied Syrah or the Cabernet Franc with flavors of sage, tarragon and lavender.

Wind Rose Cellars: Nebbiolo. Opening aromas of pipe tobacco and savory herbs. Cherry and plum flavors with a cranberry finish.

Be sure to take the Olympic Peninsula Lavender Weekend Wine Tour to taste these and other award-winning Olympic Peninsula wines. Many wineries and cideries will have special releases of lavender-themed creations. You can also experience Olympic Peninsula wines by visiting the Sequim Lavender Farm Faire Wine & Beer Garden at Carrie Blake Park (202 Blake Avenue in Sequim).