Labor Day Events at the Peninsula Wineries

Come catch the most beautiful weather of the year in Washington – right now! There are tons of fun activities waiting for you on the Olympic Peninsula and at our wineries. Why not come for Labor Day weekend?

Whether you come for the whole long weekend or just drive up for the day, the Olympic Peninsula wineries are not-to-be-missed!

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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!

 

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 Wineries Photo Contest

Olympic Peninsula Wine and Cheese Tour

Participate in our upcoming photo contest.

The Olympic Peninsula is a scenic place.

Bring your camera to the Olympic Peninsula Wineries NW Wine and Cheese Tour on April 14 and 15, 2012. All are invited to participate in our first annual “Sip Wine and Cider, Say Cheese” Photo Contest.

Our wineries and cideries are located in some truly lovely spots.

  • Olympic Cellars’ historic barn, with the Olympic Mountains in the background. Finnriver Farm & Cidery’s rolling fields and orchards.
  • Camaraderie Cellars’ expansive patio and lush gardens.
  • Harbinger Winery’s cool, industrial setting.
  • Black Diamond Winery’s acres of grapes overlooking Tumwater Creek.
  • Eaglemount Wine & Cider’s lovely historic homestead and orchards.
  • FairWinds Winery overlooking the Olympic Mountains outside Port Townsend.
  • Wind Rose Cellars’ cozy tasting room in the heart of downtown Sequim.

 

Washington State Hard Cider.

Finnriver Farm and Cidery.

Take photos of the scenery, the Washington wine, hard cider, the cheese. We’re looking for memorable photos to mark the occasion. The top 3 entries will be posted on the Olympic Peninsula Wineries website and Facebook page. Winners will receive a pair of tickets to the 2012 Harvest Wine Tour, November 11-13.

NW Wine and Cheese Tour photo contest

The historic barn at Olympic Cellars.

 

 

A Very Brief History of Cheese

Cheese has been enjoyed for thousands and thousands of years. It predates history. Anything that has that kind of staying power has got to be good.

Olympic Peninsula Wine and Cheese Tour.

The NW Wine and Cheese Tour, April 14 & 15, 2012.

It is widely believed that the first cheese came into being shortly after the earliest domestication of sheep and goats. It was most likely discovered by accident. Milk was frequently stored in animal skins, which contain rennet; the combination of rennet, movement, and time caused the milk to separate into curds and whey.

Once there were curds, cheese was on its way.

The years have been good to cheese. Ancient Romans were among the first to elevate cheese making to a fine art, but they were not the last. Over time, one civilization after another experimented with cheese, playing with flavors and textures.

Recent years have witnessed a resurgence in farmstead and artisanal cheese making. Those of us who live in Washington State are blessed to have many such fine cheese makers among us.

Join Olympic Peninsula Wineries and Cideries the weekend of April 14-15, 2012, for the Northwest Wine and Cheese Tour. Discover enchanting combinations of Washington State Wine and Cheese. And raise your glass in thanks to the first people who thought to store their goat milk in animal skins.

A Locavore’s Dream: Washington Wine and Cheese

Wine is a wonderful. It can be enjoyed on its own and it can bring out the best in food. For every meal, there is a wine. For every moment, there is a wine. Yes, wine is wonderful.

2012 NW Wine and Cheese Tour

We're looking forward to trying the cheese from Black Sheep Creamery.

It’s hard to think of a more perfect combination than wine and cheese. Perhaps that’s because both wine and cheese are so diverse. There are big, bold Cabernets and there are light, effervescent, whites. There are delicate goat cheeses and strong blue cheeses. It would be easy to devote a lifetime to finding perfect combinations of wines and cheeses, and people have. The right combination can be out-of-this-world.

The Wineries of the Olympic Peninsula are looking forward to trying new combinations of Washington State Wines and Cheeses during our upcoming Northwest Wine and Cheese Tour, April 14-15, 2012.

Read on for a list of participating cheesemakers, and make your plans to attend the Olympic Peninsula’s 2012 Northwest Wine and Cheese Tour. (more…)

Hurricane Ridge and Washington Wine

Hurricane Ridge is one of the Olympic Peninsula’s treasures.

Sunny, snowy, Hurricane Ridge.

The summit stands over 5,200 feet above sea level, so the road from Port Angeles heads up and up and up. Once at the top, visitors enjoy amazing views of the interior Olympic Mountains, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and beyond. The view alone is well worth the winding drive.

At this time of year, Hurricane Ridge is covered with snow. There is a small ski and snowboard area well suited to skiers of all levels, and many powdery bowls, steeps and glades open to expert skiers and snowboarders. Folks who normally head to the Cascades may be surprised by all Hurricane Ridge Ski and Snowboard Area has to offer these days.

For many of us, the best part of winter sports is the Après Ski that begins once the skis and snowboards are securely loaded on the car. We hope that those of you planning to ski at Hurricane Ridge this weekend will stop by Olympic Peninsula Wineries for our annual Holiday Open House. Consider it a fresh twist on an old tradition.

The Holiday Open House takes place from noon to 5 p.m., November 10 and 11, 2011, at all eight of our Olympic Peninsula Wineries and Cideries. Harbinger Winery, Camaraderie Cellars, Black Diamond Winery, and Olympic Cellars are all located in the Port Angeles area. Eaglemount Wine & Cider, Finnriver Farm & Cidery, Sorensen Cellars, and FairWinds Winery are located in or outside of Port Townsend. All are perfectly situated for Après Ski wine tasting.

The Holiday Open House is a great time to hand-pick Washington State Wines for holiday parties. It’s also a great time to select wines for gifts. Visiting the individual wineries allows you to taste the wines you normally only look at on the shelf. It’s a fantastic opportunity.

Olympic Peninsula Wineries Holiday Open House

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, it’s time to start considering Christmas and Hanukkah. This year, gift a gift that can be truly enjoyed. Give a bottle of  Washington State Wine from the Olympic Peninsula.

Give special gifts this year. Give Washington Wine made on the Olympic Peninsula.

Find the perfect wines for the oenophiles in your life by attending our Holiday Open House. All eight of our Olympic Peninsula Wineries and Cideries will be open from noon until 5 p.m. on December 10 and 11, 2011. Make a weekend of it (holiday shopping need not be dreary), and visit all of them.

Take your time. Stretch your legs at beautiful, rural, Eaglemount Wine & Cider and Finnriver Farm & Cider. Spend a few hours at the Port Townsend wineries, Sorensen Cellars and FairWinds Winery. Pass the night in Port Townsend, where you can enjoy an excellent meal at Fins Coastal Cuisine or The Silverwater, then head to Port Angeles on Sunday, where you can leisurely taste at Olympic Cellars, Black Diamond Winery, Harbinger Winery, and Camaraderie Cellars. You may even want to make a long weekend of it.

If you know your oenophiles to have certain preferences, talk to the pourers at the various wineries. They’re in the best position to help you find the right wines.

Won’t it feel good to have your holiday shopping finished by the 12th?

A Brief Guide to Wine Tasting

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Play fun cork games during the 2011 Harvest Wine Tour of Olympic Peninsula Wineries.

The Harvest Wine Tour of our Olympic Peninsula Wineries starts today. We hope to see many familiar faces and welcome new people to the Washington State wineries and cideries of Port Townsend, the Chimacum Valley, and Port Angeles.

Please read on for a brief guide to wine tasting. We hope this will help you negotiate and appreciate the wines you sample this weekend.

Wine tasting is about more than just taste. It examines the sight, scent, and taste of wine. The experience begins with the uncorking (which is why many restaurants offer the cork for sniffing), and ends when the aftertaste has faded.

Be sure to note the following aspects:

  • The appearance of the wine in the glass. Hold your glass up the light and tilt it. Note the colors. Then swirl the wine and watch the legs run down the sides of the glass – the thicker and slower the legs, the fuller the body of the wine will be. Think of the difference between skim milk and whole milk.
  • The aroma of the wine in the glass. Swirl the wine for about 10 seconds, then put the glass to your nose and breathe deeply. Do this a few times. How many various scents can you distinguish?
  • The taste of the wine. Take a sip and savor it before you swallow. Does it have a heavy or light texture (again, think of skim vs whole milk). Is it sweet? Fruity? Dry?
  • The finish of the wine, or aftertaste. How does the wine linger in your mouth after the sip has been swallowed?

Consider a wine’s complexity, character, and potential. Would you enjoy drinking this wine alone, or do you think it would be best served with food? If served with food, what kind of food? Spicy, sweet? Rich and creamy? Meaty?

We look forward to seeing you tasting Washington State Wine this weekend during the Harvest Wine Tour of Olympic Peninsula Wineries. Enjoy the wine and cider you taste. Have fun with the experience. Drink responsibly and pace yourself. Cheers!