Winter Hurricane Ridge

A winter getaway on the Olympic Peninsula should include a trip to Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park. Stunning views begin on the drive to the peak, where pull-outs look east to Mt. Baker and the Cascades. Admire intimate views of the Olympic peaks of Mt. Dana, Mt. Carrie, and Mt. Olympus from the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center, and follow the Cirque Rim Trail on a clear day to gaze at Port Angeles, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the San Juan Islands, and Victoria, BC.

In the winter, Hurricane Ridge Ski Area is a haven for skiers, snowboarders, sledders and snowshoers. The ski area at Hurricane Ridge is relatively small, but the powder is deep and it gives way to a limitless backcountry area. Novices will be comfortable on the groomed trails, but expert skiers and snowboarders will find it hard to keep away from nearby bowls, glades, and steeps.

Hurricane Ridge Ski Area

Relax after your day of fresh air and powder with a glass of Washington State Wine from an Olympic Peninsula Winery. Several Port Angeles Washington Wineries at the base of Hurricane Ridge offer wine tastings on the weekend: Camaraderie Cellars, Harbinger Winery, Black Diamond Winery, and Olympic Cellars. Learn about these locally crafted wines at the bar as the winemaker pours you a glass, and take your time selecting a bottle or two to take home or back to your lodging.

The best part of tackling a snowy mountain, after all, is how good you feel when you come down.

Northwest Wine and Cheese Tour

Mark your calendars, for the Northwest Wine and Cheese Tour will be at the Washington State Wineries of the Olympic Peninsula on April 17 and 18, 2010. We’ll pair handcrafted local wines with locally made artisan cheeses, and the results will be out of this world.

Enjoy local, hand-crafted Washington wines and cheeses.

Enjoy local, hand-crafted Washington wines and cheeses.

Six Washington State Wineries located in Port Townsend and Port Angeles will participate in the NW Wine and Cheese Tour. Our wineries will be open from 11 am to 6 pm both Saturday and Sunday. This allows ample time for you to leisurely visit all the wineries and sample a good selection of Washington State wines and cheese.

Cheesemakers from Mt. Townsend Creamery of Port Townsend and Mystery Bay Farm of Marrowstone Island will be at Olympic Cellars Winery, on Saturday. Sample these cheeses with the peninsula’s own Pane D’Amore bread and a selection of Olympic Cellars wines. Suzanne Tyler will present cheeses from Wild Harvest Creamery at Sorensen Cellars in Port Townsend.

Keep an eye out and a fork ready for amazing cheeses from Mount Townsend Creamery in Port Townsend, Golden Glen Creamery in Bow, and Montesano Estrella and Beechers in Seattle. We look forward to seeing which cheeses will be paired with the fantastic fruit wines of Black Diamond Winery. And we always love to see what is being poured in the lovely tasting rooms at Harbinger Winery and Camaraderie Cellars of Port Angeles. In Port Townsend, look for excellent cheese and wine parings at FairWinds Winery.

An added perk to any wine tasting event on the Olympic Peninsula is the Rain Shadow that protects most of this area from the rains that often fall in spring. We can’t absolutely guarantee sunshine, but you are more likely to find sunshine between Port Townsend and Port Angeles than anywhere else in Western Washington. Now that is worth toasting!

Tickets are now available online or by calling 800-785-5495. We encourage you to have a designated driver if you plan to thoroughly taste our Washington wines.

Red Wine and Chocolate

Is it indulgent to spend a weekend (or two) traveling between Olympic Peninsula Wineries, drinking red wine and eating chocolate? Or is it good sense? It’s no secret that moderate consumption of red wine is good for your health – it is believed to lower the risk of heart disease. Well, it has come to light that the same is true for dark chocolate.

Antioxidants, flavonoids, resveratrol? Let the doctors and scientists study the nitty gritty of why red wine and dark chocolate can help our hearts. We’ll just do as the French have always done – consume them and smile.

Six Washington State Wineries on the Olympic Peninsula are pulling out their best red wines and pairing them with fine chocolates during the weekends of February 5-6 and 13 – 15, 2010. You may purchase tickets to these festive events and taste at all six wineries for a mere $25 (includes a souvenir wine glass), or taste at individual wineries for $5 each.

There is a red wine for every palate at Harbinger Winery in Port Angeles, and a variety of chocolates to match them. Fruit wines, hearty reds and crisp blushes are all here.

Camaraderie in Port Angeles will pair their 2006 gold medal winning merlot with merlot chocolate dipping sauce, Molly Baby chocolate cookies and Princess Valiant chocolates. They’ll pull out other reds as well: cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and blends.

Head to the Black Diamond Winery, in the foothills of the Olympic Mountains near Port Angeles, for tasty Raspberry and Strawberry wines. Be sure to savor the chocolate truffles between sips.

Those of you who enjoy a little spice in your life may want to head straight to Olympic Cellars, on highway 101 between Sequim and Port Angeles. CBC chocolatier Peter Crabtree has created spice-embedded chocolates to enhance the reds at Olympic Cellars. Your taste buds will tingle.

FairWinds Winery in Port Townsend will be pairing their award-winning Port O’Call with rich chocolate flowing from “the tallest known chocolate fountain in captivity”. Also in Port Townsend, Sorensen Cellars pairs reds with assorted chocolates and truffles made by Sequim chocolatier Yvonne. Be sure to try the two new releases: a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Malbec.

You can consider it romantic or fun to head out for a weekend of tasting chocolates and wines from Washington State. Or you can consider it an integral part of your health care. How you spin it is up to you. No matter what, we feel certain you will enjoy it.