Puget Sound Journals

Puget Sound Winery Loop Drive

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A travel journal to Puget Sound by El Gallo

Quote: A ring of small wineries provides a nice focus for a day or weekend trip around Puget Sound--or a nice place to sip a few for vistors to the area.

Puget Sound Winery Loop Drive

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

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A lot of people think talking about Washington State Wines is silly. It's the same people who used to think California wines were silly. The thing is, Eastern Washington has a perfect climate for grapes and has produced some great wines and would produce more except that the best growing areas are mostly used for apple and cherry orchards at present. But the trend lately has been towards Western Washington wineries--mostly because that's where the people and wine snobs are. There is a loop drive around Puget Sound and some of its islands that can take you through eight wineries in one day--though you'd probably be better stopping for the night somewhere along the line. This loop even has a...Read More

Bainbridge Island Vineyards and Winery

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Bainbridge Island Vineyards is perfectly situated--right above the ferry terminal. It's been a working winery for 24 years, and the wine comes from local grapes, not imports from Eastern Washington. On Sunday afternoons there is a demonstration in the vineyard of how grapes are cultivated, harvested, and made into wine. They produce certain varieties, such as a pinot noir and pinot gris, but tend towards novelty wines such as Sigerrebe, Ferryboat White (??) strawberry and raspberry wines, and Muller-Thurgau. Annual production is 2200 cases, prices range from $8 to $30. Noon to five Wednesday-Sunday, (206) 842-9463.

Lost Mountain Winery

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Lost Mountain Winery has been located in Sequim (heart of the Olympic rain shadow 'Sunshine Belt') since 1981 with production now up to about 1000 cases a year. This tends towards being an 'old country' winery--the family that built it (mostly from timber right off the property) is from the Lake Como region of Italy. Their most popular wine is Romeo's Blend, named after the owner's father and from an old family recipe. That sort of place. Open 11-5 on weekends. 3174 Lost Mountain Road, Sequim. (360) 683-5229. Website

Olympic Cellars

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Olympic Cellars relocated from Sequim to Port Angeles in 1998, where it works out of a huge old century-old barn. Production is about 2,500 cases a year from Eastern Washington grapes and priced around $10 to $20. In addition to Lemberger, merlot, a very nice chardonnay, Johannisberg Riesling. they have developed local varieties--Dungeness Red and Dungeness White--perfect for a meal of Dungeness crab. Open noon to five, Wednesday through Sunday at 255410 Route 101, Port Angeles. (360)452-0160. Website

Black Diamond Winery

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Black Diamond Winery is a real cottage industry that produces some unusual wines that should probably be called hand-crafted. Only 400 cases a year, all from fruit grown on the premises. Wines include rhubarb (try that on your wine snob friends--tell them it's good to drink at a baseball game), strawberry rhubarb, plum (from their Shiro plum tree), apricot, and pinot gris. Prices are very reasonable at $8 to $11. Future plans for Black Diamond include red currant, loganberry, and muscat wines. Open ten to four, Thursday to Sunday. 2976 Black Diamond Rd. Port Angeles. (360) 457-0748. Website

Camaraderie Cellars

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Camaraderie Cellars is also located in Port Angeles, and claims to be the Northernmost Winery in the Country. Very much a conscientious, family operation that has built to a production of 1,000 cases a year since 1992. They do a cabernet sauvignon, sauvignon blanc, merlot, and also some less popular varietals such as caberet franc and semillon. The semillon is a cheap, flashy little wine without breeding or much of a resume, but I think you'll be grossed-out by it's paranoia, megalomania and whining co-dependence. Okay, not really. I just felt like I had to sound like a wine writer here. Prices run up to $18.50. See by appointment: (360)452-4964 334 Benson Rd. Port Angeles

Fairwinds Winery

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Fairwinds Winery has been producing since 1993, now up to 1000 cases a year. Located in the Victorian gingerbreadville of Port Townsend, they use hand-picked grapes to make Lemberger, Gewurtztraminer, cabernet sauvignon, and a white Burgundy called Aligote. Prices run from $8 to $16. Ten to six, Thursday to Monday. 1984 Hastings Ave W. on the edge of Port Townsend. (360) 385-6899 Website

Whidbey Island Vineyards and Winery

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Whidbey Island Vineyards has been around Langley, Whidbey Island since 1991, growing their own grapes to produce Madeleine Angevine, Siegerrebe and their proprietary Island White. Not to mention a rhubarb wine from local rhubarb. Rhubarb, by the way, is like celery that bleeds cherry syrup. Production was 2,400 cases this year, prices run from $8 to $18. Noon to five, Wednesday to Sunday. 5237 S. Langley Rd. Langley. (360) 221-2040

Whidbey Island Greenbank Farm

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Whidbey Island Greenbank Farm is actually a 500-acre berry farm, said to be the world's largest loganberry farm. They also make berry wines and sell them in their gift shop along with all sorts of berry nice foods. They have also achieved a certain local renown for making wine from stray dogs and road kill. Okay, that's not true. I just got bored writing about all these cute little wine places. Jeez. I'm about ready for a big slug of tequila, how about you? Ten to five, daily. 765 E. Wonn Road, Greenbank, Whidbey Island. (360) 678-7700. Website