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Olympic Peninsula Red Wine and Chocolate Tour
February 20 @ 11:00 am - February 21 @ 5:00 am$40
Hey football fans! There is life after the Super Bowl — and it all begins with Red Wine & Chocolate! Come to the Olympic Peninsula and celebrate the beginning of the end of winter with the region’s annual Red Wine & Chocolate Tour.
Kicking off during the long Valentine’s/Presidents’ Day Weekend, the event runs Feb. 13-15 and 20-21. Ten artisan wineries and cideries from Chimacum to Port Angeles will open their doors from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and treat visitors to a fun and indulgent experience.
In addition to the much-anticipated new red wine releases paired with sweet and savory chocolate delights, some wineries are adding new white wine releases to the mix. The tour will feature a number of new activities in which visitors are encouraged to engage. Lock your love in place for years to come on Olympic Cellars’ Love Lock Fence and view local art in the winery’s Gallery of Love; have fun taking selfies in FairWinds Winery’s Pirate Photo Booth before double-dipping in the dueling chocolate fountains; observe the traditional champagne-making process at Alpenfire Cider; and bring the outdoors in with a gourmet s’mores bar at Harbinger Winery. Several wineries will offer special VIP tastings enabling visitors to better refine their palates, and a great way to wrap-up a delicious day of tasting is to catch the post-tour live music at Wind Rose Cellars.
Tour tickets are $40.00 and include wine and chocolate tastings at all 10 wineries/cideries plus a souvenir wine glass. Purchase tickets online at www.opwredwineandchocolate.eventbrite.com or at any participating winery. Independently, each winery charges a $7.00 per person tasting fee. For additional information, visit www.olympicpeninsulawineries.org.
New this year, visitors are invited to bring back their stamped tour ticket on a non-event weekend for one free tasting per winery.
Here is a rundown of all that awaits visitors at each winery/cidery.
Finnriver Farm & Cidery invites visitors to drink in the love and the beauty at its Chimacum family farm! Enjoy a sip of the seasonal Love & Bubbles cocktail, featuring Finnriver’s succulent Raspberry Brandywine and award-winning, hand-riddled méthode Champenoise Artisan Sparkling Cider. Samples of its aged ‘crew selection’ Black Oak cider will also be offered, along with Cacao Brandy Wine, and the special release Red Currant Liberry Wine featuring locally grown currants from Tahlequah Farm. Fresh baked tarts by Crust Bakery will be served hot out of the wood fire oven, and local chocolatier Elevated Candy will offer its custom-created truffles made with select Finnriver Brandy wines. Bundle up and wear your boots for a walk on the land!
The view of Puget Sound and the snow-capped Cascades from Marrowstone Vineyards on Marrowstone Island is lovely, even in the middle of February! Visitors are invited to taste the winery’s new release Black Dog Barbera with owner/winemakers Ken and Judith Collins’ rescue dog, Ginger, gracing the label. Ten percent of the proceeds from this red wine are donated to the Humane Society of Jefferson County. Marrowstone’s featured Chocolatier will be Port Townsend Chocolate Company. The winery will pair dark chocolate with its Barbera and Pinot Noir, and white chocolate with its Riesling and Gewürztraminer. White wines will be on sale throughout the tour event.
At Lullaby Winery in Port Townsend visitors will be greeted with a taste of the newly released Morning Light, a unique nutty white wine served with a white chocolate and sea salt almond butter lollipop. This will be followed by the Rouge de Virginie, a fruity and delicious blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, and Lullaby’s other newly released dessert red wine Carbon, made with Grenache Noir. This will be paired with a dark chocolate and cherry cupcake. Winemaker Virginie has curated a selection of chocolates that will be available for purchase along with the lollipops and the cupcakes. The winery will host a separate Reserve Tasting featuring the 2010 Lalayee and the 2010 Syrah. For $10, visitors will have a chance to taste wines that are produced in very limited quantities.
Port Townsend’s FairWinds Winery will welcome visitors aboard a double-dip decadent voyage featuring not one, but two giant chocolate fountains! One will be flowing with smooth, rich, dark Belgian chocolate and the other with silky, creamy white chocolate. Two new wines will be offered this year for pairing with the chocolate: Captain’s Port O’Call with the dark chocolate and The Captain’s Lady Raspberry Liquor to savor with the white chocolate. Current releases will be offered as usual, and for an extra $10.00 tasting fee, visitors can indulge in a Vertical Tasting of three Champoux Vineyards Cabs – not to be missed! Don’t forget to stop by the Pirate Photo Booth for some great selfies!
Alpenfire Cider, also in Port Townsend, will be uncorking its new release of Cinders. Visitors will not only taste, but see the traditional champagne process of neck freezing, disgorging and corking. Cinders will be served with a dark chocolate truffle from Good Food Award winning Arrowhead Chocolates of Wallowa, Oregon. Hot Cakes of Seattle, another Good Food Award winner, will provide samples of its molten cakes with a special vinegar caramel sauce made with Alpenfire Vinegar. This cake will be served with the earthy, darkly sweet Ember Bittersweet Cider. The cidery will also serve its Apples & Chocolate Martini made with Dungeness Cider and chocolate liquor, and Pirate’s Plank Bone Dry Cider. Both are delicious with a bite of Theo Chocolate.
Eaglemount Wine & Cider will welcome guests to its new tasting room in the historic Palindrome just outside of Port Townsend. New releases of red wines, ciders, and a special apple wine will be poured. The wines and ciders will be paired with chocolates and caramels by Chocolate Serenade of Sequim. Guests will learn about the history of the wine and cider makers’ new home and future plans for the winery, event and wedding center and vineyard.
In Sequim, Wind Rose Cellars will serve five wines during the tour: Pinot Grigio, Dolcetto, Barbera, Bravo Rosso and Muscato. Three of the wines will be paired with locally-made chocolates by Chocolatier Yvonne Yokota of Yvonne’s Chocolates. All wines served will be 15 percent off; cases will be 20 percent off. Visitors can taste more wines in the VIP Bar for an additional fee. Stop by after the tour and catch some live music from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Feb. 12: Sarah Shea & Chez Quartet (Vocal Jazz)
Feb. 13: Three Fools for Love (Jazz) Linda Dowdel, Ted Enderle and Ed Donahue
Feb. 19: Jeremy & Anna (Local duo performs acoustic tunes from 60s-present)
Feb. 20: Malcolm Clark Trio (Blues)
This year’s theme at Port Angeles’ Olympic Cellars is “Romance and Elegance.” The cellar will be decorated with chandeliers and red velvet, and will house the Gallery of Love, where artists Jennifer Bright and Pam Dick will display and sell local art. Tour-goers will be treated to a very limited production white Port-style wine during the event, made from locally grown Madeleine Angevine grapes and fortified with brandy distilled from Olympic Cellars’ Madeleine Angevine wine. Known as Sailing Moon White Dessert Wine, it is the epitome of elegance and romance paired with white chocolate, brie and strawberries. In addition, Winemaker Greg is very excited to pour his current favorite wine, Neuharth’s Legacy 2013, a Tempranillo Souzao blend bottled in a magnum (1.5L). Visitors are encouraged to bring a lock or purchase one on-site from a local non-profit to lock their love in place on Olympic Cellars Love Lock Fence, which will be installed in the vineyard. Come back and visit your lock year after year as your love grows!
Camaraderie Cellars, also in Port Angeles, has a full line up of chocolate-inspired foods that are more on the savory side. Visitors won’t find truffles here, but they will find chocolate and cherry infused scones, dark chocolate cookies, and a crowd-pleasing wood fired oven pulled pork dry rubbed with cocoa and chili spices. The chefs are local stars: David Long of Rolling Bay Baking Company, Molly Woodruff of Molly Baby Baking Company fame, and the winery’s own Chef Steve Corson, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. Celebrate with friends around the big fire pit and match delicious food offerings with great red wines from Camaraderie’s cellar. Don’t miss the Quadra, a Spanish-inspired rich wine that is perfect with your favorite chocolate and a loved one.
For 2016, Harbinger Winery has brought some favorite outdoor summer activities into the tasting room by introducing a Gourmet S’mores Bar, complete with all the staples. Graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate . . . and not just any ol’ chocolate! Try a bacon chocolate s’more with the Dynamo Red and you’ll feel like you just got away with something illegal! And the salted chocolate caramel s’mores with the Bolero? Be prepared to have your world rocked…it’s that good! This event marks the heavily anticipated release of Harbinger’s Boysenberry Port, which has been barrel-aging to perfection in the cellar for the last six years. Paired with a death-by-chocolate brownie seems the perfect way to seal the bond. Are you a beer lover? Port Townsend Brewery’s Chocolate Porter will be available on site. For a special, beyond the ordinary experience, step through the velvet curtain into the Kitty Kat Lounge and prepare to be seduced with a Harbinger reserve wine and artisan aphrodisiac chocolate pairing! This year the winery is introducing a game-changer in the form of a reality-altering Magic Chocolate Mushroom! Entry to the Kitty Kat Lounge is $10.00, redeemable with a reserve bottle sale.