Chocolate & Wine Tour Weekend

Feb. 16 & 17, 2013

What could be more fitting for a Valentine’s Day outing than the Bainbridge Island Wine and Chocolate Weekend?  If that sounds good, you might want to delay your declaration of love for a couple of days and come to the Island for this Winery Alliance of Bainbridge Island event the weekend of Feb. 16 – 17th.  The tour features 5 Bainbridge Island wineries and a handful of artisanal chocolatiers.

Wine making on the Island goes back as far as the 1970’s, but the 6 wineries that belong to the Winery Alliance of Bainbridge Island have all gotten their start since 2003.  Most of the wineries began in someone’s garage or shed – and have grown up to create “The Northwest’s new wine destination” according to Sunset Magazine in November of 2010.  While each winery is independent, the Alliance has created a community of wine makers who work together, sharing experience, volunteers and even equipment, to build an award winning collection of wines.  Because they are making wine on such a small scale – by the 10s of barrels rather than the thousands of barrels, the wines produced harken back to the way wine has always been made – rather than the mass-produced ‘industrialized’ wine from the giant vintners.

Five of the six Alliance wineries will be participating in the Wine and Chocolate tour.  The sixth, Fletcher Bay Winery’s tasting room is closed until late February when they will open their new Tasting Room.  The five wineries (and their chocolate partners for the weekend) are listed below.

  • Amelia Wynn Wine:   Named for his twin 5 year old grandchildren – Amelia and Wynn – owner and vintner Paul Bianchi has been winning awards since 2009 when he won the Double Gold in the Seattle Wine Awards for his Bordeaux Blend.  For the Wine and Chocolate tour, Paul will be hand selecting artisanal chocolates to go with his excellent wine.
  • Eagle Harbor Winery:   Originally from Poland, Winemaker Hugh Remash sources his grapes from the Walla Walla AVA.  His wines are served at a number of Bainbridge Island restaurants – including the Harbour Public House. (In fact Hugh specially kegs his a unique Bordeaux blend, Pubordeuax exclusively for the Pub.) For the tour he will be pairing his wine with handmade chocolates from a Pasticceria of the Scuola di Arte Culinaria Cordon Bleu (which is Italian for pastry chef from the school of Cordon Bleu).
  • Eleven Winery:  The winery is run by husband and wife Matt and Sarah Albee.  Also on staff is their son Cole, who holds the position of Chief Hinderer (he is 6).  Assistant Chief Hinderer is little brother Cameron.  The Albee’s family goal is great wine and great fun.  Their plans for the Chocolate tour have been kept super-secret.
  • Rolling Bay Winery:  Located on a hillside, overlooking Murden Cove, this winery is a destination for excellent wines – and a great photo-op.  The Tasting Room (which is also the fermentation room) is fronted by a handmade rock wall and antique doors from a Mongolian monastery.  For the Chocolate tour, they will feature a delectable line-up of Theo Chocolates.
  • Perennial Vintners:  Mike Lempriere of Perennial Vintners is one of the few winemakers who grows his own grapes on Bainbridge Island.  PV specializes in the delicately nuanced white wine made from cool-climate grapes such as Melon de Bourgogne, Siegerrebe, Madeleine Angevine and Muller Thurgau.  For the Wine and Chocolate tour PV will be featuring chocolatier Keith Jackson of Yukon Jackson’s chocolates.

Bainbridge Island is just a short ferry ride from downtown Seattle.  Whether rain or shine – the Wine and Chocolate tour will make for a memorable (and delicious) day trip!