Unique Hard Ciders Featured at Olympic Peninsula Wine, Cider & Chocolate Tour

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Deborah Anastasi Black

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For Immediate Release   

Unique Hard Ciders Featured at

Olympic Peninsula Wine, Cider & Chocolate Tour

Two Delicious Weekends – Feb. 11 & 12 and 18, 19, 20


Feb. 3, 2017 – A new micro industry has been growing up on the Olympic Peninsula, complementing the region’s artisan wineries and offering consumers an interesting alternative libation – hand-crafted hard cider. This year, the Olympic Peninsula Wineries Association is turning the spotlight on its member cideries, renaming its popular annual Red Wine & Chocolate Tour the Wine, Cider & Chocolate Tour. Visitors can sample Hot Lamb’s Wool Cider, Raspberry Hopped Cider, Rhubarb Cider and more while also sipping new wine releases, all paired with sweet and savory chocolate delights.

The self-guided tour will take place over two weekends, Feb. 11 & 12, and 18, 19, 20 (President’s Day holiday). Nine wineries and cideries located from Chimacum to Port Angeles will open their doors from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and treat tour-goers to a most indulgent experience!

But it’s not only about food and drink. Lots of fun is to be had on tour! At Alpenfire Cider in Port Townsend, find a tag on a tree and win something special! Visitors are invited to help plant a new cider orchard at Eaglemount Wine & Cider, also in Port Townsend. Some lucky tour-goers will have the chance to bottle their own Ruby Dessert Wine under the tutelage of Winemaker Greg Vogtritter at Olympic Cellars in Port Angeles. There will be an art exhibit in the Marrowstone Winery gallery, and seats for sipping and savoring in front of a blazing fire on the patio at Camaraderie Cellars in Port Angeles. 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 or Finnriver Farm & Cidery.

Tour tickets are $40.00 online and include wine, cider and chocolate tastings at all nine venues, plus a commemorative wine glass. Tickets purchased at the door of participating venues are $45.00. Independently, each winery/cidery charges a $10.00 per person tasting fee. For additional information, visit www.olympicpeninsulawineries.org.

Tour-goers who have their ticket stamped at all nine venues will be entered into a drawing for an elegant wine themed gift basket. The gift basket winner along with a second and third place winner will receive two tickets to the NW Wine and Cheese Tour in May.

Following is a rundown of all that awaits visitors at each winery/cidery.

Finnriver Farm & Cidery in Chimacum invites you to join us at the Cider Garden this Valentine’s weekend to delight your senses with a taste of our special release brandy wines, including the limited edition and vibrantly pink Huckleberry Wine. We will share our farm-crafted ciders and wines alongside samples of locally-crafted truffles featuring Finnriver flavors from Elevated Candy Company, and Port Townsend Chocolate Company miniature dark chocolate cups. Enjoy a small glass of Elevated’s sipping chocolate to warm the heart. Sugar Hill Confections will also be on hand with a sampling of their lovingly-made fudges and other delectable selections. Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons we welcome La Crepe de Quimper with Brittany style crepes, and Saturdays we offer our local Bratwurst Special.  Live music Saturday evenings from 5:30-8:30 in our heated outdoor pavilion. Sharing the love at Finnriver!

Marrowstone Vineyards, located on Marrowstone Island,  will be releasing three new red wines for the Wine, Cider & Chocolate Tour, a 2013 Cabernet-Franc, the Dirty Red Blend (50% Syrah, 50% Tempranillo), and our much anticipated showcase wine, the 2015 Malbec, made with grapes from Two Coyote Vineyard. These amazing new red wines along with our flavorful, dry white wines, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewürztraminer, will be paired individually with an exquisite variety of chocolate from Lynn LeMaster of the Port Townsend Chocolate Co.  We also have all new art displayed in the tasting room and the gallery, to go along with our views from the deck.

In Port Townsend, come visit FairWinds Winery’s Pirate’s Den during the Wine, Cider & Chocolate Tour! Arrgh – no grog here, only award-winning wines! Taste our current releases as well as our Platinum award-winning Lemberger! FairWinds will have its seven current releases available for your enjoyment along with a couple of “special” pours. Sample the chocolate fountain with a range of “dippers” from salty pretzels to sweet strawberries. Slip out of your wine tasting self and into your pirate persona for a selfie. Participate in a simple, but fun game to win a taste from the barrel of the next cabernet to be bottled. Just remember–whatever happens at FairWinds Winery—goes on Facebook! Wine, chocolate and pirates – oh yeah!

At Alpenfire Cider, also in Port Townsend, help guarantee a successful 2017 harvest at our Organic Late Winter Wassail. Toast our trees, visit the bonfire and sip hot Lamb’s Wool Cider. Find an apple tag on a tree and see what you win, maybe a free tasting or 50 percent off a case of cider! Choklatude will serve samples of their amazing and delicious brewing cacao. Along with cider favorites old and new we will be serving chocolate covered apple caramels and molé bites. See you soon!

Eaglemount Wine & Cider, Port Townsend, is excited to partner once again with local Olympic Peninsula favorite Chocolate Serenade. We will pair our artisan wines, ciders and fruit meads with Jim’s delicious hand-dipped chocolates, truffles and caramel sauce. Eaglemount will also feature an array of colorful ciders and wines that will bring out your Valentine’s spirit, including Raspberry Hopped Cider, Cranberry Mead, Rhubarb Cider, Cabernet Sauvignon Dessert Wine and more! We will release our Petit Verdot in honor of the season, as well as Honey Pear Mead, and might have another surprise or two up our sleeves. We will also be planting our new cider orchard during parts of the event and welcome participants to jump in and help with orchard planning, soil preparation, planting bare root trees, pruning and more! 

In Sequim, Wind Rose Cellars is proud to be hosting local Olympic Peninsula chocolatier Yvonne Yokoda from Yvonne’s Chocolates. She’ll be on hand both weekends to talk about her chocolates as well as offer tasty samples from the variety of chocolates she produces. We will be pouring some new wines this tour: 2015 Pinot Grigio, 2014 Hunter’s Red (Grenache & Cab) 2013 Bravo Rosso (Italian blend), 2014 Field Blend (Cabernet Sauvignon) and our 2013 Primitivo. We’ll pair three of our wines with Yvonne’s chocolates hoping to delight and test your senses. We’ll also have our VIP bar for an additional tasting fee, where you can talk with the winemaker about his passion and winemaking process. Join us for live music both weekends. Friday, Feb. 10 “Bread and Gravy” (rock/blues), Saturday, Feb. 11 “Malcolm Clark Trio” (Blues), Friday, Feb. 17 “Me and the Boys” (Bluegrass/newgrass) and Saturday, Feb. 18 “Craig Buhler Trio” (West Coast jazz). Music show is from 7-9pm each night. 

Port Angeles’ Olympic Cellars will feature new releases of our dessert wines. Sailing Moon Ruby is made from a blend of Portuguese/Spanish grape varietals, including Tempranillo and Souzao. It’s rich and warming and pairs beautifully with cuddling by a fire and enjoying a piece of chocolate. Sailing Moon White is made from locally-grown Madeleine Angevine grapes and fortified with brandy distilled in Port Townsend from our Madeleine Angevine wine. Our brand new Sailing Moon Rose’ is made from locally-grown Regent grapes. This wine tastes of fresh berries with a lovely acid/sweet balance. Join us in the cellar where nibbles of mild cheeses and decadent spreads will enhance your tasting. Also, “We Do Fudge” of Sequim will be on-site pairing the perfect fudge flavors with our wines. Winemaker Greg will be on hand to help the adventurous among our guests bottle a 750 ml bottle of Ruby Dessert Wine for $40.00. This very special activity will be limited based on crowd size and demand. As always, Olympic Cellars will have a variety of red and white wines open from which you may to choose to taste. Wine discounts will be available both weekends.

Camaraderie Cellars, also in Port Angeles, is celebrating history. This is our 25th year of making great wine in a beautiful spot. There will be tastes of older vintages, pulled from our cellar and the debut of our newest varietal, Dolcetto. We bring back favorite savory chocolate tastes by firing up the wood-fired oven for the Cocoa Spiced Pulled Pork, serving the delicious bittersweet chocolate heart cookies, and some crunchy biscotti. Cozy up to the blazing fire on the patio and share Camaraderie wine memories. Special anniversary pricing for this event: 25% off all wine purchases. Roll the dice to win a special gift!

As the rain gauge fills and the cabin fever spikes, the Wine, Cider & Chocolate Tour is the cure for the Northwest winter blues. Harbinger Winery , Port Angeles, will be once again showcasing some newly released red wines paired with “off-the-radar” chocolate. Try the Triple-C cookie that was designed to complement a myriad of wines and conquer small countries. Or, our gold medal Barbera coupled with a layering of chocolate flavors that will make the most cynical heart throb…Experience what roses and Rose’ may have in common besides color and beauty. And why on earth would anyone put pop rocks into chocolate?? Find all these answers and maybe even the meaning of happiness during the Wine, Cider, and Chocolate event! For the more daring souls we are again hosting the VIP reserve wine and aphrodisiac chocolate experience behind the velvet curtains in the Kitty Kat Lounge. Sample our Gold and Double-Platinum offerings while being seduced by Theo’s Chocolates and hand-made delectables. Also being sampled for the event is Port Townsend Brewing’s Chocolate Porter, a full-bodied beer offering visions of dancing cupids after just one glass! Our doors are open and we look forward to your visit.


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