During our trip around the Olympic Peninsula, we discovered three wineries that very much worth visiting, Wind Rose Cellars, Camaraderie Cellars and Westport Winery. The wines are in the November issue of the Review of Washington Wines. Here is more about the wineries and the people behind them.
Wind Rose Cellars, Sequim, Washington
A wind rose is a wind direction indicator, and an elaborate compass version is depicted on the winery's labels. Wind Rose Cellars is owned by David Volmut and his wife, Jennifer States. David graduated from the Yakima Valley Community College's enology program in 2009 and he interned at Olsen Estates. The winery's focus is on Italian varietals - Dolcetto, Barbera, Primitivo, Sangiovese and Nebbiolo - and some Malbec and Cabernet. The wines are made at Bell Bottom, east of Sequim, where we visited David. The facility, open by appointment only, is adjacent to the Haze Lavender farm. The winery has a tasting room in Downtown Sequim on 143 West Washington Street and is open Wednesday through Saturday, with a bistro and bites menu. www.windrosecellars.com.
Camaraderie Cellars, Port Angeles, Washington
I first met Don Corson in April at the Seattle Wine Awards judging, on which we were panelists. He and wife, Vicki, started the winery in 1981 and grew the operation into a working winery, tasting room and garden, with a production of 3500 cases a year. In 2009, Don retired as Vice President of Merrill and Ring, a timber and land company. When we visited the winery, Don was out in Eastern Washington picking up grapes from the 2016 harvest. Vicki took good care of us and took us on a tour of the winery and garden. The winery is open weekends, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11 to 5 at 334 Benson Road, off Highway 101. www.camaraderiecellars.com.
On our way through the Olympic Peninsula, we spent three nights at the Kalaloch Lodge, halfway along the Pacific Coast in the Olympic National Park. Accommodations include comfortable cabins (one of which we stayed in) dotting the shore and rooms in the lodge. Local acitivites include hiking and beachcombing. The restaurant features seafood and other entrees (the steamed clams are especially tasty). The wine list of Northwest wines is limited and pricey, so I recommend you bring your wine and pay the reasonable $15 corkage fee.
Westport Winery, Aberdeen, Washington
The Westport Winery, about halfway between Aberdeen and Westport, is a family operation. It is headed by Blain Roberts, with his wife, Kim, running the restaurant, daughter, Carrie, managing the tasting room, and son, Dana, making the wine. Blain and Kim came to Westport after operating sport diving business out of Lahina, Maui. They purchased 20 acres in 2007, and later developed it into a destination Resort with a restaurant, garden working winery, and a lighthouse replica. In addition to a lineup of vinifera wines, Westport also makes a bevy of sparkling wines and fruit/grape blends. A portion of the proceeds go to local non-profits such as the Red Cross Blood Bank, the Westport Maritime Museum, the Grays Harbor Childrens' Advocacy, and many others. The Resort is located at South Arbor Road, off Highway 105, and is open daily from 11 to 6. www.westportwinery.com.