Gabrielle Ritter

Gabrielle Ritter World

— Bainbridge Island, Kitsap County WA —

Love of Local Wine

#LivingInKitsapCounty, #PremierAgent
 Vineyards and Wineries.

 The Kitsap Peninsula is home to many award-winning wines you can enjoy at wineries, tasting rooms, local restaurants, farmers markets and special events. One very special event is the Kitsap Wine Festival on Saturday, August 10th.

Spend the afternoon at Bremerton’s Harborside Fountain Park sipping wine with friends and family. More than 30 wineries from Washington and Oregon will be pouring tastes of over 100 delightful wines. And to enhance the experience, local restaurants will be whipping up some delectable bites.

The Kitsap Peninsula has its own small but growing wine country; it’s part of the larger Puget Sound American Viticultural Area, a federal designation that includes the islands, peninsulas, and south to Olympia. For an impromptu wine weekend, wander around.

The largest concentration of wineries is on Bainbridge Island. Seven of the fourteen Kitsap Peninsula wineries are just a relaxing ferry ride away. Four tasting rooms, a brewery, and restaurants galore are within walking distance of the Bainbridge ferry. Wineries are just minutes away from the ferry terminal, close enough to bike to if the weather is nice. So bring your own or rent one from Classic Cycle on Winslow Way.

A short ride from the ferry is Bainbridge Vineyards, planted in 1977, with the first Siegerrebe vines planted in the U.S. Its historic vineyard is also planted to Müller-Thurgau, Madeleine Angevine and Pinot Noir. This award-winning winery received gold for both the late harvest Siegerrebe and Raspberry dessert wine.

A stone’s throw away is Perennial Vintners. Their vineyards are planted to predominantly Melon de Bourgogne, the best white to have with seafood. Other varietals include Müller-Thurgau, Madeleine Angevine, and Siegerrebe. Their red wine is the red grape, Lemberger from the other side of the mountains a great summer bbq wine.

One of the newest almost-open-but-not-quite-yet wineries on the Kitsap Peninsula is Hard Hat Winery near Poulsbo. Hard hat refers to what early navy divers wore when exploring the deep. The wines are available at d’Vine Wines in Kingston. When these retired navy divers do open their tasting room, dubbed the Decompression Room,  it’ll be kid and dog-friendly and allow outside food.

At the south end of the Kitsap Peninsula, cross the scenic Tacoma Narrows Bridge into fjord-like Gig Harbor. Here you can wine and dine at many great restaurants and taverns with views of the marinas and mountains. While there, sample the locally made wines from Carl’s Pond Winery. Made from grapes trucked over from Yakima and Rattlesnake Hills AVAs, this winery has been producing award-winning wines since the 2010 vintage. Predominantly red grapes – Merlot, Cabernet, and Syrah – you can find them in many stores and a few restaurants in the Gig Harbor area.

Drive just a few minutes north of Gig Harbor to discover Olalla Vineyard and Winery. Opened in 2008, the Olalla vineyards are planted to Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Syrah, and Golubok. Golubok, according to the Good Fruit Grower, is perfectly suited to the Puget Sound AVA. Believed to be from Ukraine, “It’s an extremely early variety with red flesh and red juice that is used for blending.”

Your getaway will give you time to unwind with locally made wines outdoors on a patio, deck or sidewalk cafe. Nearly every town on the Kitsap Peninsula is located on the water with warm and welcoming hotels nearby, beautiful scenery, shops and eateries for all tastes and budgets. For more information on wine events, dining and lodging options, check out VisitKitsap.com.