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Time for Red Wine & Chocolate on the Olympic Peninsula

Olympic Cellars barnThere is life after the Super Bowl at Red Wine & Chocolate on Washington’s beautiful Olympic Peninsula. Celebrate the end of winter with the region’s annual Red Wine & Chocolate Tour. Kicking off over Valentine’s/Presidents’ Day Weekend, the event takes place February 13, 14, 15 and 20, 21. Ten artisan wineries and cideries from Chimacum to Port Angeles open their doors from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for a fun and indulgent experience!

New Wine Releases
In addition to new red wine releases paired with sweet and savory chocolate delights, this year some wineries are adding new white wine releases and a number of new activities for guests, including:

* Lock in your love on Olympic Cellars’ Love Lock Fence and view local art in the winery’s Gallery of Love.

* Take selfies in FairWinds Winery’s Pirate Photo Booth before double-dipping in dueling chocolate fountains.

Wine and chocolate

It’s all about wine, cider, chocolate, and fun at this year’s Red Wine & Chocolate Tour.

* Watch traditional champagne-making process at Alpenfire Cider.

* Bring the outdoors in with a Gourmet S’mores Bar at Harbinger Winery.

* Enjoy special VIP tastings to refine your palate.

* Catch 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 or at any participating winery. (Independently, each winery charges a $7.00 per person tasting fee.) 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 what awaits you at each winery/cidery.

Finnriver cidery

At Finnriver Farm & Cidery, sparkling cider, brandywine, red current wine, and chocolate treats are on the menu.

Finnriver Farm & Cidery invites visitors to drink in the love and the beauty at its Chimacum family farm. Sip 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 be offered, along with Cacao Brandy Wine, and 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 custom-created truffles made with Finnriver Brandy wines.

The view of Puget Sound and the snow-capped Cascades from Marrowstone Vineyards on Marrowstone Island is lovely in February. Visitors can taste the winery’s new release Black Dog Barbera (owners/winemakers Ken and Judith Collins’ rescue dog, Ginger, graces the label). Ten percent of the proceeds from this red wine are donated to the Humane Society of Jefferson County.

Marrowstone’s featured Chocolatier is 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 event.

Theo chocolate

Fine chocolate like Theo Chocolate goes well with many of the new release featured wines.

At Lullaby Winery in Port Townsend visitors will be greeted with a taste of 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 Rouge de Virginie, a fruity blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, and Lullaby’s newly released dessert red wine Carbon made with Grenache Noir. It’ll be paired with a dark chocolate and cherry cupcake. Winemaker Virginie has curated a selection of chocolates for purchase along with the lollipops and the cupcakes. The winery will also host a separate Reserve Tasting featuring the 2010 Lalayee and the 2010 Syrah. For $10, visitors will have a chance to taste wines produced in very limited quantities.

Port Townsend’s FairWinds Winery will welcome visitors with two giant chocolate fountains: one with smooth, rich, dark Belgian chocolate; the other with silky, creamy white chocolate. Two new wines will be offered: Captain’s Port O’Call with the dark chocolate and The Captain’s Lady Raspberry Liquor with the white chocolate. Current releases will be offered, and, for an extra $10.00 fee, visitors can indulge in a Vertical Tasting of three Champoux Vineyards Cabs. Also stop by the Pirate Photo Booth for some great selfies.

wine drinkers

Guests share a laugh at Harbinger Winery.

Alpenfire Cider, in Port Townsend, will uncork its new release Cinders. Visitors will taste and 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 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 welcomes 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. Wines and ciders will be paired with chocolates and caramels by Chocolate Serenade of Sequim. Guests will learn about the wine’s history and the 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 wines will be paired with locally-made chocolates by Chocolatier Yvonne Yokota of Yvonne’s Chocolates. All wines served will be 15% off; cases 20%off. Visitors can taste more wines in the VIP Bar for an additional fee. Catch live music from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m:
* Feb 12th: Sarah Shea & Chez Quartet (Vocal Jazz)
* Feb 13th: Three Fools for Love (Jazz) Linda Dowdel, Ted Enderle and Ed Donahue
* Feb 19th: Jeremy & Anna (Local duo performs acoustic tunes from 60s-present)
* Feb 20th: Malcolm Clark Trio (Blues)

Red wine

Many of the Olympic Wine Association wineries are pouring new release wines.

In Port Angeles, Olympic Cellars theme is “Romance and Elegance.” The cellar will be decorated with chandeliers and red velvet and 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 limited production white Port-style wine 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 paired with white chocolate, brie and strawberries. In addition, Winemaker Greg is excited to pour 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 in the vineyard. You can re-visit your lock year after year!

Wind Rose Cellars

Guests at Wind Rose Cellars will be treated to five wines paired with locally-made chocolates.

Camaraderie Cellars, also in Port Angeles, has a full line up of chocolate-inspired foods on the savory side. Visitors will find chocolate and cherry infused scones, dark chocolate cookies, and wood fired oven pulled pork dry rubbed with cocoa and chili. The chefs are local stars: David Long of Rolling Bay Baking Company, Molly Woodruff of Molly Baby Baking Company, 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 with red wines from Camaraderie’s cellar. Don’t miss Quadra, a Spanish-inspired rich wine perfect with your favorite chocolate.

Harbinger Winery brings some favorite outdoor summer activities into the tasting room by introducing a Gourmet S’mores Bar, complete with graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate. Try bacon chocolate s’more with Dynamo Red and salted chocolate caramel s’mores with Bolero. This event marks the release of Harbinger’s Boysenberry Port, barrel-aged to perfection for six years in the cellar. It’s paired with a death-by-chocolate brownie. For beer lovers, Port Townsend Brewery’s Chocolate Porter will be available on site.

For a special experience, step into the Kitty Kat Lounge and be seduced with a Harbinger reserve wine and artisan aphrodisiac chocolate pairing that includes a reality-altering Magic Chocolate Mushroom! Entry to the Kitty Kat Lounge is $10.00, redeemable with a reserve bottle sale.

Oly Pen Wine Assoc logo

The Olympic Peninsula Winery Association sponsors several fun and unique events throughout the year.

See you at Red Wine and Chocolate! For more information, visit

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Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor

RFT co-founder Bobbie Hasselbring has been a travel junkie her entire life. An award-winning writer and editor for more than 25 years and author of the regional food-travel bestsellers, The Chocolate Lover’s Guide to the Pacific Northwest and The Chocolate Lover’s Guide Cookbook, Bobbie is editor-in-chief at