Living on the west coast, we get spoiled with the mild weather, access to beaches, nearby mountains, sailing, enjoying the beach, and more. One of our more recent perks has been access to wineries, and on a recent trip to Washington state, I ventured to Whidbey Island, and sampled wines from some of the wineries situated there.
Where is Whidbey Island?
Whidbey Island is located along the west coast of Washington state, and can be access on the north end of the island by a bridge from nearby Anacortes, and on the south end via ferry. I caught the ferry from Clinton to Mukilteo.
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You won’t find tall skyscrapers and massive malls with fast food joints on the Island. Rather, you will enjoy smaller shops, cafes and restaurants, large areas for agriculture and lots of green trees, and beautiful views.
The Wineries I Visited
On this trip I visited 3 Whidbey Island wineries:
It was a comfortable drive between the 3 wineries that were situated in the southern end of the Island. The owners at all 3 wineries made me feel at ease and relaxed, just like it should be on a sunny weekend, sipping wine.
Blooms Winery is owned by Ken and Virginia Bloom, who started making wine in 1998. I spent my time chatting with Ken about their wines and experiences on the Island. Their tasting room has art from local artists on the wall, and they also have local musicians play on Sunday’s during the summer season. Their grapes come from Whidbey Island when possible, with the majority from eastern Washington, and some from California. The California grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon, come from Ken’s brother’s vineyards, so they are keeping the grapes and wine production in the family.
Spoiled Dog Winery is owned by Jack and Karen Krug, and they are managed by their spoiled Austalian shepards, Blue and Sami. I met Blue at the tasting room, where he greeted everyone, but Sami was out with Jack. Karen poured the wines for me to taste and to tell me about their winery. They source biodynamically grown grapes, as well as have vineyards of their own. They are best known for their Pinot Noir, which grows well in the cool maritime climate of Whidbey Island.
Comforts of Whidbey is a winery and vineyard owned by Carl and Rita Comfort. They purchased their current vineyard & farm in 2003. It was planted with grapevines in the 1990’s but needed encouragement to produce quality wine. Carl and Rita had that dedication. They tended the Siegerrebe, Madeline Angevine, Madeleine Sylvaner, and Pinot Noir grapes, and in 2009 produced their first vintage.
My Wine Picks
Comforts of Whidbey Sweet Donna 2009. This is a white blend of Siegerrebe and Madeleine Sylvaner. The wine had a light dried stone fruit aroma with a whiff of pine needles. Light bodied, soft, off-dry with dried fruit and pine needle flavour. Nice.
- Comforts of Whidbey Sweet Donna 2010. This wine, using the same grapes as the 2009 vintage, differs in that the grape skins stayed in contact with the juice for a while, imparts a deeper peach skin colour to the wine. It had a soft citrus and dried stone fruit nose. Higher acidity, dry with citrus, grapefruit rind, dried fruits, and pine needles on the palate.
- Comforts of Whidbey Sangiovese 2010. Vanilla and ripe red fruit aromas. Medium plus body, soft tannins, medium acidity, with flavours of ripe cherries, red apples and some vanilla. Dry tannic finish.
- Blooms Winery Whidbey Blend 2010. Locally grown Madeline Angevine, Sylvaner and Sieggerebe from Whidbey Island go into this white blend. It had a nice pine needle with floral aromas. Very aromatic. Medium minus body, dry with lychee, flowers, citrus, grapefruit and pine needle flavours. Very nice. Sold out, at the winery, but still could be sourced from a few local stores on Whidbey Island.
Blooms Winery Melange 2010. This wine is a Bordeaux style blend of Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Malbec. Ripe purple fruit with some violets on the nose. Ripe black fruit with light vanilla flaours. Medium plus body, round and soft in your mouth with fine tannins.
- Blooms Winery Syrah 2010. This wine is a blend of 95% Syrah and 5% Viognier from the Rattlesnake Hills in Eastern Washington. Light aromas of ripe black fruit in the glass. Full body, heavy mouth feel, with ripe fruit, violets, and sweet spices. Soft tannins. Nice.
Spoiled Dog Winery Pinot Gris. Med body, higher acidity. Apple and citrus aromas and flavours.
- Spoiled Dog Winery Estate Rose of Pinot Noir 2012. Light cherry nose. Light body, soft tannins. Strawberries, tropical fruit flavours a bit of floweriness, with apples on the finish. Dry and soft. Nice.
- Spoiled Dog Winery Malbec 2011. Nice nose with black fruit, oak and smoke aromas. Dry, medium plus body, black fruit, cocoa and tea leaf flavours.
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