Bainbridge Island Tasting Tour
Those of us who live on Bainbridge know the wonders that a great glass of wine, a strong cup of coffee, and a smooth bar of chocolate can work on the mind, soul, and body. If you’re in need of relaxation, rejuvenation, and renewal, then Bainbridge is calling your name. Hop on the ferry, sit back and enjoy the ride while you wait in anticipation of a wonderful weekend of tastings galore.
Day One: Time for Wine!
With four annual Wine on the Rock events, Bainbridge Island welcomes wine connoisseurs of all sorts throughout the year. The island is home to seven distinct and unique wineries including, Amelia Wynn Winery, Bainbridge Vineyards, Eagle Harbor Winery Co., Eleven Winery, Fletcher Bay Winery, Perennial Vintners, and Rolling Bay Winery.
Your three-day tasting journey begins in Winslow with lunch at Hitchcock, one of the Island’s most recognized restaurants. Chef Brendan McGill opened Hitchcock in 2010 and has received numerous awards since, including selection as a semifinalist in the James Beard Award competition for Best Chef Northwest. Here you will find meals inspired by the Pacific Northwest and influenced by European techniques. The Sommelier, James Robinson, will be happy to match your meal with a wine from their extensive menu. Pop in on a Tuesday night and their bottles under $100 are half off.
After enjoying a meal, stop in at Rolling Bay Winery on Sunnyside Drive where owner and winemaker, Alphonse, will greet you. Rolling Bay Winery specializes in small-batch, handmade wines, which are all crafted from grapes grown on Snipes Mountain. If you’re up for another round of tasting, wander over to the Amelia Wynn Winery and Armstrong Art Gallery where you can sip on a variety of reds, whites, and dessert wines, all bottled on Bainbridge and grown in Washington. When you’re ready for a snack, the cafe also has charcuterie boards for sale.
If you are visiting on a Saturday, drop in at Eleven Winery where you will enjoy live music from local and emerging artists.
Day Two: Sips, Sips, Sips!
Before you visit the two wineries that grow their grapes on Island–Bainbridge Vineyards and Perennial Vintners, you’ll venture into the middle of the island where you’ll find Storyville Coffee, a Seattle-based company with a tasting room and roasting studio.
Storyville Coffee planted their roastery on Bainbridge Island in 2015, hoping for it to be a creative space where locals and visitors alike could enjoy the warm environment, sip great coffee, eat delicious pastries, and be active participants in the development of new ideas and recipes. The shop has a powerful mission and an engaging purpose: to end human trafficking. In pursuit of this, Storyville donates a portion of their proceeds to reputable organizations fighting to end modern slavery. With only one roast: Prologue (and its decaf counter-part, Epilogue), we recommend tasting multiple espresso drinks. If you’re hungry, order their signature granola, it is heavenly! Rest in their tasting room as you drink, and appreciate the beauty of the space you are in.
After taking some time to caffeinate for the day, prepare for another round of wine tasting! The two small wineries focus on special varieties that aren’t widely available and produce small-batches only. Bainbridge Winery planted their seven acres of vineyards in 1977, all of which are certified organic. The winery grows varietals including the popular Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, and the less well-known varietals Madeleine Angevine, Muller-Thurgau, Siegerrebe, Zweigelt, Agria, and Dunkelfelder. Currently, they are producing ten different wines including an award-winning raspberry dessert wine.
Perennial Vintners is the only other winery that grows its grapes on-island. They are home to the smallest commercial vineyard in Washington state, only 2.5 acres! As it is such a small winery, you are more than likely to run into the owner, Mike Lemprier. If you do, be sure to ask him for a tour of the winery! Perennial Vintners grows and produces Melon de Bourgogne, Siegerrebe, Müller Thurgau, Lemberger, and a raspberry dessert wine.
Day Three: Beer, Booze, BonBons
Craving a snack after all that wine? Well, you’re in luck! Today you’ll go on a chocolate extravaganza. The Island has two impressive chocolatiers/candy shops: L’Atelier and Bon Bon Confections. L’Atelier opened its doors to the public almost a year ago, on September 9, 2017. Since then, the shop has seen massive success. Patrons rave about everything at L’Atelier, from the melt-in-your-mouth chocolates to the delicate, crispy waffles (they even make some gluten-free!). So, whether you want to indulge in a lip-licking breakfast or stopping in to pick up a selection of truffles, L’Atelier is sure to make you wish you lived here!
Once you finish up your waffles, wander across the parking lot toward Bainbridge Organic Distillers, Bainbridge Brewing or Fletcher Bay Winery. The three share a parking lot with L’Atelier and Storyville Coffee. Wine, beer, spirits, coffee, and chocolate all in one spot! What more could you ask for?
We recommend that you drop in at Bainbridge Organic Distillers, the first organic distillery in the state, for a taste of something unique. The owners pride themselves on producing high-quality spirits through their hands-on process. Stop in for a tasting of their vodka, gin, and whiskey.
If you’re traveling with family, head to downtown Winslow to visit the Fletcher Bay Winery Tasting Room. In the loft area of their tasting room, they provide coloring books, games, and toys for visitors with children. The environment is fun, spacious, and welcoming. Stop by on a Wednesday night to enjoy live music, a food truck, and Happy Hour prices. For a fun place to stay on the island, check out The Winemaker’s Cottage, the original tasting location for Fletcher Bay Winery that now serves as a hidden getaway.
For your final treat of the day, head over to BonBon, Bainbridge Island’s original candy shop. Wander the aisles of fudge, truffles, and other sweets, while breathing in the aroma of fresh confections. BonBon is the perfect place to indulge your sweet tooth, leaving you happy and content as you complete your tasting adventure on the island.