Wine, chocolate paired on self-guided tour across Peninsula

The romance of Valentine’s Day will flavor two weekends beginning Saturday.

The Olympic Peninsula Wineries’ Wine, Cider &Chocolate Tour will pair new-release varietals and blends created with premium Washington grapes and apples with chocolate delights in self-guided tours from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, followed by a three-day celebration Feb. 18-20.

Advance tickets are on sale at www.olympic peninsulawineries.org.

“This year, the Olympic Peninsula Wineries Association is turning the spotlight on its member cideries, renaming its popular annual Red Wine &Chocolate Tour the Wine, Cider &Chocolate Tour,” said Vicki Corson, president of Olympic Peninsula Wineries.

“Visitors can sample Hot Lamb’s Wool Cider, Raspberry Hopped Cider, Rhubarb Cider and more while also sipping new wine releases, all paired with sweet and savory chocolate delights.”

Patrons can taste the differences among nine North Olympic Peninsula wineries and cideries in Port Angeles, Sequim, Port Townsend, Chimacum and Nordland.

The event does not take place at only one location. Visitors travel from winery to winery. Tickets are not required; those without tickets will pay a $10 wine tasting fee at each winery.

A ticket and glass package entitles a visitor to a special commemorative wine glass, complimentary wine tasting and chocolate samples at all nine venues on the tour.

Participants who have a ticket stamped at all nine will be entered into a drawing for a wine-themed gift basket.

The gift basket winner along with a second- and third-place winner will receive two tickets to the Northwest Wine and Cheese Tour in May.

“It’s not only about food and drink. Lots of fun is to be had on tour,” Corson said.

At Alpenfire Cider in Port Townsend, find a tag on a tree and win something special. Visitors are invited to help plant a new cider orchard at Eaglemount Wine &Cider, also in Port Townsend.

Some lucky tour-goers will have the chance to bottle their own Ruby Dessert Wine under the tutelage of winemaker Greg Vogtritter at Olympic Cellars in Port Angeles.

There will be an art exhibit in the Marrowstone Winery gallery, and seats for sipping and savoring in front of a blazing fire on the patio at Camaraderie Cellars in Port Angeles.

Among special events on the tour is live music. Finnriver Farm &Cidery will have music from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Wind Rose Cellars will feature live music both weekends, with Bread and Gravy today, the Malcolm Clark Trio on Saturday, Me and the Boys on Feb. 17 and the Craig Buhler Trio on Feb. 18. Music shows are from 7 to 9 each night.

Camaraderie Cellars will celebrate 25 years of winemaking with tastes of older vintages.

Here are wineries and cideries on the tour:

• Finnriver Farm &Cidery, 124 Center Road in Chimacum; 360-732-4337; www.finnriver.com.

• Marrowstone Vineyards, 423 Meade Road off state Highway 16 in Nordland; 360-385-5239; www.marrowstonevineyards.com.

• FairWinds Winery, 1984 W. Hastings Ave., Port Townsend; 360-385-6899; www.fairwindswinery.com.

• Alpenfire Cider, 220 Pocket Lane, Port Townsend; 360-379-8915; www.alpenfirecider.com.

• Eaglemount Wine and Cider, 1893 S. Jacob Miller Road, Port Townsend; 360-732-4084; www.eaglemountwinery.com.

• Wind Rose Cellars, 143 W. Washington St., Sequim; 360-358-5469; www.windrosecellars.com. The Malcolm Clark Trio will perform live from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday.

• Olympic Cellars Winery, 255410 U.S. Highway 101 between Port Angeles and Sequim; 360-452-0160; www.olympic cellars.com.

• Camaraderie Cellars, 334 Benson Road, Port Angeles; 360-417-3564; www.camaraderiecellars.com.

• Harbinger Winery, 2358 W. U.S. Highway 101, Port Angeles; 360-452-4262; www.harbinger winery.com.

For more information about the tour, visit www.olympicpeninsulawineries.org.

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