I can think of only one thing that could improve a sunny summer day in Whatcom County, spent with friends within view of magical Mount Baker: locally crafted wine and spirits. (Okay, technically that’s two things.)
The best place to indulge in all of the above is the 2nd Annual Whatcom Wine and Spirits Fest. Not only does this super fun event take place in the great outdoors—namely the scenic orchards of BelleWood Acres—but it also brings together local winemakers and distillers, plus some amazing chefs, for one of the most enjoyable afternoons you can imagine!
I was at last year’s inaugural event and will see you there for Round Two on Sunday, July 20. Nine local wineries and two distilleries will provide tastings, and the chefs from Haggen and Silver Reef Spa and Steak House will tempt us with lovely food samplings. And oh, yes—we’ll get to try samples of the beyond-delectable truffles made by Evolve Chocolate Truffles. (Fair warning: if you want some, you’d better get there ahead of me.) Live entertainment by a few homegrown musical groups will complete the laid-back ambiance.
The Wine and Spirits
Since I’m not fond of the “wait and see” approach, I spoke with a few participants to get the lowdown on what they’ll have for us to sample:
Dynasty Cellars: Winemaker Peter Osvaldik told me they thoroughly enjoyed last year’s very-well-attended event. This year, they hope to see even more wine lovers indulge in Dynasty’s line up of dry and sweet Rieslings, a Rosé and a surprise red.
Legoe Bay Winery: I’ve added Legoe Bay from Lummi Island to my list of wineries to visit. I’m looking forward to meeting winemaker Larry Smith, whose un-oaked Chardonnay won a silver medal in this year’s Seattle Wine Awards. Legoe Bay will be pouring their Chardonnay, Viognier, Viognier Dulce, Syrah and Reefnet Red.
GLM Wine Co.: Tracey DeGraff says, “The best thing about this event is that you can visit each winery and distillery in one place . . . otherwise impossible to do in an afternoon! You will also be meeting the actual winemakers and distillers as you taste their wonderful wines and spirits, this doesn’t happen very often anymore.” GLM will be pouring their 2011 Kolk Rosé, 2011 La Robe Chardonnay, 2011 Gamay Noir and 2008 Deluge Reserve.
Vartanyan Estate Winery: Margarita Vartanyan is looking forward to a bigger and better event this year. She’ll be sharing her 2013 Sweet Riesling, her 2012 barrel fermented and barrel aged Chardonnay (10 months in new American barrels), a 2007 Melange Bordeaux-style blend and her newly released 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon 2012.
BelleWood Distilling: The hosts with the most, Dorie and John Belisle are thrilled to again have the opportunity to welcome the community to their beautiful farm, and introduce everyone to our local wine and spirits makers. It’s all about community, supporting local farms and businesses, and celebrating what makes Whatcom County unique. “We invite everyone to come out and meet your neighbors who are creating great wine and spirits,” said Dorie. “Come have a great afternoon on the farm!”
BelleWood will be offering samples of their award-winning raspberry-infused vodka, Honeycrisp Vodka, Eau de Vie and gin, all made from apples grown right on their farm.
Chef Tom from Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa and Steak House is preparing San Juan Spot Prawn and Dungeness Crab Cocktail with Summer Fruits, Organic Greens and a Basil Vinaigrette, while Haggen’s Corporate Executive Chef, James Valentine, will be offering a bruschetta, chicken Caesar salad and specialty cheeses. Last year, Haggen’s house-made mozzarella was a BIG hit!
Oh, and the BelleWood Farm Bistro has plenty of full meal options, too.
While BelleWood Acres is definitely a family-friendly place to bring the kids, this event is for the 21-and-over crowd. (Maybe you moms and dads can tag-team it with the kids so at least one of you can enjoy the wine and spirits tasting!)
The Best Part
All the wine and spirits you’ll taste will be available for sale at special prices. Plus, it’s tax-free. Plus, you’ll get a special 10% discount on case purchases! That’s like double the savings, right?
Whatcom Wine and Spirits Fest is a fundraiser for Sustainable Connections Food and Farm program. Bring some cash for raffle tickets: there will be drawings for awesome prizes (like wine and spirits!). Check out the event page for more details and to buy your tickets at a reduced price. $25 now, $32 at the door. Each ticket gets you food samples from Haggen and Silver Reef, plus eight wine/spirits tastings.
I will see you there!
BelleWood Acres, 6140 Guide Meridian, Lynden, WA 98264