The Olympic Peninsula is truly one of the most beautiful areas of the Pacific Northwest, especially in its springtime splendor. While many people visit this area for the Olympic National Park, there are many other reasons to stay and enjoy, like the plethora of fantastic wine and cheese.
Located just two hours northwest of Seattle, the Olympic Peninsula is a perfect location for a weekend getaway. The dramatic views of the Straits of Juan de Fuca, the lush and fertile countryside, the locally made wines and cheeses – it’s really hard to beat.
If you plan your trip right, you can even attend the annual NW Wine & Cheese Tour that takes place in April. We’ve attended the event many times and have always loved it. The tour includes nine wineries from Port Townsend to Port Angeles. It’s an incredibly scenic stretch of the Puget Sound, so driving from one winery to the next is a treat all on its own.
Olympic Peninsula Wine
It’s easy to reach the Olympic Peninsula by car from Seattle. You do need a car to get around, but you’ll want to, believe me. The scenery is incredible. Plus, a car allows you to stop off anywhere you want.
If you have a designated driver, or you’ve perfected the art of sipping and spitting while wine tasting, you can make it to quite a few wineries in one day. I would recommend making a schedule that includes five or six wineries. If you will be tasting the wines and driving, too, I recommend no more than three or four, with a hearty lunch in between.
Finnriver Farm & Cidery
Finnriver Farm & Cidery is in Chimacum, Washington. With over 30 acres of farmland along a restored salmon stream, Finnriver could take an entire day to explore. They use their own freshly harvested fruits to make hand-crafted sparking hard ciders and wines in interesting flavors, like my favorites, Habanero and Solstice Saffron. On Sundays, Finnriver comes alive with brick-oven pizza and live music.
Address: 124 Center Rd, Chimacum, WA 98325
Eaglemount Wine & Cider
Eaglemount Wine and Cider in the countryside of Port Townsend produces half a dozen wines and even more cider varieties, including the unique Quince Cider and the dry-hopped Boot Brawl Cider. The barn tasting room is located outside of town, down a long lane. They have many different wines and ciders to taste while you’re there, plus some other local products to buy.
Address: 1893 S Jacob Miller Rd, Port Townsend, WA 98368
Wind Rose Cellars
Wind Rose Cellars is the only downtown tasting room, right in the middle of the Sequim, Washington’s historic downtown center. Wind Rose focuses primarily on Italian varietals such as Primitivo and Barbera, grown in eastern Washington. The tasting room is cozy and friendly, with lots of wines to taste and a good selection of little bites to pair with them. They also feature live music most nights of the week.
Address: 143 W Washington St, Sequim, WA 98382
We love visiting Olympic Cellars in the giant, century-old barn on Highway 101. They were the first winery on the Olympic Peninsula and have been making wine since 1979. I love their Cabernet Franc and 100% Petit Verdot. Since the barn is located right off the highway, it’s the easiest to get to. They have all kinds of products inside to browse and purchase.
Address: 255410 US-101, Port Angeles, WA 98362
Next, we drove on to Port Angeles for a stop at Harbinger Winery. I love the cellar door. Inside there are cozy couches next to aging barrels of wine, a long table full of the medals that have been won for the outstanding wines and even a couple of local beers on tap to enjoy on their outdoor patio.
Address: 2358 Highway 101 West, US-101, Port Angeles, WA 98363
If I owned a house, I would want my backyard to look exactly like the one at Camaraderie Cellars. They have truly optimized their space by including a large fire pit on the front patio, a charming and rustic 8-person dining area enclosed by a hand-made wooden fence with a marble slab table in the middle. The tasting room spills out onto a the perfect patio canopied with barrel staves and a bunch of other wine-related decorations. We loved their newly released Cabernet Franc.
Address: 334 Benson Rd, Port Angeles, WA 98363
Black Diamond Winery
It will cost you a trip up a long winding road to get to Black Diamond Winery. Specializing in fruit wines, Black Diamond is a small winery with an equally small tasting room. If you like fruit wines, it’s a fun stop to make.
Address: 2976 Black Diamond Rd, Port Angeles, WA 98363
FairWinds Winery is in Port Townsend, an hour drive back to the east. They have a few varietals we don’t often see in Washington, including an Aligote (a white grape from Burgundy in France) and Lemberger. They also had a Merlot that had been barrel aged for longer than usual that had a smooth and luscious mouthfeel.
Address: 1984 Hastings Ave W, Port Townsend, WA 98368
Marrowstone Vineyards is located on Marrowstone Island, which is a sliver of land to the east of Port Townsend. The location up on the bluff has a beautiful view of the water. They have planted their own vines on the property, which is an interesting prospect as it’s typically too cold of a climate to grow grapes.
Address: 423 Meade Rd, Nordland, WA 98358
What to Do After Hours in the Olympic Peninsula
Having made it to six wineries before closing, we felt pretty accomplished for the first day. We settled into a booth at the downtown Port Angeles gastro pub, Next Door, for dinner. They’re well-known for their massive burgers and french fries that come lots of different varieties like the blue cheese fries we tried. They also have a gooey and delicious Mac and Cheese and a gravy-tastic poutine that can be customized with the toppings of your choice.
Because we obviously hadn’t gotten enough wine during our whirlwind tour of the first six wineries, we bellied up to the bar at Wines on the Waterfront and enjoyed a couple bottles of a fruity and bold Italian wine that was highly recommended. It’s a small wine bar, mostly visited by locals, with some of the best prices on bottles. It’s an excellent spot for superb wine and intimate conversation with friends.
We stayed the night in Port Angeles at the Olympic Lodge, which is newly remodeled and very comfortable. Another good choice in the area is a waterfront room in the Red Lion Port Angeles, which is a bit closer to town and is more convenient for walking to dinner and nightlife.
Since we had time, we stopped off at Port Townsend Brewing Company for a beer sampling. We didn’t know going in that they had 13 different beers and we would want to try them all. Okay, we did know that last part. I’m glad we tried them all because they were all good. It’s a popular place, we learned, as the taproom quickly became overrun with locals and we felt bad taking up spots at the bar.
If you’re looking for more fun things to do in the Seattle area, a trip to the Olympic Peninsula is within easy reach. You can plan your own winery tour, or just hop around to the little towns along the way and enjoy a few days of coastal views. Learn a little bit more about Washington wine at these Olympic Peninsula wineries.
Laura Lynch, creator and writer of Savored Journeys, is an avid world traveler, certified wine expert, and international food specialist. She has written about travel and food for over 20 years and has visited 70+ countries.