Have an Olympic Culinary Adventure

September 12th, 2011

Why do we travel?

We travel to see new places and have new experiences. We travel to encounter different cultures and interact with unknown people. We travel because leaving home makes us appreciate home.

Two of the best aspects of travel are food and drink. Every region in the world has its own dishes, specialities, and twists on the familiar. Every region has its beverage. We drink Scotch in Scotland, wine in Bordeaux, and beer in Munich. We discover what it’s like to siphon beer in a cafe in Vietnam and drink strong coffee mixed with sweetened condensed milk in Thailand. We drink emoliente in Peru and Chai in India, and we discover something about the people of these lands as we sip what they sip.

It’s possible to encounter the unfamiliar in our own backyards, as well. It’s possible to see something we’ve never seen or try something we’ve never tried just a few miles from home. We just have to keep eyes open, ears alert, and noses sensitive. With this in mind, we invite you to travel to the Olympic Peninsula for a Culinary Adventure.

Embark on a culinary adventure across the Olympic Peninsula.

Follow the Olympic Peninsula Culinary Adventure to a variety of restaurants, markets, and Washington State Wineries on the Olympic Peninsula. Circle the Olympic National Park, from north to south or south to north. Along the way taste locally crafted artisan cheese in Port Townsend at the Mt. Townsend Creamery, shop for fresh produce grown in the Dungeness Valley at Nash’s Organic Produce in Sequim, and visit the Hama Hama Oyster Farm and Seafood Farm in Liliwaup.

Dine at the Geoduck Restaurant and Lounge in Brinnon, the Olympic Timber House in Quilcene, and the Ajax Cafe in Port Hadlock (where you can have great fun trying on an assortment of hats while waiting for your meal). Save room for locally caught seafood at Linda’s Wood-Fired Kitchen in Neah Bay, local clams at the Wildfire Grill in Port Angeles, and the creative fare at the Alder Wood Bistro in Sequim.

Most food is best enjoyed with a glass of Washington Wine or Cider. OPWA members Finnriver Farm & Cider and Olympic Cellars Winery are participating in the Olympic Peninsula Culinary Adventure. Other member wineries are an extra bonus, and well worth visiting when on the Olympic Peninsula.

If you embark on an Olympic Peninsula Culinary Adventure between September 1 and November 30, 2011, you’re eligible to win all sorts of interesting prizes. Email adventure@seattledining.com for more details. Additional information is available at Olympic Culinary Loop.

Seattle Cider Summit

September 6th, 2011

Finnriver Farm & Cidery and Eaglemount Cider will pour their ciders at the Cider Summit N.W. in Seattle on Saturday, September 10, 2011. Artisanal Ciders from around the world will be represented at the South Lake Union Discovery Center from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Come try them all!

Finnriver Cidery and Eaglemount Cider will be at the Seattle Cider Summit.

No two ciders are alike. The upcoming Cider Summit is a unique opportunity to taste ciders from Washington State, Oregon, California, Michigan, British Columbia,  France, and the United Kingdom. You’re sure to find distinct differences, and your sure to want to bring a few bottles home with you. The good news is, you can.

Owners and cidermakers will guide guests through the samplings, which will be poured in 3-ounce and 6-ounce portions. This event is for folks 21 years of age and older. Dogs are welcome.

Live music and a great variety of food vendors will round out the Cider Summit N.W. in Seattle:

  • Alan Hager and James Miller From Portland: 12 – 2 p.m.
  • Drummerboy, featuring Kimball Conant on guitar: 2 – 4 p.m.
  • Drummerboy, featuring Eric “Two Scoops” Moore on piano: 4- 6 p.m.

To purchase tickets and learn more information about this event, please visit Cider Summit Seattle.

Please see Eaglemount Cider and Finnriver Farm & Cidery for more information about these Olympic Peninsula, Washington State Cideries.

Get Out and Admire the View

August 30th, 2011

Early September is a fantastic time to visit Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park. As of this writing, there is snow only at the highest elevations. Hiking trails are open and views are out of this world.

Good company, glorious views, and a bottle of Washington Wine from the Olympic Peninsula. Perfect.

Much of the summer was a bit of a disappointment, at least with respect to weather. Low clouds and a low snow line did not inspire hiking. These last weeks of warmth and sun have helped remedy that, and the coming weeks should bring more of the same.

Plan a trip to the Olympic Mountains. Hike if you like, or simply sit and enjoy the stunning views from the top of Hurricane Ridge. You’ll feel the mist clear from your mind. You’ll feel happy.

We suggest you never visit the Olympic Peninsula without stopping by one or more of our member Washington Wineries. Speak with the wine makers, taste some wine, and bring home a bottle of Washington Wine to enjoy as you remember your glorious time on the Olympic Peninsula.

Please visit Olympic National Park for up-to-date information about hikes and conditions.

The New Dungeness Lighthouse

August 19th, 2011
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Walk to the New Dungeness Lighthouse, on the tip of Dungeness Spit in Sequim.

Perched on the end of the Dungeness Spit in Sequim, the New Dungeness Lighthouse is far from new. Yet today it is as remote and beautiful as it was more than 150 years ago. It’s worth a look the next time you’re visiting the Olympic Peninsula. Since the weather is supposed to be great during the next couple of weeks (at last!), plan a trip soon.

Dungeness Spit is the world’s longest natural sand spit, extending five miles into the Strait of Juan de Fuca (and growing every year). There is no quick way to get to the lighthouse at the end of the Spit – visitors must walk five miles to the end of the Spit and five miles back. Those who do are rewarded with stunning scenery, wonderful wildlife, fresh air, and peace.

A walk out to the New Dungeness Lighthouse is a fantastic way to celebrate a special occasion. It’s an incredible experience, even on the most blustery days. Once at the lighthouse, visitors are rewarded with amazing views from the top of the Lighthouse tower. On clear days, the Olympics, the North Cascades, and Mount Baker will knock your socks right off your feet.

Several picnic tables are located out by the lighthouse, and driftwood chairs are abundant on the beach. Picnics should include a bottle of Washington State Wine from the Olympic Peninsula – to celebrate your surroundings.

Celebrate the return trip with a stop at one of the nearby Olympic Peninsula, Washington State Wineries. Olympic Cellars, Harbinger Winery, Camaraderie Cellars, and Black Diamond Winery are all located in Port Angeles. All offer wine tasting.

It is possible to travel by boat to the New Dungeness Lighthouse. Advance notice must be given to the National Wildlife Refuge at 360.457.8451.

If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer lighthouse Keeper, please visit New Dungeness Lighthouse.

Fort Worden State Park

August 9th, 2011

Fort Worden State Park is one of Washington’s treasures. Situated on the northeast tip of the Olympic Peninsula, it offers stunning views, soft sandy beaches, and wooded hiking and biking trails. It’s also just minutes from historic downtown Port Townsend, one of the most picturesque towns in the state.

The view from Fort Worden.

Few beaches in the Puget Sound area can match the beach at Fort Worden. Grassy dunes line the sand, dancing in the ever-present breeze. Mount Baker, the Cascade Range, and Mount Rainier stand tall in the distance, while the cliffs of Whidbey Island shimmer in the foreground. The deep sand begs for bare feet, the drift wood inspires fort building, and the water is cooling on a hot day. Read the rest of this entry »

August Events Featuring Olympic Peninsula Wines

August 3rd, 2011

Several of our member Olympic Peninsula Washington State Wineries are involved in special events around the Sound this month. They’re different, their fun, and they’re certainly worth a look. Now that summer has finally reached the Pacific Northwest, get out and enjoy it!

Toast a successful jump with Olympic Cellars Washington State Wine.

  • Pair Washington Wine with skydiving? Why not. Join “The Working Girl First Jump Club” for an evening of Tandem Skydiving into the field behind Olympic Cellars Winery on August 10 and August 24. Jumps start at 5 p.m. and will run hourly in groups of 5 – 6 until all have jumped. Participants will certainly be served Olympic Cellars Washington State Wine, but not until after the jump. Friends and family are invited to watch at the winery and enjoy a picnic dinner while waiting. For more information, please see Olympic Cellars.
  • The Finnriver Farm Cider Dinner is less likely to make your adrenaline run, but it too promises to be a superlative event. Join the folks from Finnriver Farm and Cider  and Chef Mark Bodinet at the Copperleaf Terrace, where you’ll be treated to inspired cuisine paired with Finnriver Washington State Ciders and fruit liqueurs. Copperleaf Terrace is located at Cedarbrook Lodge, a tranquil setting south of Seattle. The five-course dinner is a farm-to-table meal made with local ingredients, including Finnriver Farm’s own strawberries. For the menu, please visit Cedarbrook Lodge. To make a reservation, please call 206.214.4282. The cost is $55 per person (plus tax and gratuity), and seating is limited to the first 24 guests.
  • Camaraderie Cellars Washington State Wine will be available at the Gig Harbor Wine and Food Festival, August 6, 2011. The festival will highlight Chef Kevin Gillespie, 2 time semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation “Rising Star Chef of the Year” award, known for bringing the farm to the fork. There will be celebrity chef appearances, a cook-off finale, and wine seminars, among other exciting events. Additional information is available at the Gig Harbor Wine and Food Festival.

Olympic Music Festival 2011

July 30th, 2011

Each summer, the Olympic Peninsula is graced with outstanding chamber music in a glorious setting. 2011 is the 28th season of the Olympic Music Festival. Experience it if you can.

A glass of Washington State Wine from the Olympic Peninsula is the perfect accompaniment to the Olympic Music Festival.

The Olympic Music Festival is held on the grounds of festival director Alan Iglitzin’s home, which is located north of Quilcene. Musicians play in a turn-of-the-century barn that opens to a vast lawn. Guests are welcome to arrive early and enjoy the festival’s 55-acres of gardens, woods, and horse pastures. Picnickers are welcome.

Once the show starts, listeners relax in lawn chairs or stretch out on blankets. This is the perfect occasion to enjoy a glass of  Washington State Wine from one of member Olympic Peninsula wineries. Try a glass of the award winning Working Girl White from Olympic Cellars, or the festive, award-winning Raspberry Bliss from Harbinger Winery.

The Olympic Music Festival takes place Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. from June 25 – September 4, 2011. Seating in the music barn requires reservations, but the lawn has open seating. Additional information and tickets are available at Olympic Music Festival.

Fine Dining and Fine Wine on the Olympic Peninsula

July 21st, 2011

Travelers to the Olympic Peninsula have long gone there to find stunning scenery, rain forests, and unparalleled outdoor activities. Back in the day few travelers expected to find great food or wine. That has changed.

A young apple presser examines a batch of apples that will soon be turned into cider at Finnriver Farm & Cidery

These days, people exploring the Olympic Peninsula come across restaurants that have been written up in the New York Times (Fins, in Port Townsend). They find hand-crafted pizza made in wood-fired stoves at Sequim’s Alderwood Bistro. They find elegant garden dining at the Cafe Garden in Port Angeles. They also find award winning Washington State Wine and cider.

When next you head to the Olympic Peninsula, be it to hike, admire views from Hurricane Ridge, or spend time in a historic seacoast town, be sure to bring your appetite. Allow time to stop by one of the Washington State wineries in Port Angeles and Port Townsend, where you may taste hand crafted Washington wine. Visit a picturesque cidery in the Chimacum Valley, and taste cider made from Washington apples. You’ll be happy you did.

2011 Festival of American Fiddle Tunes

July 7th, 2011
Fiddling About

Don't miss the 2011 Festival of Fiddle Tunes, happening now.

The 2011 Festival of American Fiddle Tunes is underway at Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend, on the Olympic Peninsula. Fiddle fans have until Saturday, July 9, 2011, to enjoy some of the finest fiddlers around.

The much-anticipated Country Cajun Stomp takes place Friday, July 8, at 6 p.m. Bring a picnic and a low-back chair (if you want to rest) to the lawn at Littlefield Green and get ready for a mighty fun dance event.

The Master Hands Project: NEA National Heritage Award Winners Concert takes place at the McCurdy Pavilion on Saturday, July 9, at 1:30 p.m. Don’t miss this historic celebration of Wayne Henderson, Dudley Laufman, Marc Savoy, Paul Dahline, and Liz Carroll, with Jacqueline Laufman, Paul Dahline and Family, and John Doyle.

No trip to Port Townsend would be complete without a visit to the local Olympic Peninsula Wineries. Taste locally made Washington wine at Sorensen Cellars and FairWinds Winery. Bringing a bottle or two back home with you is a great way to remember a fine weekend at the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend.

Please visit Fiddle Tunes for additional festival information.

Summer Cider Day in Port Townsend

July 6th, 2011

What promises to be the first Summer Cider Day of many takes place this Saturday July 9, 2011, from 11 a.m to 7 p.m.

Ciders from all over the Northwest – including 10 local cidermakers – will be at Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend. They’ll pour their cider, discuss differences between the various cider styles, and generally celebrate the fermented apple. It promises to be a fun event.

Two of our member Olympic Peninsula Washington Cideries will participate: Finnriver Farm & Cidery and Eaglemount Wine & Cider. They’ll be joined by cider makers from the Methow Valley, the Skagit Valley, the Willamette Valley, and beyond. Try one, try all.

Try Washington State Cider at the Summer Cider Day, July 9, 2011.

In addition to cider, there will be a selection of local cheeses and some fine live music. More information may be found at  Summer Cider Day.

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