Itinerary #4: Wine Tasting
Author and TV personality Clifton Fadiman proclaimed, “A bottle of wine begs to be shared; I have never met a miserly wine lover.” As we uncork a bottle and embark on a wine tour of Hood Canal for the fourth of our monthly itineraries, be sure to peek back at our first, second, and third to see where our trompin’ took us in the previous few months. Then, cleanse your palate and brush up on your wine words in preparation for our wine-soaked adventure through Hood Canal.
9am | Eggs n’ Bacon
Wakey, wakey, eggs n’… oyster browns? Get local Hood Canal sea-fare in your system first-thing at The Tides Family Restaurant off of Hwy 101 in Hoodsport. Pair with a pancake the size of your plate chock full of fresh PNW blueberries and chopped bacon added directly into the batter, and you end up with a serious bounty. Downhome dining imbued with a distinctly ‘Hood Canal’ feel and set to a gingham curtain backdrop makes for a quirky launch pad for a day’s worth of wine touring.
Hop back on Hwy 101 and travel south along the waterfront, stopping at Hood Canal Grocery deli for a few picnic treats before continuing on.
10:30am | Tasting #1
If you consider yourself an oenophile,
[Oenophile: [ee-nuh-fahyl], noun
1. a person who enjoys wines, usually as a connoisseur.]
it’ll be hard not to feel at home at Hoodsport Winery. Yes, for the sake of making a full day of your tasting adventure, we recommend arriving soon after they open their doors at 10am. It’s noon somewhere, right? Enjoy a tasting overlooking the glimmering canal, underneath the jagged Olympic Peaks, sampling from traditional vinifera varietals such as Chardonnay, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc, and peppering in funkier wines like raspberry, rhubarb, and loganberry. Oh, and we’d be quite disappointed if you missed the hand-dipped raspberry wine truffles… y.u.m.
12pm – 2pm | Look Under, Tromp Around, Climb Over
Halfway to the next wine-soaked destination is the beautiful natural marvel of Twanoh State Park (directions here). The beach is open for oyster harvesting year-round and if you stop by between September 1 and September 30, you’re clear to go digging for manila, native littleneck, and small butter clams. Keep conscious of licensing regulations, know the harvesting rules, and mind beach closures before heading out.
Shoulder a pack and hit the trail–the State Park offers a myriad of mellow hiking trails, all sprinkled with peek-a-boo views of Hood Canal and the Tahuya Peninsula. The longest loop is 2.3 miles long, with minimal elevation: the perfect pit stop.
3pm | Tasting #2
With a growler-fill station, an array of unique wines to sample, and a second-to-none view of the North Bay, tasting number two takes us to The Top of the Cork in Allyn. Owner George Kenny (also owner of the Chainsaw School of Carving next door) opened the tasting room back in 2010 with the conviction that wine tasting rooms will soon be as prevalent as coffee shops. We agree!
5pm | Wine & Dine
Run smack into Alderbrook Resort & Spa on your meandering way back to Hoodsport (directions here). Arrive a bit early for dinner so you can make a reservation and poke around Union–voted by Forbes as one of the prettiest towns in America. Featuring one of the most extensive wine lists in Hood Canal, you’re sure to run into some of your favorites from the day and stumble upon new gems from the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Paired with locally sourced farm-to-table dishes, cap the day with a culinary experience unique to the bounty found in Hood Canal.
With a belly full of good food and a brain’s-worth of memories of a day well spent, remember that we love to see what you’re up to in our neck of the woods! Share with #hoodcanal #explorehoodcanal and #wildsideWA for a chance to be featured and keep up with us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Happy adventuring!
The Tides Family Restaurant
Daily: 7am-9pmDaily: 7am - 3pm
Hood Canal Grocery
Daily: 11am-6pm, Tastings weekend only, available for midweek tastings on request.
(360) 898-5500 (for reservations)
Monday – Friday, 7am – 11am
Saturday & Sunday, 7am – 3pm
Monday – Friday, 11:30am – 2pm
Friday & Saturday, 5pm-10pm
Live Music on Patio
The Bar at Alderbrook
Friday & Saturday, 7am-midnight