2018 Whidbey Island Weekend

March of this year was really busy!  I had my 15K the first weekend, a weekend trip to Whidbey Island with friends, and then at the end of the month a girl’s road trip coming up!  I had to turn down a girl’s trip to Boise since I had so much going on!

My friend Brandon was having a birthday, so we decided to celebrate by renting out another friend’s AirBnB house at the south end of Whidbey Island, in the town of Clinton.

We headed down Friday after work, and since March is still winter, it was long dark by the time we got to the house.  We chose bedrooms, and lit up the gas fireplace on the deck for some chat and relaxation.  I had a glass of wine and just chilled.  It was such a nice evening!

The next day, we were up for some exploration, so decided to choose a winery to try.  The first place we had planned to check out wasn’t open yet for the day, so we stumbled upon Comforts of Whidbey winery a little way down the road in Langley, WA.  What a gem of a place!

Brandon and I did a tasting (Brandon was a sport, even though he isn’t much into wine) and I was very pleased with the wines I tried.  They had some amazing sparkling wines!  I also loved their Madeline Angevine, Siegerrebe, and Syrah wines – delicious!

After Comforts of Whidbey, we went over to the Whidbey Island Distillery.  They gave us a little tour of the distillery – it is a very small batch operation, basically all being operated out of one small room, but the owner really gets into the science of distillation and created a complex, amazing still! I won’t even try to explain it, since I wouldn’t get it right; just suffice it to say that he has made some technological advances in the distillation process.

The distillery is best known for its Rye Whiskey, which contains 51% Rye and 49% Barley.  I am not a Whiskey drinker (I have tried and just continue to fail to like it), so I had a little sample and declared it, “not my thing.”  However, they also make liqueurs…  Blackberry, raspberry, loganberry and boysenberry.  These were absolutely my thing! They also had little recipe cards to make cocktails with their liqueurs – I got the raspberry to bring home.

Liqueurs at Whidbey Distillery

Along the way, a few other friends met us, so our little party was growing!  We headed into Langley and got lunch at SpyHop, a brewery just a few blocks of the main drag.  It was outside of normal lunch hours, so it was really quiet and the food was fantastic!  I had fish and chips – yummy!

Fish and Chips with Iced Tea – Spyhop

We poked around the shops for a bit, splitting off from others as we saw something we wanted to check out.  There was ice cream had by a few, and beer by a few.

The Olympic Mountains through the telescope

As the town was winding down after 5, we headed back to the house to relax and talk and enjoy some beverages.  We walked down to the beach to watch the sunset.  It was a nice day!

Sunday morning I made breakfast for the gang – eggs and bacon, and sliced avocado.  So yummy!  Then I headed down to the beach to wander – I found a huge, intact oyster shell and it posed for some photos for me.  I took it home with me to decorate the garden, but sadly, the racoons at my house found it as intriguing as I did and absconded with it a day or two later!

Before we headed home the next day we headed to Greenbank Farm for a late lunch and pie!  If you have a chance to have the pie at Greenbank Farm, do.  You won’t be disappointed!  We also poked around in the various artisan shops for a bit before saying our goodbyes and heading home.  It was a nice, relaxing weekend spent with friends.










Glacier Peak Winery – 2008 Pinot Noir

On the way to Chelan for a conference with my coworkers, I had the opportunity to stop by Glacier Peak Winery in Rockport, Washington.  I hadn’t heard of Glacier Peak before, but it was right along Highway 20, and it was open, so we stopped in.  To be honest, we probably wouldn’t have stopped if the other two wineries that we tried to go to before Glacier Peak had been open, but since they weren’t, it was their lucky day!  Four ladies let loose on a Tuesday afternoon!

For $5 (refundable with purchase), you could sample the wines.  I started with the Siegerrebe, and also tried their Pinot Noir, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.  The last three were not to my taste, but the Siegerrebe and the Pinot were pretty good.

Glacier Peak Siegerrebe

Unfortunately, I can tell you nothing about the wine, because the server didn’t talk to us or tell us anything about the winery or the wine.  I get frustrated when the staff just pour and walk off – I really would like to know more about the wine and how it is made!  It was good that I was there with my talkative coworkers, because the silences would have been really awkward if it had just been Jon and me.  Glacier Peak got no points for tasting room experience…

After we got home, Jon opened the bottle of 2008 Pinot Noir that I purchased there, and was skeptical that it would be any good.  Pinot is a difficult varietal to grow, because it is quite particular about the climate – it likes a climate that is cooler than other types of grapes.  Glacier Peak grows their Pinot Noir on site.

The nose on this Pinot has aromas of blackberry and earth.  It is a bit darker in color than other Pinots I have tried, more reminiscent of a California Pinot than an Oregon Pinot.  The mouthfeel is soft and light, with a nice silky texture.  The blackberry scent on the nose is apparent in the taste of the wine as well, with soft flavors of smoke and pie cherry coming through.

At $18 a bottle, this wine is an affordable Pinot, and probably the best Washington Pinot I have had.  The winery is out of the way – 40 miles east of Burlington, Washington, on the way up into the Cascade Mountains, and they do not have much distribution aside from the tasting room, so laying my hands on another bottle might not be in the cards, at least for the near future.  But if you find yourself along Highway 20 on your way to Winthrop, be sure to stop in and check them out… if you are comfortable with an awkward silence…