San Juan Vineyards
There are two wineries on San Juan Island and, very confusingly, they have very similar names. This post is not about San Juan Cellars. They are the wine tasting room/retail outlet you see right next to the ferry dock. They have some interesting wines and the only place they are available is from that shop. They also stock wines from around the world, lots of wine accouterments and funky little kitschy items. It’s a fun place to while away a few minutes while waiting for the ferry.
This post is about San Juan Vineyards. Their tasting room is located about 4 miles northwest of Friday Harbor on Roche Harbor Road. As you approach the tasting room you wander through farms of various sorts. There are fields of crops, lots of cattle and directly across from the winery, horses and a camel. Yes, I said camel! Apparently, there used to be a petting zoo of some sort on San Juan but it had to close. And I guess that meant the assets were sold off – one of which was a camel. So now it spends its time hanging out with the horses at the place across from the winery.
As you approach the tasting room you wind along a little path that takes you by gardens overflowing with lush plant life. To the side is a set of raised beds and pools that add to the serenity of the place. Except for the sound of the water and a few birds the place is totally quiet. I enter the large tasting room and am greeted by the woman behind the counter. My one nit about this place is that they do have a tasting fee which is not reimbursed when you purchase. However, I chose not to let that ruin my mood as I try several wines and chat with the woman.
As would be expected most of the grapes for the wine come from places other than San Juan Island, the bulk from Eastern Washington. However, they do make a couple of wines from local grapes, the Madeline Angevine and the Siegerrebe. I did not try those, however, as there were several others that I wanted to taste, among them the triple medal Syrah. In addition to the wines, the tasting room is filled with all kinds of culinary treats – foods, serving pieces, glassware, picnic items – enough to keep you browsing for a little time.
I ended up purchasing a couple of summer wines, the 2002 Semillon-Chardonnay and the 2003 Pinot Gris – both on sale for about $10. And a 2002 Merlot, also a medal winner.
This is a really fun place to visit and I’d definitely stop in again to taste through the wines I didn’t get to this time.