(Note: This article of Olympic Culinary Loop destinations throughout Grays Harbor County originally ran in the )
West of Seattle is a region rich in native fish species, heirloom vegetables, and traditional, local foods found only in the Pacific Northwest. With miles of shoreline and acres upon acres of farm and forestland, Washington’s Olympic Peninsula and the Grays Harbor region are a gastronomic haven brimming with restaurants, wineries, markets and farms all stocked with fresh and local foods.
Ocean Crest Resort offers an impressive menu of local fare paired exquisitely with the restaurant’s extensive wine list. Add a view of the ocean crashing against the shore just outside the window, and each sumptuous bite becomes enhanced by the sounds and sights of the region.
Another can’t-miss culinary experience, Shively recommends Grays Harbor visitors visit the Salmon House at the Rain Forest Resort. Shively says the incredible culinary creations featured on the restaurants fresh sheet add to the charming ambiance of the lodge. With outstanding accommodations, divine dining and a national forest all on-site, Shively says Quinault is a must see — and taste — destination.
A scrumptious red wine perfectly paired with just the right chocolate can bring out the romantic in anyone. The Olympic Peninsula Wineries will take that perfect pairing to another level in 2017, bringing together new release varietals and blends created with premium Washington grapes and decadent chocolate delights that will make you a better wine lover!
Be sure you plan your Tour to visit:
Finnriver Farm & Cidery – Finnriver invites you to join us at the Cider Garden this Valentine’s to delight your senses with a tantalizing taste of our sumptuous special release brandy wines, including the limited edition and vibrantly pink Huckleberry Wine.
Alpenfire Cider – Help guarantee a successful 2017 harvest at Alpenfire’s Organic Late Winter Wassail. Toast our tree’s with cider, visit the bonfire and sip hot Lamb’s wool cider.
Eaglemount Wine & Cider – is excited to partner once again with local Olympic Peninsula favorite Chocolate Serenade. They will pair their artisan wines, ciders, and fruit meads with Jim’s delicious hand-dipped chocolates, truffles, and caramel sauce. Featured colorful ciders and wines will bring out your Valentine’s spirit, including Raspberry Hopped Cider, Cranberry Mead, Rhubarb Cider, Cab Sauv Dessert Wine, and more!
Wind Rose Cellars – is proud to be hosting local Olympic Peninsula chocolatier Yvonne Yokoda from Yvonne’s Chocolates. She’ll be on hand both weekends to talk about her chocolates as well as offer tasty samples from the variety of chocolates she produces. We will be pouring some new wines: 2015 Pinot Grigio, 2014 Hunter’s Red (Grenache & Cab) 2013 Bravo Rosso (Italian blend) , 2014 Field Blend (Cabernet Sauvignon) and our 2013 Primitivo.
Olympic Cellars – will feature new releases of their dessert wines. Sailing Moon Ruby is made from a blend of Portuguese/Spanish grape varietals, including Tempranillo and Souzao. It’s rich and warming and pairs beautifully with cuddling by a fire and enjoying a piece of chocolate. Sailing Moon White is made from locally-grown Madeleine Angevine grapes and fortified with brandy distilled in Port Townsend.
Camaraderie Cellars – Celebrating history with our 25th year of making great wine in a beautiful spot! There will be tastes of older vintages, pulled from our cellar and the debut of our newest varietal, Dolcetto. Favorite savory chocolate tastes from the wood-fired oven and the Cocoa Spiced pulled pork, delicious bittersweet chocolate heart cookies, and some crunchy biscotti.
Sip and savor the flavors of fall, enjoy seasonal activities and marvel at nature’s vibrant palate during the Olympic Peninsula Wineries’ Harvest Wine Tour, November 11th through 13th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m each day. The nine artisan wineries and cideries are located in the Peninsula towns of Chimacum, Nordland, Port Townsend, Sequim and Port Angeles
Harvest Tour 2016
November 11th, 12th, & 13th, 2016
11am – 5pm
Participants who have their ticket stamped at all nine of our wineries will be entered into a drawing for an elegant wine themed gift basket. The gift basket winner along with a second and third place winner will receive two tickets to the Red Wine & Chocolate Tour in February.
Full details and advance ticketing opportunities on-line
Congrats to Wind Rose Cellars for getting top listing in this great article by By Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue, highlighting wonderful whites to sip this summer!
Make some room in your refrigerator because it’s time to keep a few bottles of delicious Northwest white wine and pink wines on hand.
There is nothing quite like a chilled, refreshing glass of wine to enjoy on the back deck after a long, warm day, and we have compiled a list of eight affordable white and rosé wines using Northwest grapes. All of these are priced at $15 and below.
We tend to look for wines that offer crisp acidity, which means they are more likely to pair well with a wide variety of dishes. Enjoy these versatile wines with fresh seafood and grilled meats, particularly chicken or pork.
Ask for these at your favorite wine merchant or contact the wineries directly.
Wind Rose Cellars 2015 Rosato, Yakima Valley, $15: Olympic Peninsula vintner David Volmut’s Italian-themed rosé focuses on fruit from Lonesome Spring Ranch. The blend of Dolcetto and Sangiovese offers an alluring strawberry/rhubarb color with aromas to match, including Rainier cherry, nectarine and a rub of dried herbs. The fluid is refreshing with delicate red fruit flavors akin to raspberry, Rainier cherry and cranberry. (12% alc.)
Enter either Whidbey Island to Port Townsend ferry (north)
1) Elevated Ice Cream & Chocolate Company (map #74)
2) Drive through Fort Worden State Park (map #80)
3) Grab bread at Pane d’Amore Artisan Bakery (map #77)
4) Sip beer at Propolis Brewing (map #66)
3) Sample cheese at Mt Townsend Creamery (map #65)
4) Gather farm fresh supplies at either SpringRain Farmstand (#57) or Chimacum Corner Store & Farmstand (#56)
5) Sip Cider at Finnriver Cidery (map #55)
Entry onto the Olympic Peninsula Option B:
or enter via Seattle to Bainbridge ferry – crossing Hood Canal Bridge – skipping stops 1-5 above
6) Stretch and eat with Chef Dan at Port Ludlow Resorts Fireside Restaurant (map #54)
7) Bite into the best smoked meat & cheese deli creations at Gear Head Deli (map #53)
8) Enjoy a bite and view at the aptly named “Pleasant Harbor” Marine galley / pub (map #50)
9) Slurp the ‘Hood’ on the beach at Hama Hama Oyster Co. (map #49)
10) Sip some of the ‘Sound’ at Hardware Distillery Co. (map #48)
11) Take a break or indulge in a full spa treatment at Alderbrook Resort & Spa (map #43)
12) Stop in at Mosquito Fleet Winery (map #42)
Exit at Gorst Hwy 3 at Hwy 16). Head either a few miles north past Bremerton Naval shipyard and take Bremerton to Seattle ferry back into downtown Seattle, or travel SE through Port Orchard, Gig Harbor and across Tacoma Narrows Bridge to Tacoma – SeaTac – Seattle.
Either a 12 stop EXTRA full day or a simply FULL 6 stop day. With nearly 100 culinary adventure points to see and taste all around the Olympic Peninsula you’ll have to make plans to come back and visit, again, and again!
All weekend long we’ll be featuring Olympic Culinary Loop sustainable dining experiences for to feel as good about the wise sustainable seafood sourcing decisions on your plate as your platelet does about the delicious cuisine being savored!
Some of the members you won’t want to miss tasting include:
The current LOOP LOOT photo subject is delicious Dungeness Crab and Seafood being enjoyed around the LOOP!
Photograph and share your Loop Loot adventure and you’ll be automatically entered to win $50 of monthly LOOP LOOT
1) Simply post an image based on that month’s LOOP LOOT theme, e.g. if “Spring Bounty”, think: Eggs (even on your plate!), Chicks, Ducks, Turkey, Eagle?!?, ideally with you enjoying it / them somewhere around the Olympic Culinary Loop to www.facebook.com/OlympicCulinaryLoop
2) Be sure to the LOOP location or culinary festival event where your photo was taken
3) Be sure to include the hash tag(s) #OlympicCulinaryLOOP and/or#LoopLoot in your photo description.
That’s it! At the end of the month, if your posting has most comments and likes combined, YOU WIN! *
Simply let others know about your delicious destination and you’re entered to win $50 in LOOP LOOT!
Good luck! Looking forward to seeing you around the LOOP.
NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.
The LOOP LOOT “Contest” is a promotional rewards offering of the Olympic Culinary Loop (OCL), as “Sponsor”, and not in anyway sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook. Any questions, comments or complaints regarding the promotion will be directed to Sponsor, not Facebook.
This contest is governed by these official rules (“Official Rules”). By participating in the contest, each entrant agrees to abide by these Official Rules, including all eligibility requirements, and understands that the results of the contest, as determined by Sponsor and its agents, are final in all respects. The contest is subject to all federal, state and local laws and regulations and is void where prohibited by law.
There are few truly Pacific Northwest events that can compare to watching winter arrive in the rainforest. While many avoid the region due to the strong winds, constant downpours and occasional snow showers, there is something amazing and unique about spending time out in the wilderness of the Olympic Peninsula. Tucked away deep in Grays Harbor’s Quinault Rainforest, one of the most underrated winter experiences is waiting for you.
The Lake Quinault Lodgeis an iconic lodge in the Pacific Northwest and by far the crown jewel of lodges around Olympic National Park. Built in 1926, the Lake Quinault Lodge is probably most famous for hosting President Franklin Delano Roosevelt for a lunch as he toured the area that would later be Olympic National Park. In 1937, he traveled around the Peninsula, enjoying the towering trees and solitude of wilderness found along the shores of Lake Quinault. It is rumored that, while dining on a meal overlooking Lake Quinault, FDR made his decision to protect the land for good.
Today, the Quinault Rainforest is the 6th most popular region of the Olympic Peninsula and National Park, bringing in nearly a quarter million visitors each year. Those who do make their way to the Quinault are greeted with eagles, elk, salmon and bears, as well as access to incredible trails and majestic views. In the summer, the area can be crowded and full, but the winter months give those searching for solitude, isolation and beauty the ultimate gift.
During the winter months around Lake Quinault Lodge, there are numerous things to do, see and explore. While the areas around the lodge are amazing, the first area visitors should see is the main room and fireplace of the Lake Quinault Lodge. Adorned with rocks and a huge elk head, the rustic feel of the Lake Quinault Lodge becomes evident immediately.
During the holidays, a large tree, decorated with local christmas ornaments, sits across the room from the fireplace. On Christmas Eve, the staff at Lake Quinault Lodge hosts an event, complete with Santa arriving with a llama before sitting next to the fire and reading “The Night Before Christmas.” With gifts, live music and roasted chestnuts, this is the perfect getaway on Christmas Eve.
If you can’t make it to the Lake Quinault Lodge on Christmas Eve, don’t fret. Throughout the entire year, incredible views of Lake Quinault and the Quinault Rainforest are just a few feet from the lodge doors. Yet, true solitude is only found here in the offseason. Lake Quinault Lodge in the winter gives you a wealth of exploration mere seconds from relaxing in front of a large fireplace. With 13 miles of trails waiting just outside, accessing and exploring the Quinault Rainforest doesn’t get any easier than at the lodge.
All around the Lake Quinault Lodge, a myriad of amazing winter activities await you and your family. While hundreds of potential adventures are available, we have narrowed down four recommended activities that are perfect for the winter season. From staying in the car to getting out in the elements, and everything in between, starting a rainforest adventure from the Lake Quinault Lodge is a wonderful experience.
1. Drive the Lake Quinault Loop.
To start, it is highly suggested that you drive the Lake Quinault Loop. At 31 miles roundtrip, this drive gets you close to amazing waterfalls, stunning river views, prime elk habitat, numerous picnic areas and hundreds of miles of trails. The highlights are numerous, but the drive through the rainforest and exploring Merriman Falls take the cake. Watch for elk and eagles while on this drive, as they are commonly seen.
2. View Morning Ice and Frost.
In the winter, the drive is unique, with sections of the rainforest covered in thick frost during the morning hours. Seeing ferns lined in ice and frost, standing out sharply against the greens of the dense forest, is an experience everyone should have. The best place to see morning ice and frost will be north of the bridge and down at the end of the road along the North Fork of the Quinault River. For a quick walk in the frost, heading down the North Fork Trail a few miles will give you amazing views and some great areas for incredible photographs of ice and frost.
3. Take a Winter Hike.
For more serious hikers, heading out to Pony Bridge, Fletcher Canyon or even up to Colonel Bob Peak will give you a winter experience unlike any other. Shorter day hikes are found on the southern shores of Lake Quinault, near the lodge. The best route is to start at the Rainforest Nature Loop Trail west of the lodge and take any of the 13 miles of trails. Willaby Creek is also an excellent small series of falls to reconnect with the wilderness.
Perched on the south shore of Lake Quinault, The Salmon House is not particularly well known outside the immediate vicinity. And that’s a shame. Because this family-owned and operated restaurant has been keeping people happy for nearly a half century.
Originally built in 1966, the Salmon House is owned and operated by the Morrison brothers – Dave, Don, and Joseph. Morrison family involvement in the lake-hugging restaurant began in 1970, when Dave’s parents bought the restaurant, then-called the “Rain Forest Café.” The snug building was remodeled in 1976 to include a lower dining section offering panoramic views of Lake Quinault. A back section with a roaring fireplace was added in 1983. Dave and his brothers did most of the remodel themselves. The brothers bought the restaurant from their parents in 1980 and changed the name to The Salmon House a few years later to reflect the specialty of the house.
Not surprisingly, salmon is the single biggest seller on the menu. Several options are available. The secret is buying it fresh. “We buy salmon mostly from Cisco,” explains Morrison in a phone interview. “We try to keep it fresh, usually caught within a couple days.”
“Life is Magnifique – Now Taste the Wine at Walter Dacon Winery”
By Mary Ellen Psaltis
The sign on Highway 101 says, Walter Dacon Winery – Tourist Attraction. Delay your errand in Shelton and turn right on Skookum Road. It’s not far to the winery. Award winning wines accompanied by their down-to-earth vintners are ready to charm your taste buds, and then keep you coming back for more.
Lloyd and Ann Anderson, owners of Walter Dacon Winery, are a two-person show. The grapes may be grown in Eastern Washington, but the crushing, crafting, bottling and labeling are done right on their property. The vintage tasting room is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 6:00 p.m. Ann or Lloyd is there to talk with you about the wine, answer your questions and share a friendly visit. The official greeter is Beaux, their dog who is noticeably quiet but attentive.
Their at-home winemaking enterprises blossomed into a business after years of coaxing by friends. Who imagined that that first bottle of wine they shared on a trip to Reno air show with mutual friends would end up with their marriage and a business? Both Ann and Lloyd had already had careers. Ann had retired from 25 years at the state and Lloyd had a forestry consulting business. The couple studied wine making and traveled to UC Davis to further their wine knowledge.