Drinking Local: Whidbey Island Winery

Mad Wine
cochon whidbey 197 There is an unbridled enthusiasm here in Seattle and beyond for local eating and drinking. If you're living in these parts and really want to drink local, look no further than the wines made from grapes grown right on Puget Sound at Whidbey Island Winery. Though the grapes may have unfamiliar names (Sigerrebe, Madeline Angevine, Madeline Sylvaner, anybody?) the wines are light, refreshing, and full of charm. A good place to start is with the Island White, a blend of Madeleine Sylvaner and Madeleine Angevine. The Siegerrebe offers a little more complexity and richness. And though both of these whites have a touch of residual sugar, they are thirst-quenching and not cloying. If you're looking for something completely dry, check out the Madeline Angevine; it's the liveliest of the bunch. This trio of whites would all go great with seafood and spicy fare. Try steaming up some local Penn Cove Mussels with Madeline Angevine. I would be remiss if I did not point out that the winery makes a full compliment of reds from grapes brought in from Eastern Washington; stylistically they are light on oak influence and moderate in alcohol. The Italian varietals are especially promising; don't miss out on the Dolcetto. And the unfortunately named Lemberger is a must for any Pinot Noir fan; serve it blind and you will win converts. I also got a tank sample of a rosé made from Lemberger and Sangiovese (!) that was dry and delicious. Not only are the wines charming, but the location is idyllic and contemplative. Let's take a tour! Here's the winery: whidbey 216 The vineyards: Whidbey Island Winery Vineyards The entrance gate to the vineyards: cochon whidbey 215 Some pruning work: Pruning Winemaker Greg and Assistant Winemaker Leah posing for the camera: cochon whidbey 239 Future bottlings of Merlot and Roussanne: Barrel and Tank Winery Cat Sangiovese scares the hell out of poor Dioggi: Winery Cat and Dog Good use of leftover wine barrels: whidbey 228 So have you had any Puget Sound whites before? Check out the information for a whole host of wineries courtesy of the Puget Sound Wine Growers Association.