Eagle Harbor Wine Co. – Making the best wine we know how to make.

Eagle Harbor Wine Company was founded in 2005 by Cynthia and Hugh Remash, and although this was their first winery, Hugh had a long history in the industry, having also owned a wine shop in Winslow. Their desire to create artisanal and complex varieties, using old-world wine styles, has made the winery one of the island’s treasured gems.

In 2009, Emily Parsons, who’d already had a long love-affair with wine, began working alongside Hugh. Emily went on to further her education, studying wine and winemaking at UC Davis in California. In 2012, with the support of her husband, Steve Trimble, also a wine enthusiast, Emily began her winemaking career with seven tons of grapes. By 2014, Emily’s zeal and devotion had so impressed Hugh that he made the difficult decision to sell the business to her, while maintaining a role as a consulting winemaker. Today she continues to immerse herself in every element of the winemaking process. Their current goal is to produce 2,000 cases a year, no easy feat, as every step of the process is done by hand, from sorting the grapes, punching and crushing, bottling, to corking and applying the labels.

My interview began in the tasting room with Chip Garber, who handles business development and customer experience for the winery. While Chip poured a few varieties of wine for tasting, he told me a bit about the grapes themselves. Washington State has a diverse climate, wet on the west side, and dry on the east — this dry side is ideal for growing grapes. There is plentiful sunshine and rich soil, with just the right acidity for grape production. In addition, it’s located at approximately the same latitude as the great French wine growing regions of Bordeaux and Burgundy, making it the perfect wine growing region. In fact, Washington State’s wine industry is rapidly becoming the largest agricultural sector of the state and attracts millions of visitors a year. What began as a few vineyards in the 1970’s, has grown to over 950 vineyards today.

Eagle Harbor Wine Co. harvests their grapes from three of these vineyards. Their Viognier, Cabernet and Merlot come from Dwelley Vineyard near the Blue Mountains, overlooking the city of Walla Walla. The Sangiovese and Cab Franc are grown by Kiona Vineyard, which is part of the Red Mountain AVA. Additional Cabernet Sauv, Cab Franc, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc are sourced from Sagemoor Vineyards, located just north of Tri-Cities. To learn more about these vineyards, click here.

I was especially taken with their Goldfinch, a Chardonnay and Viognier blend, as well as their upcoming Sauvignon Blanc (it’s not yet available to the general public, but will be soon), both wines were wonderful, having a pleasant fruitful beginning, which mellowed nicely on the palate. My husband enjoyed a few of their reds, declaring each one to be full-bodied and silky.

Emily joined us at this point and took us on a tour of the winery, beginning with the lab and bottling room, filled with sparkling stainless steel equipment and cases of bottled wine waiting to be shipped out to customers. As she described the uses for all the equipment, ranging from testing, to bottling and labeling, she told us that she and her cellarmaster, along with Hugh Remash can bottle up to twenty-five cases of wine an hour, needless to say, I was impressed. From there, she took us into the barrel room, the first thing that hit me when entering was the intoxicatingly delightful smell of toasted oak, saturated with the rich fragrance of wine. Emily explained that the wine is aged 24 to 36 months in oak barrels. The majority of the barrels come from French forests, and are specific to the varietal. However, they also use American oak barrels, which again, are specific to the varietals and lend notes of vanilla to the wine that are aged in them. We moved onto the grape sorting room and the punch and crush area, where the wine is prepared prior to barreling. If you visit the winery in the Fall, you just might be treated to the crushing experience.

If you’re unable to make it out to the winery itself, stop by their intimate downtown tasting room, located at 278 Winslow Way, just a short distance from the ferry terminal.

EHWCo also offers a selection of educational classes on wine and winemaking, please check their events page (click here) for more information. In addition to classes, the following events are scheduled from March through June:

March 24, 2019 – Women Stars of Wine and Food. Emily will be a featured winemaker and will be pouring her wines.

March 30 & 31, 2019 – Taste Washington Grand Tasting. We will be one of over 200 wineries pouring our wines at this annual event at Century Link Events Center. Taste wonderful wines paired with food from over 70 of Washington’s finest restaurants.

April 13, 2019 – Our Spring Wine Release Party. Please join us at the winery from 1- 4pm where we will have our latest wines available to sample. Wine Club members may pick up their spring selections. Food will be provided by L’Atelier TR, and music from Jason Meeks.

May 11 & 12, 2019 – Wine on the Rock. Grab some friends and come to Bainbridge Island to taste wines from all 7 of the island wineries. We will each be pairing our wines with select cheeses for this event.

The winery is located at 8897 Three Tree Lane NE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

Eagle Harbor Wine Co. is a member of the Winery Alliance of Bainbridge Island, for more information, click here.

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