In 2008, long-time Bainbridge Island residents, Jim and Sharon Wilford began making wine as a hobby out of their garage in their Fletcher Bay neighborhood home. Two years later, their hobby and hard work turned into several award winning vintages and by 2012, they took the plunge into professional winemaking, moving their “garage” operation to Coppertop Park, where the winery is located today. Since then, Fletcher Bay Winery vintages have received several more awards across the country. In 2015, Brooke Huffman joined Fletcher Bay Winery managing the marketing and operations, but she too was a wine connoisseur and after developing a great relationship with the Wilfords, she purchased shares in the winery and is now a partner. Brooke has certifications in the International Sommelier Guild, the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and worked in various positions in the wine industry in the past. In addition, Brooke is the Executive Director of the Winery Alliance of Bainbridge Island, which assists in marketing and promoting Bainbridge Island’s seven award winning wineries via events held throughout the year. In 2015 Jim and Brooke decided to remodel their facility at Coppertop Park and hired local woodworking craftsman, Alan Vogel. Alan designed and built the bar and communal tables and was involved in the overall remodel of the wine tasting room. However, Alan’s artistic endeavors did not end there, and when he expressed his desire to learn winemaking, Jim took him under his wing. Alan is now the assistant winemaker at Fletcher Bay Winery, and in 2019 also became a partner in the business.
In 2018, Fletcher Bay Winery opened a second tasting room location in Winslow, just steps from the ferry terminal, and with that second opening, they realized they also needed to double their wine production and opened an additional location in Coppertop Park, which is now the primary wine production facility. Tours of the production facility and barrel tastings are available by appointment only, click here for information.
Both tasting room locations offer charcuterie, cheese, smoked salmon and other delicious noshes to pair with your wine tasting experience. They are also children and dog friendly—the Coppertop Park location offers indoor and outdoor seating as well as a loft for the little ones, equipped with toys and a DVD player for movies. The Winslow location is a wonderful place to unwind after a hard day’s work, or to grab a great glass of wine before heading to the ferry.
Fletcher Bay Winery hosts a variety of events throughout the year, and two weekly events featuring live music: Wine Down Wednesdays is hosted each week at the Coppertop Park location from 6-8pm, and Thursday at the Winslow Tasting Room from 5:30 to 7:30. Click here for all events held at both locations. If you’re interested in hosting your own event at either location, they can do that too! Click here for details.
Interested in staying on Bainbridge Island during your visit? Consider the winemaker’s waterfront cottage, which served as the original tasting room for Fletcher Bay Winery and is just minutes from the winery itself, for more information, click here.
Eastern Washington is home to numerous fine viticulturists, and Fletcher Bay Winery has nurtured relationships with many of them, allowing them to source high-quality grapes to make their various wines. The majority of their grapes come from Crawford Vineyard in the Yakima Valley, Washington. Grapes not grown by Crawford Vineyard are sourced from Rock Bottom Vineyard, Aria Vineyard, Red Path Vineyard and Johnson Ridge, all located in the Walla Walla Valley.
Fletcher Bay Winery is also hosting an exclusive wine tour in November 2020 on a luxury river cruise through one of the world’s best wine regions, Bordeaux, France. For more information, click here.
Winery at Coppertop Park: 9415 Coppertop Loop NE, Suite 102, Bainbridge Island. Hours: Monday & Tuesday 1-7pm, Wednesday 2-8pm, Thursday & Friday 1-7pm, Saturday & Sunday 12-7pm.
Winslow Tasting Room: 500 Winslow Way E #130, Bainbridge Island (one door down from the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art). Hours: Monday – Thursday 2pm-7:30pm, Friday 2pm-9pm, Saturday 12pm-9pm & Sunday 12pm-7:30pm
Fletcher Bay Winery is a member of the Winery Alliance of Bainbridge Island, for more information, click here.
***Winery location photos by Margaret Millmore, Winslow Tasting Room courtesy of Fletcher Bay Winery