Getting Back to Business Bainbridge Island Style (Part 8) – The Wineries of Bainbridge Island: Amelia Wynn Winery & Bistro, Bainbridge Vineyards, Eagle Harbor Wine Co., Eleven Winery, Fletcher Bay Winery, Perennial Vineyards and Rolling Bay Winery
It’s been a long tough road over the last few months, and although we’re not out of the woods just yet, we’re resilient, and slowly—under County and State re-opening guidelines—we’re opening our doors again to the public. Through this series, I’m excited to share the stories of our Island businesses—what they’ve been doing over the last few months and what they have planned going forward (please note: I’ll be featuring at least two businesses per article).
Per state health order 20-03, a facial covering must be worn in both indoor and outdoor public spaces (when you’re within six feet of people outside your household) to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Thank you for doing your part to keep our community safe and our businesses open.
Amelia Wynn Winery & Bistro was founded in 2008 by Paul Bianchi. They specialize in small lot wines, producing Bordeaux, Rhone, Italian and Spanish varietals. Grapes are sourced from notable vineyards in Eastern Washington State. In late 2019, they opened their new location, The Amelia Wynn Winery & Bistro located at 390 Winslow Way, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110. During the lockdown, they offered curbside pick-up for food and wine, and will continue to do so during the re-opening.
Lunch, dinner, wine tasting, glass pours and bottles to go are now available at the bistro, and they’re excited to offer a new in-house menu, as well as an abridged take-out menu. To ensure the safety of their customers and staff, they ask that customers wear their masks or face coverings until they’re seated at their table (the staff will continuously wear face coverings during service). Seating will be limited to allow for safe distancing and reservations are highly recommended.
The winery and bistro are located at 390 Winslow Way, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110 – Hours: Wednesday through Saturday, 11:30a.m. to 9p.m., and Sunday, 11:30a.m. to 8p.m. For reservations click here, or by phone: (206) 451-4965
Bainbridge Vineyards In 1977, Gerard and JoAnn Bentryn founded Bainbridge Vineyards in Winslow, later that year, they purchased farmland on Day Road from Japanese-American farmer, Akio Suyematsu, whose family founded the farm in 1928. Bainbridge Vineyards is the only winery on the island that exclusively uses their island-grown grapes for their wines, producing approximately 1,200 cases a year. When the Bentryns decided to retire, they turned to Betsey Wittick, who has been a valued employee at the winery since 1989, she reopened the winery under a cooperative in 2013, and in 2014 the vineyards were certified organic under her direction.
Prior to re-opening, they transformed their tasting space into a Wine Garden, which is open for glass pours, pre-selected wine flights for your group, and bottles to share on the patio. All seating is outdoors, with covered options for both sunny and drizzly days, and will include hand sanitizer at each table. Staff will be wearing masks, washing hands, sanitizing door handles, counters and payment systems after each customer, as well as other multi touch surfaces. Portable restrooms with handwash stations are also available on site.
The winery is open Friday through Sunday 1p.m. to 5p.m. with full service on the patio. Mondays through Thursdays from 10a.m. to 2p.m. they will be open for retail only.
In addition, if you would like local delivery, or curbside pick-up, click here (please use their online store to complete a no-touch sale).
They are located at 8989 NE Day Road, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110, phone: (206) 842-9463
Eagle Harbor Wine Co. 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, and 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.
To prepare for re-opening, they have installed plastic curtain partitions between the tables in the tasting room as well as properly distancing tables inside and in the patio area, hand sanitizer will also be available at the entrance. Seating is limited at both the winery and the downtown Winslow tasting room, and reservations are recommended, click here for details. The winery is now open for tastings, glass pours and bottle sales.
The winery is located at 8897 Three Tree Lane NE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110, phone: (206) 842-4669 – Hours: Thursday & Friday from 12p.m. to – 5p.m., Saturday from 12p.m. to 6p.m., and Sunday & Monday from 12p.m. to 5p.m. – not accepting groups of more than 5 guests.
Winslow Way tasting room is located 278 Winslow Way E, Suite 106, Bainbridge island, WA 98110, phone: (206) 842-4669 – Hours: Saturday and Sunday from 12p.m. to 5:30p.m.
Eleven Winery It was the late 1990s and Matt Albee and his wife, Sarah, were living in the San Francisco Bay area, where they spent many weekends enjoying the local wineries. Over the next several years, through connections they made on their tours, Matt learned the art of winemaking, and eventually decided to branch out on his own. He and Sarah went in search of a location to start their own winery, eventually deciding to return to the place they grew up, the Pacific Northwest, where the wine industry was beginning to flourish. They landed on Bainbridge Island, bought a house, and converted their large garage into a small winery, where they crushed their first grapes in 2003 and released their first whites in 2004. In 2011, the winery moved to a larger space on the island, where it resides today.
During the lockdown, Matt and his tasting room staff (known to the Eleven family as the “Happiness Engineers”) discovered their love of live media, creating a virtual happy hour where they would choose a new wine to taste and critique, and to add a bit more fun they started random tasting trials, by mixing some of their wines to create amazing blends (although they admit, some of the blends weren’t so amazing…). In addition, they created new furniture, using barrels from their winery location and redesigned the area for better flow and social distancing. If you’d like to view their happy hour videos, click here.
They also continued bottle sales during the lockdown, and added curbside delivery, ordering online or by phone for orders to be picked up at their Winslow Way locations, and no contact deliveries on Bainbridge Island. They found that gift sets became quite popular during the lockdown, and are expanding their gift set selection.
At the winery location, they’ve added a second serving area for better social distancing, and they’ve added more food items to their menu.
The winery is open for wine tastings, glass pours and bottle sales. With limited seating capacity to insure proper distancing, parties under 5 people are welcome, and some events are resuming, click here for more information.
The winery is located at 7671 NE Day Road, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110, phone: (206) 780-0905 – Hours: Thursday through Monday from 11a.m. to 5p.m.
The Winslow Way tasting room is located at 287 Winslow Way E, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110, phone: (206) 780-0905 – Hours: open daily from 12p.m. to 8p.m.
Fletcher Bay Winery 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. In 2015 Jim 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, and Alan became an assistant winemaker at Fletcher Bay Winery.
In addition to the winery, they have a tasting room, with a rooftop patio on Winslow Way. Both facilities have hands-free door entry, sanitizing stations, as well as thorough cleaning before and after customer use and all tables are distanced at six-foot intervals to ensure safety. Groups under 5 are welcome, as well as children. The winery is open for wine tastings, glass pours, food and bottle sales. Both locations offer indoor and outdoor seating. Events are also resuming, click here for details.
The winery is located at 9415 Coppertop Loop, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110, phone: (206) 780-9463 – Hours: Monday & Tuesday from 1p.m. to 7p.m., Wednesday from 2p.m. to 8p.m., Thursday & Friday from 1p.m. to 7p.m., and Saturday & Sunday from 12p.m. to 7p.m.
The Winslow Way Tasting room is located at 500 Winslow Way, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110, phone: (206) 780-9463 – Hours: Monday through Thursday from 1p.m. to 7p.m., Friday from 1p.m. to 9p.m., Saturday from 12p.m. to 9p.m., and Sunday from 12p.m. to 7p.m.
Perennial Vintners began in 1997, when Mike Lempriere began his winemaking hobby out of his basement in his Seattle area home. In 1999, Mike and his partners purchased grapes from Bainbridge Island Vineyard and Winery (known today as Bainbridge Vineyards), which is in the heart of the Puget-Sound AVA. From those grapes they produced a Müller Thurgau, and discovered a new love and appreciation for the delicate cool-climate white wine. As Mike’s experience grew, it became clear that making wine was not enough, he wanted to grow the cool-climate grapes he’d fallen in love with, and in 2003 Mike and his wife purchased a 3-plus acre former Christmas tree farm on Bainbridge Island and began growing grapes of their own. In addition, they leased approximately 1-acre from their neighbors, Bainbridge Vineyards, where they grow Madeleine and Müller. Perennial Vintners specializes in the delicate wines from the maritime-influenced viticulture of the Puget Sound and has focused on an underappreciated Melon de Bourgogne (known as Muscadet in France), Mike is the only vintner growing this grape in Washington State.
The winery tasting room is small, and doesn’t allow for proper social distancing, however Mike has created an outdoor space, consisting of barrel tables, with six-feet or more in spacing—the winery hopes to open for public tastings July 25th. Curbside pick-up and on-line sales are currently available.
Mike is a “one-man” operation and space is limited, as such reservations are highly recommended. Call ahead to reserve your spot – however if you wish to visit the winery outside of normal business hours, give Mike a call, as more often than not, he can accommodate you on short notice.
The winery is located at 8840 NE Lovgreen Rd., Bainbridge Island, WA 98110, phone: (206) 200-5902 – Hours: Friday through Monday, 11a.m. to 5p.m.
Also note that during the COVID-19 restrictions, all their wines are on sale at either 30% or 50% off retail price! Discount will be taken in the winery at the register, or on VinoShipper.
Rolling Bay Winery began as an amateur winemaking hobby, over the years their wine kept getting better and better, and in 2007 Rolling Bay Winery was launched by Alphonse de Klerk, David Verwolf and Piero Sandri. They are a small artisan winery, specializing in limited quantities of hand-crafted premium wine from grapes grown on one of Washington State’s newest AVAs and oldest vineyards on Snipes Mountain. The winery is open for wine tastings, glass pours and bottle sales, groups of 1-5 people are allowed, and reservations are highly recommended, click here for details. Curbside pick-up is also available, call or text (206) 419-3355 or email email@example.com for details.
The winery is located at 11272 Sunrise Drive NE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110, phone: (206) 419-3355 – Hours: Saturday and Sunday from 12p.m. to 5p.m.
*If you’re an island business and would like to share your story, please contact me via the “contact” link in this blog.
*Logos and images used with permission