Welcome to Our Little Wineries
According to Sunset Magazine, November 2010, we have become “The Northwest’s new wine destination”. Our Winery Alliance of Bainbridge Island (WABI) is becoming known for its award winning small wineries. All of the independent wineries in our group are run by their winemakers. No upper management here. Just winemakers. Each has a passion for making great wine with handcrafted style.
One nice thing about visiting, participating in, or purchasing from one of the micro-wineries on Bainbridge, is that you get to know the art of making wine. And the people who make it. We make our wines by the tens of barrels, not hundreds or thousands. You’ll find a personal touch here. Barrel to barrel. Person to person.
Our wineries rely on simpler techniques and less machinery, so they’re similar to the way wine has always been made. Though each winery is independent, we help each other with equipment, supply sources and knowledge. It’s all about the wine.
Simple techniques. Excellent wines.
Welcome to the wineries of Bainbridge Island.
A Little History of Our Little Wineries
For each of our winemakers, making wine started out being just for fun. No family wine dynasties. Just a fascination with wine.
Though winemaking on the island goes back to the 1970s, all seven of the WABI wineries got started after 2003. But with each new year, their passions grew from making just wine, to making pretty good wine, to making extremely good wine. Award winning in fact.
Almost all of our winemakers started in sheds, garages, basements and whatever other spaces they could arrange, to make and store their wines. Some have grown a bit bigger, while others remain much as they started. But season after season, each has fine-tuned their winemaking skills and improved the art form that is their wine.
Several times a year, the call goes out to the Volunteers who support each winery, for a day here and there of unloading and crushing grapes, or racking, or bottling. It’s very Euro style. You’ll find friends and family showing up for lots of hard work, some impromptu feasts, and the required sampling along the way. One and all join in. Youngish and oldish. Men and women. Everyone is welcome. And the help is always appreciated.
Grapes? Ah, the grapes. One of our winemakers has his own vineyard on the island and grows grapes suited to Bainbridge’s maritime climate. Just like in parts of France. Our other winemakers rely on the superb vineyards of central and eastern Washington, for grapes that are among the finest grown in the world. Once on Bainbridge, the grapes receive the best of care and produce accordingly amazing results.
The reward? Great, handcrafted wines made in limited quantities. Think of it as a tasty, refreshing change from big corporate wineries.