A couple of weeks ago, we attended a Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism Media Tour in conjunction with the Bellingham Northwest Wine Festival. We had a wonderful time! And even though we’ve lived in the area for more than four years now, we found new places where we will definitely return.
The highlights: The Bellingham Northwest Wine Festival; a Washington wine dinner at B-Town Kitchen at Four Points by Sheraton Bellingham; a tour and flights at Twin Sisters Brewery and Beer Garden; wine tastings at Samson Estates Winery and Dynasty Cellars; and a delicious lunch and whiskey cocktails at 9 Restaurant at North Bellingham Golf Course.
In addition, other tour stops included Cosmos Bistro for a tasty breakfast; Bellingham Farmers Market (loved the dumplings at Dumpling Girls booth, pictured right); Waypoint Park Tour (one of the first tangible signs of the city’s waterfront redevelopment of the former Georgia-Pacific paper mill site); historic Hotel Leo (formerly known as Hotel Leopold, and transitioning to a boutique 31-room new hotel and 61-unit apartment building); Good Time Girls Walking Tour and Cloud Mountain Farm (whose grapes are pictured above).
Here are the highlights.
Bellingham Northwest Wine Festival
Bellingham Northwest Wine Festival is our favorite local summer wine event. Whether you live in Bellingham, Birch Bay, Vancouver or Seattle, be sure to save the date for next year.
Earlier this month, more than 55 northwest wineries poured more than 150 different wines. Eight Whatcom County restauranteurs served tasty bites. For a look at our favorites, see our Instagram photos, which were posted live. Three of them are pictured above – DeLille Cellars, Wit Cellars and Succession Wines.
Meanwhile, kudos to Dan Radil and Zacchoreli Frescobaldi-Grimaldi of the Whatcom Beer and Wine Foundation for bringing wonderful wineries to Bellingham every year.
B-Town Washington Wine Dinner
The night before the wine festival, Executive Chef Bryce A. Lamb at B-Town Kitchen at Four Points by Sheraton Bellingham served us a food-and-wine extravaganza. For photos and descriptions of each course, see our Instagram posts.
Some examples are above. The first photo shows rack of lamb, tea-steeped with plum and nectarine, and paired perfectly with the impressive 2016 Eternal Gratitude Merlot. We are new fans of Eternal Wines as a result of this delicious meal. Also pictured, Dungeness Crab with tangerine granita, wasabe, jasmine-peach dashi and chilled tofu. So tasty.
Twin Sisters Brewery and Beer Garden
What a treat to visit Twin Sisters Brewery and Beer Garden. This fun spot offers a brewery, an outdoor beer garden, a restaurant and an events space. Our favorite beer is Stouting Thomas nitro stout, pictured next to talented brew master Tom Eastwood for whom the beer was named. Other beer included Strawberry Zwickelbier, Pilsner, and several IPAs. The staff also served us popular dishes such as beer pretzel bites, tacos and two kinds of thick grilled cheese sandwiches. Yes, we will come back. (More photos on Instagram)
9 Restaurant at North Bellingham Golf Course
Chef/Owner Nick Moss went out of his way to show us the best of 9 Restaurant at North Bellingham Golf Course. Again, we posted live on Instagram, where you can see all the dishes, which were paired with refreshing whiskey cocktails. The photos here feature dry-rubbed, applewood-smoked pork ribs, portobello mushroom fries and fresh fruit parfait. Delicious!
Dynasty Cellars and Samson Estates Winery
Dynasty Cellars is a Bellingham winery, owned by winemaker Peter Osvaldik and his wife, Olga. Both greeted us with an array of wines including our favorite, 2017 Dynasty Cellars Chardonnay. Les Collines Vineyard in Walla Walla sources the grapes used in Dynasty’s wines. Other wines we tasted included a Bordeaux blend, Syrah and ZInfandel. The tasting room opened at its present location in 2012, and has become a place to meet friends and hang out in the city.
Samson Estates Winery is located on a 500-acre raspberry and blueberry farm in the Nooksack River Valley, northeast of Bellingham. Of note, the valley produces 65 percent of the U.S. raspberry crop. Ninety-nine percent of the fruit grown at Samson Estates is sold commercially, with the remaining one percent used for wine production. Samson is known for its Delilah Raspberry wine, Cassis Black Currant port and a big blackberry wine that would pair well with salmon.
In addition to the places we visited, Bellingham and Whatcom County offer a vast array of food and beverage experiences, a wealth of history, and incredible access to the outdoors. Whether you live in Vancouver, Seattle, or anywhere in Washington state, we encourage you to explore your options on the Things to Do section of the Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism website.
And mark your calendar for this time next year, so you won’t miss the Bellingham Northwest Wine Festival.
Margot and Dave