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8 Amazing Things You Need to Know About the San Juan Vineyards

Couple toasting with wine san juan vineyard

The San Juan Vineyards is a premier vineyard and winery on the San Juan Islands with spectacular views and even more spectacular wines. Locally owned, the San Juan Vineyards has been in operation since 1996 and has transformed into a destination winery at the hand of Yvonne Swanberg. The estate and vineyards now feature wine tastings, tours, and events throughout the year. If you’re looking for a relaxing, romantic escapade during your vacation in the San Juan Islands, be sure to visit the San Juan Vineyards and have a glass (or a few) of wine in one of the most beautiful places in the Pacific Northwest!

1. Wine Tastings

San Juan wine tasting wouldn’t be complete without breathtaking island views. The San Juan Vineyards is not lacking in this department, with lush fields and a calming serenity that sweeps across the vineyards and settles in the brim of your wine glass. The tasting room hours are 11am to 5pm daily during the summer season, and during spring, open only on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. An interesting fact about the tasting room at the San Juan Vineyards is that it actually was an 1895 Schoolhouse that has been renovated. The facility is still used for learning, though we’re not sure if wine tasting is a traditional school class!

2. Special Grapes

You can walk through the vineyards to see the Madeleine Angevine and Siegerrebe grapes that make the San Juan Vineyards’ two estate wines.These grapes have won several awards. The Madeleine Angevine received a gold medal at the Tri-Cities Wine Festival, while the Siegerrebe was selected as one of the Top 50 Wines of 2015 in the Seattle Times

These varietals grow well in the cool climate of the Puget Sound AVA, where the winery is located. Madeleine Angevine is a white grape from the Loire Valley and is also grown in Germany. It is a crisp white that pairs well with pacific northwest seafood – crab and oysters. Siegerrebe, is a German grape that is a cross of Madeleine Angevine and Gewürztraminer. Depending on the weather and the winemaker’s whimsy, the grapes can produce a sweet, floral wine desert wine or one with a bit more acidity to be enjoyed with a meal.

3. Valley Views

You can sip your wine on the outdoor patio while taking in sweeping valley views. Bring a picnic from Tucker House Inn to enjoy along with your glass of wine. Let nature rejuvenate as you soak in those stunning views.

4. Wine Varieties

Select from reds or whites during your tasting at the San Juan Vineyards. Merlot, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Merlot make the list of reds. These varieties range in aromas and tastes, from the raspberry, blackberry, and plum scented Merlot to the black currant, black licorice, and mushroom scented Cabernet Sauvignon. The tastes, however, are more in the realm of chocolate and plum with a hint of vanilla compared to a blackberry and early grey tea, respectively. The white wines at the San Juan Vineyards include Chardonnay, Madeleine Angevine, Siegerrebe, Pinot Gris, Afterglow (rose), Riesling, and Mona Vino Blanc, a white blend named after the Island’s dromedary. Pineapple, apricot, honey, lemon citrus, apple, nectarine, and lime are just a few flavors you will experience.

5. Vineyard Tour

Your tasting at the San Juan Vineyards will go great with a stroll around the property. Visit the tasting and barrel room and wander through the vineyards during your visit. This is a great place to take in the beautiful landscape and scenery of the island.

6. Mona the Camel

While you are touring the San Juan Vineyards, visit Mona, the Island’s beloved dromedary. She lives in the pasture across from the winery and is quite a character. Mona the camel has her own Facebook page and draws in locals and visitors alike with her unique personality. She will gladly accept an apple, potato, or some carrots, but her parents have requested we don’t feed her. You can also get a picture with this San Juan Island celebrity, but watch out- she might start eating your hat if you stand too close!

7. Fall Harvest

A great time to visit the San Juan Vineyards is in the fall. This is the perfect opportunity to roll up your sleeves and help with their fall harvest. Toast to a job well done and enjoy a delicious salmon barbecue!

8. Wine Club

The San Juan Vineyards Wine Club, known as “Outpourings.” is a great way to stay involved with the vineyard and receive these incredible wines after you leave the San Juan Islands. Wines are shipped four times a year, with three bottles arriving each time. You will also receive discounts on bottles throughout the year, such as a 20% discount when you order a case. You can also give a membership as a gift, which might be a great present to “bring back home.”

From the San Juan Vineyards to Tucker House Inn

The Tucker House Inn in Friday Harbor is a great place to continue your relaxing stay in the San Juan Islands. Less than 10 minutes away from the San Juan Vineyards, Tucker House will provide some delicious food at the Coho Restaurant to soak up the wine, while an in-suite massage will continue your stress-free vacation! For more information on the San Juan Islands and what to do, download our free vacation guide!

Photo Credit: San Juan Vineyards

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