A little while ago I went on a tour of North Western Washington Cider.
We only really had 1 day to do it. We could spend Saturday night out, but had to be back on Sunday afternoon. Amazingly - we did it, and did it in fine style.
These cider spots are all pretty new. If you are looking for consistency... look elsewhere. If you are looking to be in on the birth of a vibrant Washington State cider industry, strap on the shoes, choose a designated driver, and take the car for a spin!
The MAP: Check out the cider tour on Google Maps
1. Red Barn Cider (http://redbarncider.com/) - An impressive selection of tastes. And it will be different next pressing. In Mt. Vernon, about 1.5 hrs north of Seattle. It seems a little far, but it is the gateway to the rest. Show up there at 11 (or call and arrange to show up at 10:30, so lunch is more relaxing on Whidbey Is.)
***take the Keystone/Coupville - Port Townsend Ferry (GET A RESERVATION!!! ) *** don't meant to yell, but this is essential. We were on the 1:30 ferry. Just had to get there at 1ish.
2. Wildfire Cider (http://www.wildfirecider.com/) - Pretty close to Port Townsend. The 1st place we went. Be sure to call and see if they are open. They weren't the weekend we went (fooey!). 2 food festivals that weekend, I s'pose I can forgive them. I need to taste their stuff. It can be found at Central Market... and other places. Lesson, call ahead.
3. Eaglemount Cider (http://www.eaglemountwinery.com/) The largest selection... and nice and dry. May I also recommend the Ginger Cider. They are also a respectable winery. But we were just tasting cider.
4.Finn River Farm (http://www.finnriverfarm.com/) Apple cider champagne? Well, if done right, with cider rather than dessert (eating out of hand apples) YES! it can be done.... and done well. Surprisingly well. This was a great last stop. Their Perry (pear dessert cider) was my favorite. And it was practically back to back with the place we spent the night.
Nap Time and where we spent the night...
5. Solstice Farm (http://www.solsticefarmstay.com/) A comfortable, homey clean place with a wonderful atrium, and a crazy good breakfast. Engage in conversation knowing it will be an extended engagement if you want it.
6. Dinner in Port Hadlock/Irondale area. We went to Halibut and the Scampi's, but if you want to really Do-it-up-Right, check out the Ajax Cafe. http://www.ajaxcafe.com/funstuff.htm
Pick a designated driver (the one who has to spit), and go for it!
7. Take the Kingston - to - Edmonds ferry back. If you get on before Noon. Then you are home free. And you will wonder why you don't go to the Olympic Peninsula more often. It is SO close!