A few days ago, I had an itch to take a drive along the Hood Canal here in Washington State, which as you can see from my little tabletop image to the right, runs adjacent to the west of Puget Sound. I had not driven this particular route in some years and wanted to refresh my visual memory of the area. One can either choose to start the journey via the Hwy 101 exit from Interstate 5 at the state capital of Olympia and head north, or start from the other end of the highway where it connects to Hwy 104 and crosses over the canal to points further east. I chose to start from the north end, initially driving up from Tacoma and crossing the Hood Canal Floating Bridge.
It was a long drive—a good couple of hours. The two lane highway meanders back and forth and up and down through the Olympic National Forest for a while until the elevation comes down to sea level along the Hood Canal. It’s a very windy road with few encounters of small communities and some state parks that offer camping, hiking trails and viewpoints. The largest of the communities along this particular part of the highway is Hoodsport with some fascinating little boutiques and businesses right along the main highway. On this particular day, I was in the mood to stop by the quaint, little, chalet style winery along the highway—Hoodsport Winery. It’s not just the wine I was after. They have the most super-fantastic chocolate raspberry truffles I have ever tasted that are infused with the winery’s own raspberry wine… and in two sizes: large and jumbo! Being the chocolate raspberry fanatic that I am, I chose the jumbo, dark chocolate ones. You want to savor every bite of these chocolate confections!
As far as wine is concerned, Hoodsport Winery has a wonderful selection of wines to suit anyone’s palate. They are particularly known for their fruit and berry wines, which happen to be my favorite because I favor sweet wines. As far as the sweet wines go, probably the most popular one is their Raspberry wine. It certainly is my favorite. It is bursting with fresh raspberries! In fact, I will state right here and now that it is the best raspberry wine I have ever sampled! Other sweet wines include the delightful, light Pear wine, Rhubarb wine, and Apple wine. They do make a Blueberry wine, but believe or not, it is a full-bodied wine on the dry side. There is also a Blackberry wine, but I have never sampled that one. The winery also has a fine selection of cordials as well. The “Day Ja Blue”is a silky smooth blueberry wine that is not too sweet. It would complement some dark chocolate along with it really nice! The “Stella Raspberry” cordial is excellent as well with a bit of oak finish and not overly sweet. The “Loganberry Dream” is a little on the tart side if you prefer that, as well as their “Bella Cranberry.”
For the dry and semi-dry wine connoisseur, Hoodsport Winery has a fine selection of those as well, including Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Cabernets. They also have a variety of gift packs, glass stemware, and other specialty items. Lucky for us, they do mail-order!
If you’re ever driving around on the Olympic Peninsula on Hwy 101 along the Hood Canal, stop into the little chalet winery at Hoodsport to have a wine tasting and see what you think. You just might be having dinner that night with a new bottle of wine. And don’t forget the chocolate raspberry truffles!