This Longtime Vacation Hotspot Has a Wine Scene Worth Slowing Down to Explore

Each year, thousands of visitors hop ferries or planes and head to one of Seattle’s favorite vacation spots, the San Juan Islands, intent on slowing down and enjoying a leisurely agenda that might include an orca-watching tour, kayaking, a beach walk—and wine tasting.

With the effects of climate change, the wine industry is shifting and adapting. And the Puget Sound AVA, with some 45 wineries, including a few in the San Juan Islands, may turn out to be the little mouse that roared. These wineries produce some delicious food-friendly wines from cooler-climate grapes, such as Riesling, Siegerrebe, Madeleine Angevine and Müller-Thurgau. And they offer the opportunity to sip them in unique locales.

Each of the three main islands has its own winery. On San Juan Island, start at San Juan Vineyards, a picturesque winery just a few miles from the Friday Harbor ferry landing. Its vineyard of Siegerrebe and Madeleine Angevine vines overlooks a beautiful chapel. The winery, with its 1895 schoolhouse turned tasting room, also produces some reds made from grapes from Yakima and the Horse Heaven Hills AVAs.  Read More »