Sip, snack and savor at Kitsap Wine Festival

Locals are invited to drink to a good cause at the fifth annual Kitsap Wine Festival this weekend.

On Aug. 17, from 2 to 5:30 p.m. wine drinkers are encouraged to come to Harborside Fountain Park to enjoy locally-produced adult beverages. The event will benefit the Harrison Medical Center Foundation for operational support.

Since 2009, the Kitsap Wine Festival has benefited the center, said Arne Bakker, general manager for Kitsap Conference Center at Bremerton Harborside.

“The fountain park is a phenomenal venue for this festival as the fountains themselves lend to great ambiance and wonderful views from the park,” said Bakker. “It is a great annual event showcasing Washington wines and the best of Bremerton’s restaurants and local breweries such as Silver City Brewery, Bella Bella Cupcakes.”

Participants will receive a sampling glass to visit vendors. Restaurants will also be involved this year and will offer everything from heavy appetizers to desserts. After sampling, guests may choose to purchase the wines they like best, which average between $16 to $20 a bottle, said Kelly Werner, special events coordinator for Harrison Medical Center Foundation.

A Summer Sipper Bar will also be available to allow guests to sample rieslings, rosés and sparkling wines.

“It’s nice to see the local restaurants out there. It’s nice for people to try the local fare,” said Werner of the variety of vendors.  “It really is a lot of fun. I just really enjoy the fact that it’s just a nice afternoon on the water … it’s really just a fun event for the community.”

Werner noted that the event goes smoothly mainly because of volunteer help and generous community support. Wachtler Winery, Stina’s Cellars, Laurelhurst Cellars and Elegante Cellars will be among the almost 30 wineries and breweries present at the wine festival.

Heidi Witherspoon, communications director of Precept Wine, couldn’t agree with Werner more.

“Kitsap County has a wine-loving crowd,” she said. “QFC, Town & Country, Safeway, BevMo and Fred Meyer all have outstanding wine programs locally, and we are proud to have our wines there. This event gives consumers an opportunity to enjoy guilt-free trial and taste through what they might be reluctant to buy blindly off the shelf.”

Witherspoon said Precept Wine will have two wineries present: Chocolate Shop-The Chocolate Lover’s Wine and Waterbrook Winery. Both wineries have regularly participated in the event and plan to offer a wide selection for sampling at the event.

Waterbrook will offer its items at the Summer Sipper Bar, including a 2012 Melange Blanc and a 2012 Sangiovese Rose. Chocolate Shop, which will be front-and-center with its Red, Strawberry Red, Crème de Cocoa, and Sparkling Chocolate. The most popular wine is the Chocolate Shop’s Red, which is a “natural, dark chocolate infused in a red wine blend.

“Unlike a lot of chocolate wines on the market, ours is a luscious red in the glass with incredible chocolate aromas—no chocolate sediment or cream in the glass—just a decadent red wine,” Witherspoon said. “Our favorite is the “aha!” moments of consumers who’ve just found their new favorite wine, right before your eyes. Trial is everything and Kitsap Wine Festival makes it possible.”

First year participant Brian Petersen said he is thrilled to bring his two wine offerings from Mosquito Fleet Winery, located in Belfair.

“We’re happy to be there and happy to be there in front of all these wine lovers in our own backyard,” said Petersen.

In addition to being the winery’s prime winemaker, Petersen also operates his own chiropractic practice in Belfair. As a medical professional, Petersen said he’s happy to know that he is also serving in a philanthropic manner as well by working in the event. He regularly works with Harrison Medical Center doctors and said he has a lot of respect for what they do in the community.

Petersen plans to serve up the equally popular Meritage blend and Syrah blend called “Sophia.” Both are dry reds, he said.

Each bottle comes with a QR code that is scannable to get information on tasting notes and the information on the ship that is printed on each bottle’s label, Petersen said.

“It’s been exciting to see the brand grow and get some great feedback about our wines,” he said. “We’re excited to be there and excited to participate and hopefully it will lead to more great things for Mosquito Fleet.”

Guest must be 21 or older. IDs will be checked at the entrance of the event. Tickets purchased prior to the event are $50 at or through calling the Harrison Medical Center Foundation at 360-744-6760. Gate tickets will be $60.


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