Monday, August 4, 2014

One of the most beautiful lakes in the world!

What doesn’t Lake Crescent have? This pristine Lake which is part of the Olympic National Park, is only about a 20 minute drive from Port Angeles and you couldn't possibly be bored once you get there. You might be interested in staying the night so check out the Lake Crescent Lodge which sits right on the Lake with a dock that stretches out for superior views. If you’re hungry there is an amazing restaurant with a full bar that serves Harbinger wine! Maybe you’re more interested in “roughing it”. Turn off right before driving around the lake and you can stay at the log cabin resort, which also has adorable little cabins and campsites.

Just there for the day? Take the kids swimming at East Beach, this kid-friendly roped-off area is shallow enough to actually warm the water. If you’re liquid-loving I highly recommend bringing your kayak or paddleboard to this lake. It is completely enclosed so you’ll never be carried off to sea and you just can’t imagine all the beautiful sights you’ll see if you decide to explore every corner of the lake by paddling around it. If you’re just using your feet, there are a plethora of trails. Some of the most popular are Marrymere Falls, Spruce Railroad Trail, and Storm King which all bring you to unique and amazing places. If you’re a risk-taker why not try cliff-jumping into the famous “devil’s punchbowl? And if you like to fish, there are a few different kinds of fish  in this lake including but not limited to the rainbow trout and Kokanee, but just so you know, this is strictly a catch-and release area. Maybe the water is a bit too cold for you, so just keep on driving and you’ll find  the Sol Duc Hot springs where you can sit in resort-style pools which are thermally heated and outdoors so you can still soak up some sun. If none of this sounds interesting to you, then I don’t know what would. Maybe on your way out or possibly on your way back into town, stop by for a little wine at Harbinger winery since we are conveniently located right off the highway and you are sure to pass by. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Magic of the Mountains

One of the top attractions here in Port Angeles is Hurricane Ridge. A mere 17 mile-drive up into the Olympic mountains with an elevation gain of about 1 mile will take approximately 45 minutes. Due to all of the breathtaking views, wildlife, wildflowers, and off-road waterfalls it will be hard to keep your eyes on the road. Just 5 miles up, you can park at the “lookout” to see Sequim Bay, the Strait of Juan De Fuca, over to Victoria Canada and, on a clear day you should see Mt. Rainier rising through the clouds. The Olympic National Park does offer a few free days throughout the year, otherwise it’s only $15.00 for the week or you might as well just get the annual pass for $30, especially if you live in Washington. Right after the ranger station is a fantastic park & camp campground called Heart o’ the Hills, but if you’re not camping you might be interested in doing the Heart o’ the hills trail which is pretty easy and probably littered with ripe huckleberries during this time of year.
A couple more miles up is another lookout with a very short trail to a panoramic view of the valleys of Hurricane Ridge which used to be filled with flowing water many, many years ago. If you listen carefully you can hear the much smaller river flowing way down at the bottom, covered by the forest. You’ll pass through a few tunnels, and drive along the side of the mountain on a winding road for a few miles until you reach the visitor’s center. Keep your eyes open for deer, they’re everywhere, and boy are they friendly! 

At the top, you’ll find many trails. During a very short period of the year the “Obstruction Point” Road is open which is a bit scary but if you can make it down this 10-mile road you’ll find a place in nature that has hardly been touched by man, that might take you to beautiful glacially-fed turquoise lakes or on long wild flower-covered trails.
After getting back to nature, we invite you to stop by Harbinger and have a tasting or glass of wine like our La Petite Fleur which is almost as refreshing as drinking from a fast-flowing waterfall created from the melting snow.  We would love to hear about your adventure! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Getting Here is Easy!

If you live in Seattle or are visiting from another area, you should definitely check out all that the Olympic Peninsula has to offer. Not only can you quickly travel to Victoria, BC by ferry in Port Angeles but the Olympic National Park has an array of amazing trails for anyone from the avid hiker to the not-so-ambitious nature-lover. There’s two ways to travel to the Olympic Peninsula. Some prefer to take the ferry, for its exoticness, if you’ve never ridden a ferry, or just for ease. Others prefer to drive around. During the summer the cost for taking the Bainbridge Ferry, which is the ideal ferry because it is only 30 minutes travel time and leaves right out of Seattle, is $13.65 for a vehicle and driver and $8.00 for extra passengers or to walk on. It then takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes to drive to Port Angeles from the ferry terminal in Bainbridge. If you prefer to drive around it takes about 2 hours 40 minutes with no traffic, or 2 ½ hours from the airport. On the return trip the Tacoma Narrows Bridge cost $5.25.
Once on the Olympic Peninsula there is a plethora of outdoor activities. At the top of the list is Hurricane Ridge and Lake Crescent. The drive up to Hurricane Ridge is 17 miles, and takes about 45 minutes but the time will certainly pass easily as there are exquisite all-around scenic views the entire drive up. In fact, if two of you are able to drive, one person should drive up and the other should drive down so each person gets to enjoy the scenery. Lake Crescent is 21 miles outside of Port Angeles and takes about 30 minutes to get to. Have you ever tried kayaking or paddle-boarding? Stop in at Adventures Through Kayaking to find out more. Lake Crescent is a fantastic place to explore these two water sports as you take it slow around this tranquil enclosed lake. And when you get hungry, stop in at the Lake Crescent Lodge where you can enjoy gourmet food and tasty beverages.

Want to know more about what to do in the area? Ask the locals. We are super friendly, laid-back and we are glad you came! 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Northwest Wine & Cheese 2014 Recipes

People were excited about our wine and cheese pairings this year for the Northwest Wine & Cheese Tour this past weekend. Lots of you asked us for our secret recipe to the amazingly creamy and rich Wine & Cheese Soup paired with the Harbinger Off-dry Reisling, as well as our deliciously funky & zesty no-bake cheesecake paired with the Harbinger Raspberry Bliss so here they are!
Wine & Cheese Soup:
4 Tbs unsalted butter
1 small onion, diced
1 lg carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. flour
4 c. Chicken or vegetable stock
6 oz white wine (Reisling, Viognier, or Chardonnay)
4 oz room temp cream cheese
1 c. grated medium gouda
1 c. grated sharp cheddar
1 c. grated Parrano Parmesan
1 c. whole milk
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
In a large dutch oven, over medium heat, add 1st 5 ingredients until butter is melted, then add flour and cook until lightly toasted. Add chicken stock and cook for 40-45 minutes stirring occasionally. Strain the vegetables out. Turn to low heat and add the rest of the ingredients, stirring constantly and never letting it boil. It is ready when all ingredients are melted and blended together.

Elderflower & Lime Cheesecake
box of digestive biscuits or graham crackers
3/4 c butter, melted
1/2 c sugar
3/4LB full fat cream cheese
icing sugar
2/3 c double cream, lightly whipped
zest of 1 lime
2tbs Belvoir Elderflower Cordial
Crush the digestive biscuits, add sugar and butter, mix, and form crust on 8" round tin with a lift-up base and place in fridge to set. Mix rest of ingredients, minus cream & Elderflower, in a food processor and slowly add elderflower & cream last until it is a smooth thick paste. Spread the mixture on top of the graham crust and refrigerate about 1 hour.

Hope you enjoy these recipes. We thank everyone who attended the Northwest Wine & Cheese tour this weekend and hope you had a fantastic time tasting unique cheeses and delicious wines!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Grand Harvest Awards; What's it all about?

Recently Harbinger’s 2009 Bolero, a 75% Tempranillo blend and the 2010 Barbera were awarded medals at the Grand Harvest Awards 2013. Wineries from all over the North Americas enter this competition from Canada to New York to New Mexico and the top 2 wine-producing states: California and Washington. This particular competition focuses on “terroir”. 

So what is terroir and why is it so important? Terroir, the French word for land, can be described as characteristics from a certain area that interact with plant genetics giving you a “sense of the land”. Wherever the grapes are grown, the geography, geology and climate give a unique quality to the grapes. So no matter what, it is impossible to reproduce the same wine flavor. Grand Harvest Awards lets the wine tell the history of the area from which it came and judges based on which wines stay true to its history. 

At Harbinger, we get our Tempranillo grapes from the Rattlesnake Hills area which has loamy soil, lots of slopes, meaning great drainage,  average rainfall of 6-9”, and a long growing season.  We get our Barbera from the Columbia Valley AVA which is the largest wine region in the state and it is broken down into several smaller AVA’s including Rattlesnake Hills. The Columbia Valley has many microclimates but the whole region is known for having cold winters and long dry summers with low humidity. All of these attributes affect how the grapes will taste. How? Well, you’ll just have to try our Gold-winning Barbera and Silver-winning Bolero for yourself.

Here’s a good example: In 2012 there were huge forest fires over in Eastern Washington, where food and grapes for wine-making are grown. Now that 2012 wines are coming out onto the market, spectators have been saying these 2012 vintage wines are displaying a particularly smokey flavor as compared to other years. Those forest fires affected the flavor of the grapes, therefore the wine which the grapes made and that’s just one of the thousands of factors that influences terroir.

For the whole list of wineries that won awards visit this website

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Until Next Year!

Red Wine & Chocolate 2014 is over and we had a wonderful turnout and shared heaps of gooey memories with folks. This year Harbinger Winery brought back the Kitty Kat lounge, and what happens in the Kitty Kat Lounge stays behind the velvet curtains! But we can tell you we didn’t see one person leave without a grin on their face; a true sign of satisfaction! The first weekend, it was mighty cold outside but we warmed each other’s hearts with friendly smiles, sublime wines, and charming chocolates. The second weekend it rained cats and dogs but it was nonstop busy all day. We got to meet a lot of new faces as well as old friends too (just the way we like it). 
New wines and old standbys were served for the event, each paired with a specific chocolate treat. From the potato chip haystacks to the chocolate rockets each pairing was a flavor explosion! We had dark chocolate cups filled with smoky gooey caramel, piles of salty sweet and crunchy delights, and flavors one would never expect to pair with wine and chocolate…like buttered popcorn mixed with milk chocolate and pop rocks …who knew? 
The Raspberry Bliss, which was just released for the Red Wine & Chocolate tour, went swimmingly with the Bleu Cheese Brownie! Say what? That’s what we’re here for folks; to push the boundaries of your comfortable life and make you put things in your mouth you’ve never considered! 

Not only do these events bring out a lot of people to the Olympic Peninsula but they give everyone a chance to really see how pairing a certain food with a particular wine can magically elevate the flavor and “mouthfeel” of both. It’s a great opportunity to experience how pairing the right food with the right wine really helps you savor the flavor. The next big wine tour is May 4th & 5th, the Northwest Wine & Cheese Tour. We can’t wait to blow your mind with some amazing and unusual wine and cheese pairings!
But for now, here are some pictures of the fun times had during Red Wine & Chocolate:

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Red wine & Chocolate 2014

Harbinger Winery Red Wine & Chocolate 2014
February 8,9, 15-17th

Chocolate Rockets, Blissful Encounters, and the Kitty Kat Lounge
The wine and chocolate cupids of Harbinger Winery have been busy dipping their arrows in a magical
melody of amorous flavors. Some of their favorite combinations will be offered for the tour.
The Red Wine and Chocolate Tour is your ticket to unabashedly celebrate several great things at the
same time; the survival of another cold, dark January, and the anticipation of romance, red wine, and
just plain fun. The Harbinger crew has gleaned through old notes, stained with the temptations of yore,
picked out some of our favorite pairings, and added a few new pleasures.
Enter the wine and chocolate “Hall of Fame sampling” by trying the crowd-pleasing Dynamo Red
with our own chocolate/potato chip invention; it’s a grand slam! Feel your palate being “expanded”
with the 2009 Rapture and amazing new secret chocolate combination from Chuao. Be blasted into
another realm as our 2010 Bolero fuels the “chocolate rocket!” And no pairing is complete without the
raspberry bliss, whose sole existence cries chocolate. Stop by to see how this local favorite transports
the taste buds to “Blissville.” Here’s a hint; chocolate will be involved.
Not enough, you say? Feeling a little amorous? Visit the Kitty Kat Lounge and try the VIP aphrodisiac
chocolate and wine sampling. We guarantee you will leave with a new appreciation for chocolate and
aspirations to be a better wine lover.
All of these unique handmade chocolates have been designed to pair exclusively with our wines.
Several new chocolate products will be introduced and celebrated as well; like the Ravishing Rocky Road
Chocolate Bar. Who doesn’t like seeing the words chocolate and ravish in the same sentence?
Harbinger Winery is located just 3 miles west of Port Angeles on HWY 101 West. The tasting room is
open daily for wine tasting, beer tasting, and features a unique and comfortable setting to gather with
friends and learn more about the vast subject of wine. For more information contact the tasting room
at 360-452-4262 or visit online at
 Red Wine and Chocolate Tour tickets are available at any of the participating wineries. See for participating wineries and to purchase tickets online.