Eagle Harbor Wine Company

278 Winslow Way East
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

206-227-4310

Open: Year Round

From our Cabernet Sauvignon block in Dwelley farms, we can see the Blue Mountains in the East, the Walla Walla Valley to the West, Mill Creek Lake to the North, and to the south Les Collines vineyards. Rolling wheat fields spread below around nearby.

It is Dave Jones' land and vines, but these rows of grapes are mine. At least, they are this year, as they have been for several years past, but life is brief and full of work. We hope they will be next year and after that as well.

Dave Jones respects my owning the grapes since he knows that wine will come from them. We discuss weather, harvest time, watering, throwing the grass mowed from between the rows back into the row to decompose. We discuss the flavors of the grapes and the type of cordon. We discuss weather,this year's weather.

A light breeze comes up the hill, ruffling the golden wheat below. The smell of dust from my drive through the field hangs in the air. The vivid warmth soothes old ski and soccer injuries. And the royal blue sky falls around us like a mist. I can smell the ripening grapes. My hero Galileo said that wine is liquid sunshine.

I ask Dave, "Do you ever think about leaving?" After all, he works here every day except for the winter holidays. He looks around. "Why would I?"

My work is to bring this year and that place and those grapes to someone's glass and table transformed into joyous wine.

Some do not think that is possible, that I am an eccentric throwback to times when grapes followed their natural course into wine. Not so.

Some prefer wine as a standardized product. Not a bad thing, since we need standardized molds to realize the distinctive. Some days need to be ordinary.

Rather, the wine is collaboration between grapes and me. We spend many months together and influence each other, at times not happily. The wine ages and sleeps and I age and sleep, often not well, since the wine has a tendency to go its own way as it grows up and I must follow. And, after all, I must make money to make wine.

When, in the end, at last my wine is in the glass, I hope it is a pleasure in someone's life. I hope they find it distinctive and delicious, attuned to the place it came from. Of one thing I am certain:  it will not be standardized.

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