San Juan Vineyards & a Camel

Monday, October 25, 2010 - 
"Make sure you say hi to Mona" the server said with a smile.  Hubs and I had asked about San Juan Vineyard's while dining at Downriggers' and that was her response. 

"Mona? Who's Mona?" I thought as I smiled back and said "Oh? Mona?"  She just smiled and said, "She loves to say hi to people, make sure you say hello."

Um, okay.

One of the reasons we made it out to the San Juan Islands during our trip to Washington State was because we heard there were three things that we just had to experience on the islands - great food, breathtaking views and delicious wineries.  Great food was found as we saw some amazing landscape, thus we anticipated great things from the winery.

San Juan Winery is one of two on the island (we were informed they were the "new guys" by another local) and sits on some great property.  The tasting room is an old school building, and there is also an adorable church on property where people still get married (think very small and intimate, cute for sure.) 

We didn't walk around the vines too much, but made our way to the tasting room to find Mona (and drinks some wine.)
It was a pretty simple set up - honest policy for $1 per tasting.  The woman we were working with wasn't too engaging, maybe it was an off day, but she didn't really elaborate much on the wines we sampled.  But, what we did sip on, we thought was decent.  The didn't have all of their varietals available, but here is a basic breakdown of what we did try:

  • 2007 Merlot - long lasting finish, cherry undertones.  Seemed like a basic, but not as dry, merlot.  Good oak flavors.
  • 2009 Suegerrebe - refreshing white that was citrus flavors.  Definitely for warm summer nights to sip on.
  • 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon - another one for summer sipping, had berry flavors.  Was expecting more chocolate aroma, but a good glass of wine.
  • 2008 Madeleine Angevine - clean finish, with a grape that is conducive to grow in the Puget area.  I was surprised by this one, lending subtle sweetness that I enjoyed.
  • 2009 Mona Vino Blanc - pear flavors really stood out to me, making me think it was a more than just your basic white table wine. 
The fun thing about the Mona Vino Blanc is that it is dedicated to this mysterious Mona.  You see, Mona is a camel.
Yup, a fun loving camel who adores people.  We crossed the street to say hello to our new island friend.

Hubby got up close and personal with the animal who inspired the Mona Vino Blanc label.

And look! - Mona has a friend too (who's name, I'm sorry, no one did tell us.)

It was a quick trip to a winery - good wine and the property gorgeous.  But honestly, Mona is a reason in itself to visit this winery (and of course, her friend too!)

San Juan Winery
3136 Roche Harbor Road
Friday Harbor WA 98250

And don't forget to say hello to Mona for me.