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Events spotlight Island’s growing wine scene

Island winemakers have banded together to hold a weekend of wine-and-dine events, when wineries will be open to visitors and wine tastings and wine-paired dinners will be held.

“It’s going to be all Vashon — anybody on Vashon who has anything to do with the wine trade,” said Linda Kirkish, co-owner of Palouse Winery on Vashon. “We each have a different interest; the wines are all a little different, and they’re all fun.”

Dubbed “Vashon Vinum Veritas,” the weekend event was spearheaded by Vashon Wine Shop owner Stephen McClure, who wanted to cast a spotlight on the Island’s six wineries, which sometimes fly under the radar of visitors and Islanders alike.

“Some of them, even Islanders never get a chance to visit or don’t realize they’re there,” McClure said. “The name, truth in wine, is about the reality of what we are today as Vashon and as business on Vashon.”

Wineries will offer tastings at the Heritage Museum, the Vashon Wine Shop, The Hardware Store Restaurant, Gusto Girls and La Boucherie. Gourmands can also sink their teeth into dinners paired with locally bottled wines at the restaurants, or sample handmade chocolates at the museum.

The nearer consumers come to those who produce Island wines, “the more we get in touch with the honesty and the passion behind the person that is working with it,” McClure said. “Everything on the tour is handcrafted here.”

He said the weekend’s events are a tip of the hat to the Island’s rich agricultural and manufacturing histories. From strawberries to bricks, Vashon once had a thriving export business; today, small businesses, such as wineries, have taken their place in the Island’s commercial landscape.

“It’s important to remember what has gone on here, and who we are, instead of just being a commuter community,” McClure said. “We’re giving a nod to the people who are trying to live and subsist here with very small business models that are sustained by local economy.”

Events will be held Saturday, March 28, and Sunday, March 29, at the Vashon-Maury Island Heritage Museum, the Vashon Wine Shop, The Hardware Store Restaurant, Gusto Girls and Seabreeze Farm’s La Boucherie. See www.vashonvinumveritas.org for a detailed schedule of the events.

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