Hurricane Hills Winery specializes in locally-sourced, uniquely blended fruit wines. While fruit-based wines may have the reputation of being for desserts, these unique blends are created to be enjoyed just like any other wine — meaning, any time is a good time for a bottle of Hurricane Hills wine on your table.
Jessie Newberg’s journey as a fruit-centered vintner began 10 years ago. Newly pregnant with her daughter, Newberg found herself eyeing the plentitude of ripe fruit hanging from the trees on her urban homestead.
“You can only make so many pies,” she said, laughing.
“I realized it’d be a good time to learn to make wine since I wouldn’t be able to drink any for a while.”
Newberg said she was captivated. She relished the unique opportunity to blend artistry and science into a process that culminated so deliciously. She found that winemaking stimulated her creative spirit while allowing her to pay homage to the beautiful Pacific Northwest, the inspiration for her adult elixirs.
Now in her fourth year at the Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market, Newberg delights guests with sips of her seasonal libations, including favorites such as the mellow Blackberry Lavender, or the fresh, tangy Orchard Plum.
This September marks the return of seasonal blends, including Blackberry Beet, which aged with oak tastes similar to cabernet and makes a great table wine.
Guests are also eager to re-up on bottles of Apple Habanero, a semi-sweet apple wine with spices and habaneros, and Rhubarb Rose, a dry rhubarb wine, which tastes delicious chilled.
When envisioning wine blends, Newberg likes to utilize what’s available locally and abundant in the region.
“From the very beginning, my goal was to experiment with produce that grows really well here on the peninsula,” she said.
Array of aromas, tastes
A consistent reaction Newberg receives from the first-time samplers is one of pleasant surprise.
“It’s not what anyone’s ever expecting,” she said. “Fruit wines have a reputation for being syrupy-sweet; customers are excited when they try ours and find that’s not the case.”
A glass of Hurricane Hills wine is filled with complex flavors and aromas, ranging from dry to semi-sweet. There’s something pleasant for just about everyone to savor.
While Hurricane Hills Winery makes it easy for shoppers to order their wines online for home delivery or even visit Country Aire to find their favorite bottle, the winery’s processing location is not ideal for a tasting room.
This means that the Saturday market is one of the only opportunities to sample the unique blends and talk wine with Newberg in person.
“The market is an opportunity for the customers to connect with us, taste our wines, and learn about them straight from the horse’s mouth,” Newberg said.
Careful attention to hygiene is nothing new for Hurricane Hills Winery. Thorough sanitation practices are crucial in wine production. Newberg was exceptionally quick to adapt to the market’s safety requirements this season in response to COVID-19 regulations.
The health crisis has, however, highlighted something else for Newberg: gratitude to attend markets every Saturday, something that she said has provided a returned sense of normality.
“Everything going on has really proven how important the market is in our community,” said Newberg. “It seems like everyone is beginning to see the bigger picture of supporting local food; the importance covers a lot more now than just picking up a few carrots.”
“The vendors at the market are out there talking about things they’re passionate about while giving people the opportunity to find balance, normalcy, and connect to their community in a way that feels safe,” she said.
Newberg is thrilled to catch up with her returning customers this season.
“Seeing all the customers we’ve made over the years return has been a morale boost,” she said. “It’s been really great to have people be like, ‘Oh my gosh! We’re only in town this weekend; we’re so glad you’re here!’”
Find Hurricane Hills Winery online at hurricanehillswinery.com and every Saturday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market, located at Sequim Civic Center plaza.
Emma Jane Garcia is Marketing Manager for the Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market. See www.sequim market.com.