Olalla Valley Vineyard and Winery first started growing wine grapes in 1986. A small amount of wine was produced for home use. In 1998 it was decided to expand and grow some other varieties of grapes for home use and for family and friends. The first harvest in 2001 produced much more wine than could be consumed or given away. The concept of the Winery and Tasting Room was then conceived. Subsequently, more vines were planted and the vineyard expanded. Since the Vintner is of Croatian descendant, the wines created at the Vineyard carry the label of “Croatian Family”to honor the Croatian Families which brought their wine making skills from the Old Country to Gig Harbor, Tacoma, Bellingham, Port Orchard and other cities along the Puget Sound. Families with the names of Lovrovich, Bujacich, Morin, Babich and Malich. Our front label carries the names of most of the Croatian Families which immigrated to the Gig Harbor area.
During the fall in the early years of Gig Harbor and other areas of Puget Sound, one could smell the scent of fermenting grapes. The basements and garages of Croatian Families were busily processing grapes into wine. Our wines are made in the old world tradition. All grapes and fruit is naturally grown. As in the old world, the entire wine making process is a family affair with all processes done by hand.
Two varieties of Lavender can also be found growing at the Vineyard, True Grosso and Royal Velvet. These are grown for their culinary and scented properties.
At the Vineyard we have tried to create a atmosphere of peace and tranquility. Where an individual can visit and feel at home and not be hurried to buy and leave. We have provided seating areas throughout the grounds for viewing nature, enjoying the gardens, picnicking or just taking a nap. Wireless Internet is provided for those who need to keep in touch. If someone visits during harvest they can join in the picking, crushing or pressing. We will provide the dinner or lunch. During days we are open, the Vineyard, Tasting Room and Winery are always open to the public. They can tour the Vineyard or visit the Winery. We will take the time to explain the growing of the vines or the making of the wine. We want people to experience our love of growing grapes and the making of the wine. The Winery complex also includes a room that seats 40 that can be used for various functions such as meetings or small social gatherings.
Since the Vineyard is located between Gig Harbor and Port Orchard we believed that the Winery could also be used to promote local artists and community charities. So we have been actively promoting a local artist’s work monthly. Collectibles are sold for the Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital through the Peninsula Orthopedic Guild.