Wine Pairing in the Wild

Wine Pairing in the Wild


September 10 - 14, 2020


Southeast Alaska





September 10 - 14, 2020


Southeast Alaska



From the rugged glaciers of the Chilkat Range to the calm waters of our local fjord we’ll explore the beauty and contrasts of northern Southeast Alaska with this unique wilderness wine tasting event near Haines Alaska.


Alaska’s abundance is not limited to scenic beauty and wildlife, but also has local and wild food like nowhere else. Join wine educator Katie Wendel on an exploration of wild food, wild landscapes and wine along the rugged shores of Alaska.

In a tangle of mountains at the end of the famed Inside Passage lies the small fishing town of Haines Alaska, population 2,200. With North America’s longest and deepest fjord in the front yard and some of America’s tallest peaks out-back, Haines is an ideal place to base our adventures.

From Haines we will travel by boat to a remote beach, with ancient spruce forests behind camp and the grey sea at our doorstep with glacier capped peaks in all directions. Camp sits on a grassy beach centered around an outdoor kitchen and fire pit. Simple comforts abound and we’ll have our big dining tent set up for inclement weather.

Immersed in wilderness we’ll explore the land and waters, foraging for delicacies and reveling in beauty.  We can wander the beach, hike far inland towards the glacier, or kayak to nearby islands seeking both adventure and additions to the nightly feast.

And a feast it will be. Local ingredients, fresh from a wild landscape and served in situ bring a connection to the land hard to achieve in any other way. Enjoying Dungeness crab while watching crab buoys bob in front of camp, or enjoying grilled chanterelles you’ve pulled from the forest soil makes a meal hard to forget. Meals will be prepared by our local chef who draws on local and global food traditions. What could be better?

The answer to that is, of course, wine. This culinary and wilderness trip begs for good wine. And who better to match the world of wine to the wilderness cuisine of Alaska than Katie who dreamt-up this unique trip. Katie, a passionate practitioner of wild food and wine pairing, is the owner of Sip It Events and has been leading international wine-related events and trips for the better part of a decade.

Begin your day in camp with a bowl of savory polenta and a soft boiled egg, or a wild mushroom omelette. In the evening we might start with Shikat Bay oysters while sipping a refreshing Muscadet from France’s Loire Valley. You can look forward to dining on whatever the current catch is, such as sockeye or coho salmon, Dungeness crab, or perhaps poached halibut, paired with a white Burgundy or Oregon Chardonnay, as well as other fabulous wines from both the Northwest and around the world.

As good as the wine, food and guiding will be, the natural environment is the star attraction. With a 25 foot tidal range the beaches can stretch long and broad at low tide and when the tide is in we can paddle underneath the drooping hemlock branches. Grassy flats, sandy beaches, cobbles, cliffs and the big tree forests offer a great variety of areas to explore and camp. We’ll loaf in the sunny meadows when the weather allows and seek the comfort of the woods when needed.

Wildlife is unpredictable but the fjord’s rich waters feed salmon, halibut, cod and a host of other fish, which in-turn feed, humpback whales, harbor porpoise, and steller’s sea-lions in the water and bears, wolves, fox and eagles on land.

A sturdy and warm camp, blazing beach-fire, and food fresh from the sea make a perfect end to a day exploring on the water and in the woods.


This trip is outfitted by SEAK Expeditions. Food and wine courtesy of Sipit!

Last updated: November 25, 2020


What follows is a general flow of events. Expect the unexpected and prepare to be flexible.

September 10

Arrive in Haines, Alaska on your own and check into your local B&B. At 5 pm meet with Katie for the first of many great culinary experiences where we will enjoy some unique wines and a meal created by a local Alaskan chef. Lodging and dinner included.

September 11

Weather permitting we load our gear into the water-taxi for a 1/2 hour boat ride across the inlet and south of Haines to our favorite campsite. Our tents are pitched above the tide-line in the grass near a small river, protected from the south-wind and with an amazing view of the mountains and ocean. Welcome to paradise! We’ll have the afternoon to collect driftwood, hike the beach or kayak along the shore in search of wildlife and wild food. At day’s end we gather around the fire to discover the tastes of southeast Alaska and wines of the world.

September 12 - 13

Tide and wind are our masters. We can paddle into quiet coves, or kayak across the broad grey sea. We can climb to the top of an island for views up and down the fjord, fish for halibut, or walk in the green woods. No matter where we go we’ll scan the beach for bears and the water for whales. Or if you’d prefer to hike inland, we can trek up the river dwarfed by 1,000 ft cliffs to the glacier. It is a challenging hike to a spectacular destination. Opportunities to forage vary from year to year and day to day, but we expect to spend time in search of wild berries and mushrooms in the woods and there may be crabs, shellfish and seaweed near shore and if conditions permit we may even go looking for halibut and salmon in the ocean. There is no end to the adventures we can have on the wild and rocky shores of this northern fjord.

September 14

All good things must come to an end. We’ll spend the morning packing-up, hiking and paddling. Mid-day we meet our water taxi for the ride back to Haines. If the weather permits, we’ll ask the captain to swing past a big rookery of sealions on the way back to town. We may miss the quiet of the woods and the rhythm of the tide but Haines is a fun town to end a trip in. Lodging included.

We had a guide whose judgement and advice I trusted unconditionally. I am sure we had the great fortune to benefit from her many years of guiding, especially regarding the food she selected to bring. I found it incredible that the meals never tasted like they were selected for camping but also it always seemed to be very efficient, starting from the good coffee in the morning, to lunches that included gourmet cheeses, to the dinners she prepared that were better than those in many restaurants.


- Kirsten , LA, USA



2 nights lodging in Haines

3 nights camping along Lynn Canal

Boating, camping and safety equipment

Food while in the field

Professional Guide Service


Transportation to Haines

Food in Haines except the first night’s welcome dinner

Lodging beyond the nights included in the itinerary

Alcoholic beverages except wine as provided by Sipit!

Personal clothing and gear per our Equipment List

Fishing licenses

Gratuity for guides


The weather in Southeast Alaska is highly variable. It can be almost summery with temperatures up to 70 F with sunshine or we can be visited by powerful storms with heavy rain and temperatures closer to 40 degrees. Each year is different and each day will be different. Pack for the cold and wet, but bring a short-sleeve shirt in case autumn is lovely this year. Weather data is available at here.

"The wilderness was spectacular, the leadership perfect."
"I am just finishing my tenth trip with you guys. As always, the trip was more than I expected and I had a great time. See you next year!"
"Of all outfitters with whom we have worked (and that is quite a number), you were by far the most organized and responsive."
"That feeling of wide open wonder, the possibilities for nearly limitless wandering, and the image of those proud caribou...that will stay with me a long time"
"Our guide was an encyclopedia on legs. He was always willing and ready to teach, to talk, to listen, to do another hike, or to lie low in camp if we were beat. He truly gave us the trip we wanted!"
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Eileen - Canning River