April 23rd – The weekly wine down for Clark County and beyond
- Astoria Crab, Seafood & Wine Festival – Fri, Apr 24-Sun, Apr 26 One of the best in Oregon according to industry folks I’ve talked with, this marks the 33rd annual. Seafood, a plethora of wineries (and some beer), artisans and an upbeat party vibe all weekend long.
- April 30th from 5:30-8:30 pm – BIA (Building Industry of Clark County) is putting on a home tour for a great cause! $40 per person includes seven new homes ‘paired’ with food and adult beverages from Farrar’s Bistro & Confluence Winery, The Grant House & Burnt Bridge Cellars, Mill Creek Pub and Alameda Brewing, Hudson’s Bar & Grill & Fortside Brewing, Lapellah & Mt Tabor Brewing, Feast at 316 & Koi Pond Cellars rounded out by Man Kakes and Pacific Perks Coffee. 50 percent of the proceeds donated to Share of Vancouver’s Backpack Program.
- Chehalis Valley Wine Tour – Sat, May 2 For $20 per person receive a passport to taste at Agate Creek Cellars, Bateaux Cellars, Birchfield Winery, Heymann Winery, Scatter Creek Winery and Wells Winery. Light appetizers at each winery and one souvenir glass included.
- PDX Urban Wine Experience 2015 – Sun, May 3 from 3-6 pm, partake in the offerings of the 12-member PDX Urban Winery Assn. Early bird tickets are $32 and include wine tasting, light appetizers and an opportunity to talk with the winemakers at this fantastic collective.
- The Craft Winefest of Vancouver – Fri, Jun 12-Sun, Jun 14 marks the 3rd Annual with 150 wines and 25 hand-selected micro brews located at Esther Short Park. Proceeds go to Vancouver’s Downtown Association & Second Chance Companions.
- International Pinot Noir Celebration – Fri, July 24-Sun July 26 Held on the grounds of Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon, this is the premier event for pinot noir lovers to taste this delicate and earthy wine from over 70 wineries. Tickets range from $125 for their Sunday afternoon outdoor tasting event to $1,200 for a full submersion weekend including a salmon bake dinner, seminars, a vineyard tour and much more.
Clark County wineries:
Bethany Vineyard – The lovingly-maintained grounds of this estate vineyard would make a perfect backdrop to the weekend weather ahead. With Bethany’s current wine list of over 20 offerings, you’d be hard-pressed not to find a bottle for every palate. Music in the Vines summer concert series begins July 19 with Lisa Mann, Aug 9 with Dan Reed and Aug 30 with the Patrick Lamb band. Tasting their consistently elegant wines Fri and Sat noon-6 pm, Sun noon-5 pm.
Burnt Bridge Cellars – Learn more about winemaker, David Smith, here. Sat, Apr 25-Sun, Apr 26—Spring Wine Release at the Cellar. Sat, May 9—Deb Blakewood and Fine Company teaming up to perform live. Their 2012 Coyote Collines Syrah was a big hit at McMenamin’s recent 14th Annual Celebration of Syrah. Great to see a Clark County winery there! Enjoy award-winning wine at Vancouver’s only urban winery. David and Mark source their grapes from Eastern Washington and are particular about their wine competitions. 2014 and 2015 brought high praise from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Normal tasting room hours Sat, Sun noon-5 pm.
Confluence Vineyards and Winery – Sat, May 9—Come celebrate mom from noon-6 pm with free tastings for her, live music and craft vendors. Open Sat & Sun noon-6 pm tasting the bold and beautiful Rhone and Bordeaux reds Confluence is known for. The tasting room expansion is coming along nicely and should be completed by early summer and Greg’s 2012 Syrah is a smooth representation of this food-friendly wine. Keep tabs on their Facebook page for last-minute live music by stellar local artists.
East Fork Cellars – Housed in the historic Old Slocum House within Esther Short Park, tasting room hours are Sat and Sun noon – 5 pm with occasional live music events.
English Estate Winery – Fri, Apr 24— Dinner-for-purchase accompanied by local artist, Wade Hendrix from 6-8:30 pm. Reservations encouraged. Tue, Apr 28—Wine About Painting party at 6:30 pm. $40 includes all material, a glass of wine and light appetizers. Reservations required. May 2—The English Family Barn Anniversary Party celebrates 100 years with live music, vineyard tours, new releases and local winery, Rezabek Vineyards, will be pouring in the Pump House. The only Clark County winery open Monday from 4:30-7 pm with $5 glasses of wine to start your week off right. Open Fri-Mon. Save the dates: July 11 & 12—8th Annual Art & Wine Fair with local artisans.
Gougér Cellars – Closed Wed, 4/23-Tues, 4/28 while Gary attends California’s Passport to Dry Creek Valley. Come meet Dolce—the super cute labradoodle addition to the Clark County wine family and while you’re there, enjoy Gary’s non-alcoholic ice cream combinations such Zinfandel with chocolate chip and Muscat with blackberries after a tasting of his award-winning wines. Tasting room open Wed-Sun.
Heisen House Vineyards – Come enjoy a six-wine tasting on the gorgeous and historic Heisen grounds. Some options might be Michele’s Barn Owl White, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Tempranillo Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Tasting room hours: Sat noon-6 pm, Sun noon-5 pm.
Koi Pond Cellars – Sat, May 2—Participating in Ridgefield’s May Day celebration. Begins during happy hour at 5:45 pm. Sun, May 10—Specials for Mother’s Day. Wed, May 13—Koi Pond is hosting a paint n pour event. Contact the winery for details. Mon, May 25—Will be open to celebrate Memorial Day. Ask about their Blancitini wine cocktail. Mural and artwork by resident artist, Micah Boylan, grace the walls. Open Wed-Sun.
Moulton Falls Winery – Thu, Apr 23—Second week of their version of Thirsty Thursday from 4-8 pm with $9 pizzas and $5 cider. Sat, May 23—The first Wine Train of the season and the winery’s Anniversary. Sat, Jun 27—The Guitar Summit with Terry Rob, Mark Hanson and Doug Smith is a must-attend event. Tickets go on sale May 1 at www.tickettomato.com, $12 pre-sale $15 day of event. Sat, Sep 12—Save the date for the Third Annual Clark County Folk Festival held on the Moulton Falls grounds. Come check out their made-on-site Hard Cider and chat with Spike Walker, author of the book Working on the Edge which inspired the Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch. Each weekend enjoy live music by some of the area’s best musicians from 6-9 pm and pasta dinners available for purchase on Saturday nights in addition to their wood-fired pizza options.
Olequa Cellars – Olequa Red Blend 10 percent off the month of April. Brian’s dog-friendly patio is particularly inviting on a warm spring afternoon with a glass (or bottle) of his exceptional offerings. Two acres of maréchal foch, which seems to be popping up all over Clark County, has been planted at Olequa since 2005. Look for it in Brian’s 2014 Rose’ and a maréchal foch to be released in the next few months. Next opening days Sat, April 11 and April 25 from noon-5 pm. Private tastings of his beautiful boutique wines welcome.
Pomeroy Cellars – Enjoyed a bottle of Log House red wine recently with my husband and our pups while visiting with the lovely Destiny Fuller between tastings. Their Hard Apple Cider is tasting terrific, also. I love the wine style of this cider. With any luck their just-bottled 2014 Rosé will be ready for the Memorial Weekend festivities. Looking ahead: Thu, Jun 4 begins a new series at Pomeroy—First Thursdays—which will run on the first Thur of every month through Sep 3. Details still being worked out but twilight tours of the Pomeroy Living History Farm, including the Log House, barn, and blacksmith’s shop sound promising. According to Fuller, proceeds will benefit the children’s education programs conducted by PLHF. Stay tuned for more info. Open at noon Sat-Sun.
Rezabek Vineyards and Daybreak Cellars – Read more here. May 2—Helping their friends, English Estate Winery, celebrate their 100th Barn Anniversary Party. Look for them in the Pump House and enjoy live music, vineyard tours and new releases. Rezabek’s own tasting room’s still in the works but Roger & Donna invite private tastings at their Battle Ground-area location on a by-appointment basis. Email them at email@example.com.
Rusty Grape Vineyards – Recently voted Best of Clark County Winery! In addition to their paninis and wood-fired truffle chips, they have a crab and asparagus pizza that looks wonderful. Bottling some more reds which are being rolled out through April, their 2012 Merlot is amazing and their lineup of whites is perfect for our Spring weather. Live music Wed-Sat from 7-9 pm. Come check out additional indoor seating. Wednesday is 2 wood-fired pizzas for $15. Thursday brings Thirsty Thursday from 4:3-6:30 pm with special prices on wines, beer and food and Sunday they do it again from noon-3 pm. Something’s always going on at the Grape. Open Wed-Sun.
Three Brothers Vineyard – Among the perfect patio sippers is Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc and bottles are dwindling rapidly on their Library White Wine sale. Summer Concert Series begins July 12 with Stone in Love and Aug 16 with Lloyd Jones. Winemaker, Dan Andersen, was featured here. Look for an expansion of outdoor seating in 2015 and some other surprises. Tasting hours Fri 1-6 pm, Sat noon-6 pm, Sun noon-5 pm.
Village Vineyard – Re-opening May 2nd after their winter break. Stop by for a tasting and stay for a glass of wine in their lovingly-appointed living room. Folks are invited to bring munchies to snack on while enjoying some adult down time. Normal tasting room hours: Sat noon-6 pm, Sun 11 am-5 pm.
Wine bars/tasting rooms:
Birch Street Uptown Lounge – Began their expansion into the space next to them on Apr 1. Look forward to some wine dinners and other tantalizing events in the future. Sunday and Monday night wine flights from 4-midnight with terrific tasting notes. Come out and enjoy this classic-style wine and cocktail lounge with live torch singers every Fri and Sat night beginning at 8 pm that has even Portland folks venturing over the river.
Cellar 55 Tasting Room – Fri, Apr 24—Live music from 7-9 pm, dinner-for-purchase from 5:30-8:30 pm and local artist, Serena VanVranken’s, work will be on display the month of April. Spring release tasting this weekend featuring a spring-focused light bites menu. Fri, May 1—Rock, folk and bluegrass performed by Fadin’ by 9 from 7-9 pm. Pouring their fantastic Eastern Washington and Walla Walla wines by the glass or bottle along with light appetizers for purchase. Local art and special happy hours are featured throughout the week as well as live music most Fridays from 7-9 pm. Open at noon Wed-Sun.
Emanar Cellars – Owners, Richard and Mar, are sharing photos of their recent Spain trip via scrolling slide show. Enjoy their extensive lineup of Spanish wines with first-hand tasting notes and authentic tapas Thursday-Saturday. Fri, Apr 24 & Sat, Apr 25—Relax to the sounds of local musicians, Daniel Cecil and Daniel Dingman from 6-8 pm. This weekends’ local wine is Olequa Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon.
Flutes & Rocks Lounge – Enjoy sparklings from California, high-end Champagnes by the glass, wines, beers and select liquors (I.e. Jameson Black Barrel Select Reserve) paired with an artisan cheese plate or charcuterie platter. Stay tuned for: live music, more scheduled wine tastings and a Bourbon tasting! Open Tues-Sat.
Grapes ‘n Growlers – This newly-opened east side establishment features six rotating keg wines as well as 34 rotating beers on tap. They’ve had a couple Tap Takeovers recently. Wonderful if a keg winery’s in the mix for a wine tap takeover? Small plates like paninis, charcuterie board and cheese platters available. Check out the details here.
Latte da Coffeehouse & Wine Bar – Thurs, Apr 29 from 5-7 pm is the next wine tasting in this intimate and inviting wine bar. Try four wines for $5. Latte Da’s wine bar is open ’til 10 pm Thur-Sat featuring a wine-friendly appetizer menu to pair with their unique vino selection and beer taps coming soon. Bonus: The expansive patio’s looking more inviting with each day we inch into summer and all wines are available to purchase by the bottle for take away.
Niche-a wine & art bar– Wed, Apr 22-Sat, Apr 25—Celebrating Earth Day with a flight of biodynamic/organic wines throughout the week. This downtown wine bar has 30+ pours available six days a week with a staff who knows their vino. All set in an unpretentious atmosphere displaying local art. With an inventory of over 160 bottles also available to take away, Niche easily doubles as a wine shop. Live entertainment every Saturday night.
Vinotopia – Located inside Cascade Park’s Cinetopia, Vinotopia received Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence five years straight. Recently featured here. Aside from the dizzying array of wines by the bottle, guests can enjoy ½ off bottles of wines on Wednesdays and tastes or glasses of wine from a selection of over 100 daily. Pair that with their live music from 6-10 pm every Sat in their dining room and you have a no-fail date night.
Evergreen Wine Cellar – Owner, Pam Robertson, was featured here. Fri, Apr 23—Typically hosts a wine tasting from 5-8 pm $5.00. Thu, June 4—Pam will be leading Wine 101: The basics of wine and food pairing for $35.00 per person per class which includes wine pours and light bites. Classes will cover the basic process of winemaking, terminology, soil, weather conditions and touch on most geographical regions. Limited to 10 people. Sign up by calling her. Pam has the largest selection of sparklings in Clark County (80 at last count), holds extensive knowledge on food pairings to help more occasions be elevated to special ones and offers special pricing for fundraisers and special events. Sign up for her email blast to keep in the loop.
Niche-a wine & art bar – With an inventory of over 160 bottles also available to take away, Niche easily doubles as a wine shop. See details in Wine Bars/Tasting Rooms.
La Bottega–With 300+ bottles also available to take away, La Bottega doubles as another exceptional downtown Vancouver wine shop. See details in Wine-focused/unique restaurants to sip vino.
Grocery/Beverage store tastings:
Battle Ground Produce – The owner of Battle Ground Produce, Lorne, knows his wine and enjoys offering complimentary tastings to customers most Fridays from 4-7 pm. Andreas, Rayne and Scott pour with insight, passion and friendly banter. There’s usually something for the beer lover, as well, and he recently added a handy growler station across from the meat case.
BevMo! – Fri 4-7 pm & Sat 2-5 pm, 5 tastings, always complimentary unless otherwise indicated. Presiding over the pouring could be the very pleasant and cheerful, Anna, accompanied by manager, Kristin. Low key, comfortable atmosphere.
Fred Meyer Fisher’s Landing – Every Fri & Sat from 2-5 pm long-time Clark County wine steward, Ernie Jones, aims for two tastings with occasional Murray’s cheese pairings. Enjoy their dedicated wine-tasting space.
Fred Meyer Orchards – Fri, 2-5 pm & Sat, 1-5 pm wine steward, Shawn Martin, hosts a two to three-wine tasting that he pairs with Murray’s cheeses and focuses on lesser-known wines to broaden his customers’ wine catalog. Shawn’s commitment to local wines is evident in his terrific end cap featuring Bethany Vineyards, Koi Pond Cellars and Three Brothers Vineyard.
Fred Meyer Salmon Creek – Fri & Sat from 3-6 pm wine steward, Kent Gallegos, routinely pairs two wines with Murray’s cheeses. Don’t know quite what you’re looking for? Kent’s enthusiastic palate and gregarious personality won’t steer you wrong.
New Seasons Market –Fri, Apr 24— Pouring California reds from 4-6 pm. Sat, Apr 25—From 2-4 pm enjoy French rosés in time for a season of sunny afternoons ahead. Friday tastings are paired with cheeses.
Total Wine & More – Tasting hours: Fri, 4-8 pm, Sat noon-6 pm, Sun noon-5 pm. Check out their calendar for upcoming special event tastings and classes which may include a fee.
Whole Foods – Beer & wine specialist, Kamram, hosts beer or wine tastings Sat from 1-4 pm. Also tasting on Friday evenings from 4-8 pm but it’s typically beer-focused.
Wine-focused/unique restaurants to sip vino:
Brewed – The crew concentrates on local, quality wine offerings from the Columbia and Willamette Valleys, know what they carry and do it all in a neighborhood spot with cozy seating options and a community vibe. Also available are brews, mimosas, Bloody Mary’s and an occasional, seasonally-inspired adult beverage. Locati Cellars, Charles Smith, AniChe Cellars and the ever-sassy Naked Winery round out their selection.
C’est La Vie Crêperie – Just celebrated their one year anniversary on April 22nd! Wine-O Wednesday, with $1 off mimosas, spritzers and wines by the glass is more appealing as the weather warms up. Wed, June 3—Owner and Wine and Spirits Diploma-holder from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, Keri Buhman, is instructing a Clark College continuing ed wine class from 6-8:30 pm at the Columbia Tech Center. Keri gives people an excuse to drink wine with the most important meal of the day – breakfast. Perfectly-flavored mimosas with such inspirations as roasted tomato and spinach crepes and black forest French toast. Très bon. Open Tue-Sat 9 am-3 pm with patio seating on sunny days.
Charlie’s Bodega Tapas & Whiskey Bar – Monday 50% off all bottles of wine $50 and under and a Tuesday night flight tasting—3 whiskeys or 3-4 wines depending on bartender’s pick paired with a tapas (similar to an appetizer) or media-ración (small version of an entrée). The entire menu aims to educate folks on Spanish cuisine and their wine selection is heavily Spanish and Portuguese with a few NW favorites mixed in. Whiskey lovers will enjoy the ever-expanding local, regional and international choices with the promise of more to come. Open Mon-Sat.
Farrar’s Bistro – Thu, Apr 30—Participating in the Chef, Hop & Vine Event from 5:30-8:30 pm. Come support the Share House of Vancouver. If you haven’t been to this great Felida neighborhood restaurant that touts ‘comfort food with a flair’ as its motto (I.e. shrimp & oyster po boy sandwich, Andouille sausage gumbo), it’s time to check it out. Happy hour 3:30-6 pm. Complement some small plates with a velvety cabernet sauvignon or herbaceous sauvignon blanc.
The Grant House –Thu, Apr 30—Participating in the Chef, Hop & Vine Event from 5:30-8:30 pm. Come support the Share House of Vancouver.Fabulous live music every Tues and Wed from 6-8 pm with happy hour Tue-Sat from 3-6 pm. Cozy up in this circa 1849 space (enjoy an expansive patio in warmer weather) with an extensive wines-by-the-bottle list and stay for dinner in “Vancouver’s oldest dining room” located on Officer’s Row.
Hudson’s Bar and Grill – Thu, Apr 30—Participating in the Chef, Hop & Vine Event from 5:30-8:30 pm. Come support the Share House of Vancouver. A largely Washington, Oregon and California-inspired wine list with their summer selection rolling out soon. Inside the Heathman Lodge near Westfield Shopping Center, enjoy a glass of Washington Chardonnay with a plate of sautéed mussels or a glass of Barnard Griffin Cabernet Merlot with a meatloaf sandwich fireside under the massive Northwest logs during ‘Hudson’s Hour’ from 4-6 pm.
La Bottega– Wednesday night wine tasting from 5-7 pm. $12 includes four tastings and antipasti. Terrific casual Italian dining with an extensive wine list to complement every flavor profile. Happy hour Mon-Sat features $5 red/white wine option. Tuesday, from 5-9 pm, wines under $50 are 50% off and wines over $50 are discounted $25. Excellent way to enjoy some premium wines with their locally-focused menu. With an inventory of 300+ bottles also available to take away, La Bottega easily doubles as a wine shop.
Lapellah Restaurant & Bar – Thu, Apr 30—Participating in the Chef, Hop & Vine Event from 5:30-8:30 pm. Come support the Share House of Vancouver. In the Grand Central shopping center, another area restaurant with a focus on local farmers and educating patrons on wine varietals from as near as Washington, Oregon and California and as international as Argentina, Chile, France, Italy and Spain in their 100+ bottle selection. Sunday Suppers feature a two-course prix fixe meal $20 for one, $30 for two. Several wines by the glass available daily and occasional winemaker dinners scheduled.
Pasta GiGi’s – Featuring inspired weekly specials like the gnocchi with spinach, gorgonzla cheese and bacon appetizer I enjoyed recently (sans bacon) followed by the tasty artichoke & lemon tagliatelle pasta entrée. It paired pleasantly with a glass of Cavit Chardonnay (or ask Lindsey for a bottle suggestion from their secret stash) and Brodie was a great sport about us sitting outside in the cool evening air so our dogs could join us. Thank you for that specially-ordered sunset, Brodie! Occasional winemaker dinners scheduled.
The Puffin Café floats along the port in Washougal. Their select wine list focuses on the Columbia Valley except for the 2009 Puffin brand Oregon Pinot Noir—with proceeds of each bottle sale going to the Haystack Rock Awareness Project to support puffins in Cannon Beach. This place is the North Bank’s answer to Margaritaville. The crew is terrific, the menu is full of culinary surprises and it is THE place to be on a sunny day or a liquid sunshine day when your heart longs for an island escape.
Roots Restaurant & Bar – Thur, May 7—The next winemakers dinner features Walla Walla’s Woodward Canyon at 6 pm. $85 per person includes a five-course dinner appropriately wine-paired. Reservations required. Halibut is back for spring and the Balboa Chardonnay would be a beautiful pairing. From Cakebread to Domaine Drouhin to L’Ecole, you’d be hard-pressed to choose wrong and from 3-6 pm Mon-Fri and 9-11 pm Fri-Sat, pair your selection with locally-inspired happy hour bites.
Willem’s on Main – Creative lunch and dinner menu (love the speatzle), excellent happy hour Tues-Sat from 2-5 pm to enjoy with their carefully-prepared wine list and 50% off bottles under $40 all day Tuesdays are just some of the reasons to love this downtown Vancouver spot.
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