May 14 – The weekly wine down for Clark County and beyond

Sat, May 23-Mon, May 25 make plans to visit Clark County Wine Country. Fourteen wineries have joined forces to create a Memorial Weekend Passport. Courtesy of Michele Bloomquist.

Sat, May 23-Mon, May 25 make plans to visit Clark County Wine Country. Fourteen wineries have joined forces to create a Memorial Weekend Passport. Courtesy of Michele Bloomquist.

Upcoming events/festival:

  • May is Oregon Wine Month – Check out activities going on all over the state throughout the month.
  • Volcano Views and Brews Tue, May 19–The Mount St Helens Institute presents a different topic hosted on the third Tuesday of every month at Loowit Brewing Company in Vancouver and the third Thursday of every month by Hop-N-Grape in Longview unless otherwise noted on Facebook. Folks are encouraged to come around 5 pm for dinner, drinks and mingling. Presentation begins at 6:30 pm. It’s a unique way to get your drink on and learn something in the process. Oct-May (excluding Dec).
  • Clark County Wine Country Memorial Weekend tourSat, May 23-Mon, May 25 make plans to visit the 16 wineries in Clark County. Fourteen of them have joined forces to create a Memorial Weekend Passport. Print it out here, obtain 6 stamps and be entered to win one of 14 gift cards.
  • Hello Vancouver! Wed, May 27 at 7 pm the historic Kiggins Theatre  presents this live talk show with local musicians and personalities. Buy a glass of wine (Francis Ford Coppola, of course) or beer in their fabulous retro-style upstairs bar and sink in for what’s sure to be a night of hilarity and craziness. Recommended PG-13. Doors open at 6 pm. Admission: FREE.
  • 8th Annual Pinot & Pups Wine Auction Sat, May 30 from 5:30 – 9:30 pm. Held at the Portland Art Museum with proceeds benefiting Guide Dogs for the Blind, wine tasting and dinner are included with each $150 ticket.
  • 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. Area winners are English Estate Winery, Koi Pond Cellars, Olequa,Cellars, Pomeroy Cellars and Rezabek Vineyards/Daybreak Cellars!
  • 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.
  • North County Wine RunSat, Sep 12 The 5th Annual day-long event begins at 9 am and wines by Heisen House Vineyards, Olequa Cellars, Emanar Cellars, English Estate Winery, Gougér Cellars Winery and Moulton Falls Winery will be available after the run for tasting or by the glass. Read more here.

Clark County wineries:

Bethany Vineyard – Sat, May 23-Mon, May 25Clark County Wine Country Memorial Weekend Tour. Sun, July 26—Playing host to 3 Grands Concert for the Blind at 6 pm. Featuring award-winning blind pianists Mac Potts, Nick Baker, Brent Gjerve and jazz vocalist, Darcy Schmitt. Proceeds go to the School of Piano Technology for the Blind and the Pacific Foundation for Blind Children. Tasted some of their 2011 Malbec at the recent Holland America Art Show & WIne Festival and it was beautiful. The lovingly-maintained grounds of this estate vineyard is the perfect spot to enjoy Bethany’s extensive list. From Riesling to cabernet franc to petite syrah, there’s 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, May 23-Mon, May 25Clark County Wine Country Memorial Weekend Tour. 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.  Normal tasting room hours Sat, Sun noon-5 pm.

Confluence Vineyards and Winery Sun, May 17—Owner and winemaker, Greg Weber, leading a wine education class ” Vineyard to Glass ” from 11-1 pm. For more information, send an email to Sat, May 23-Mon, May 25—Clark County Wine Country Memorial Weekend Tour. 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 – Drop in for a tasting of their award-winning estate grown Pinot Noir. 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, May 15—Dinner-for-purchase accompanied by local artist, Caleb Roloff, from 6-8:30 pm. Reservations encouraged. Sat, May 23-Mon, May 25Clark County Wine Country Memorial Weekend Tour.  Wed, May 27—A Wine about Painting event begins at 6:30 pm $40 buys all supplies and a glass of wine. This just in: Their Marguerite Metis is a Double Gold 2015 Craft Winefest Competition Winner! July 11 & 12—8th Annual Art & Wine Fair with local artisans. 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.

Gougér Cellars – Sat, May 23-Sun, May 24—Gary’s cooking up something special for Memorial Day Weekend. Stay tuned for the details! Enjoy his non-alcoholic ice cream combinations such Zinfandel with chocolate chip and Muscat with blackberries after a tasting of his award-winning wines and love on Dolce—his super cute labradoodle pup. Tasting room open Wed-Sun.

Heisen House Vineyards – Sat, May 23-Mon, May 25Clark County Wine Country Memorial Weekend Tour.  Michele recently received a shout out from a couple Willamette Valley insiders for her 2011 Pinot Noir so, naturally, there’s not much left. Grab a bottle for yourself before it’s going, going, gone. Come enjoy a six-wine tasting on the gorgeous and historic Heisen grounds. Some options might be their 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 Thu, May 14Craft N Sip with Scrappy Bean Designs from 6-8 pm. Sat, May 23-Mon, May 25Clark County Wine Country Memorial Weekend Tour.  Ask about their Blancitini wine cocktail. This just in: Their 2012 Geisha Red is a Gold 2015 Craft Winefest Competition Winner! Mural and artwork by resident artist, Micah Boylan, grace the walls. Open Wed-Sun.

Moulton Falls Winery –  Thu, May 14—Enjoy their version of Thirsty Thursday from 4-8 pm with $9 pizzas and $5 cider. Sat, May 23-Mon, May 25Clark County Wine Country Memorial Weekend Tour and Sat, May 23 marks the first Wine Train of the season and the winery’s Third Anniversary. Sat, Jun 27—The Guitar Summit with Terry Robb, Mark Hanson and Doug Smith is a must-attend event. Tickets go on sale May 1 at, $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. Normal days: Thu-Sun.

Olequa Cellars – Sat, May 23-Sun, May 24Clark County Wine Country Memorial Weekend Tour This just in: Brian’s 2013 Riesling was a Double Gold 2015 Craft Winefest Competition Winner! His 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’ to be released over Memorial Weekend.  Private tastings of his beautiful boutique wines welcome.

Pomeroy Cellars – Fri, May 22-Sun, May 24—Extended hours for Memorial Weekend; noon-6 pm each day. 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. Buy it while supplies last: Dan’s 2012 Lucia No.47 red blend was a Double Gold 2015 Craft Winefest Competition Winner and they’re down to their last few cases! Normal tasting room days: Sat-Sun.

Rezabek Vineyards/Daybreak Cellars will be pouring their wines in the Pump House of English Estate Winery over Memorial Weekend.

Rezabek Vineyards/Daybreak Cellars will be pouring their wines in the Pump House of English Estate Winery over Memorial Weekend.

Rezabek Vineyards and Daybreak Cellars Read more here. Sat, May 23-Mon, May 25—Pouring in the Pump House of English Estate Winery for Memorial Weekend.  This just in: Their Solstice red blend is a Bronze 2015 Craft Winefest Competition Winner and their 2014 Tempranillo Rosé won Gold! 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

Rusty Grape Vineyards –  Sat, May 23-Mon, May 25Clark County Wine Country Memorial Weekend Tour. 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. 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 – Fri, May 22-Mon, May 25Clark County Wine Country Memorial Weekend Tour . Complimentary appetizers provided. 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 –  Sat, May 23-Mon, May 25Clark County Wine Country Memorial Weekend Tour . Stop by for a tasting and stay for a glass of wine at this centrally-located winery. 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 – Their expansion into the space next to them is in full swing. 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.

Members of the 32-year old Columbia Willamette Enological Society recently chose winners for the 3rd Annual Craft Winefest at Cellar 55 Tasting Room. Courtesy of Rusty Hoyle.

Members of the 32-year old Columbia Willamette Enological Society recently chose winners for the 3rd Annual Craft Winefest at Cellar 55 Tasting Room. Courtesy of Rusty Hoyle.

Cellar 55 Tasting Room – Thu, May 14—Wine and Canvas class from 6-9 pm. Fri, May 15—Live music from 7-9 pm, dinner-for-purchase from 5:30-8:30 pm and local artist work displayed. This just in: Five Star Cellar’s 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon is a Double Gold 2015 Craft Winefest Competition Winner and Gordon Estate’s 2012 Merlot is a Gold medal winner!  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  –  Fri, May 15 & Sat, May 16—Relax to the sounds of local musicians, David Rogers and Maple Rose, from 6-8 pm and enjoy this weekends’ featured wine, Rezabek Vineyards Tempranillo. Sat, May 23-Mon, May 25Clark County Wine Country Memorial Weekend Tour . 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.

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 east side establishment features eight rotating keg wines (one of my favs, 2012 Torii Mor Pinot Noir is currently in the lineup) 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, May 27 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–  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.

Wine shops:

Evergreen Wine Cellar – Owner, Pam Robertson, was featured here. Fri, May 15—Taste five wines for $5 from 5-8 pm. 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. Thu, June 11—It’s an art and wine class offered by Murals by Janet. 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.

Rogue Valley's RoxyAnn Winery pouring from 4-6 pm at New Seasons.

Rogue Valley’s RoxyAnn Winery pouring from 4-6 pm at New Seasons.

New Seasons Market Fri, May 15—Rogue Valley’s RoxyAnn Winery pouring from 4-6 pm. Sat, May 16—Staff favorite Oregon wines from 2-4 pm.  Sat, May 23—J Albin Winery pouring from 2-4 pm. Fri, May 29—Oregon Wine Month concludes with organic and biodynamic Brooks Winery from 4-6 pm. 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 – The patio seating is looking spic, span and utterly inviting. 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 tarragon crab cake salad and black forest French toast. Très bon. Open Tue-Sat 9 am-3 pm.

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 – If you haven’t been to this great Felida neighborhood restaurant that touts ‘comfort food with a flair’ as its motto (I.e. turkey sandwich with brie on rustic rye bread & a pan-seared duck breast), it’s time to check it out (and enjoy their outdoor seating). Happy hour 3:30-6 pm. Complement some small plates with a velvety cabernet sauvignon or herbaceous sauvignon blanc.

The Grant House – Order from their new Spring menu and enjoy toe-tapping 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, with an expansive, dog-friendly patio for summer sippin’ and 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 –  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 under the massive Northwest logs during ‘Hudson’s Hour’ from 4-6 pm or snag one of their few outdoor tables.

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 Wed, May 20 Reserve a spot at their five-course Big Table Farm Winemaker’s Dinner at 6 pm. $100 per person. 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 – Celebrated their one year anniversary in the round at Battle Ground Village recently. Enjoy lunch al fresco overlooking the Saturday Market where owner, Kathy, and chef Paul shop local for inspired weekly specials. Sunsets free of charge! Occasional winemaker dinners scheduled.

The Puffin Café floats along the port in Washougal. Their wine selection is limited but this is the North Bank’s answer to Margaritaville. The crew is terrific, the menu covers a range of tastes 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 – Thu, June 25 at 6 pmDon’t miss the five-course Walla Walla Vintners Winemaker’s Dinner-paired with wine-for $85 per person. 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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I am a Clark County native. I am Level 2 WSET (wine and spirit education trust)-certified and enjoy pairing wine with my passion for travel and fondness of food. My most prized possessions are the memories of places I've been with my husband, the chance encounters we've been blessed to have along the way and my carry-on bag. I can often be seen around town and in tasting rooms with our two beautiful, double-Merle Australian shepherds, Challenge and Baby Girl.

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