June 4: The weekly wine down for Clark County and beyond


The 3rd Annual Craft Winefest is quickly approaching. Purchase your ticket for this not-to-be-missed June 12-14 event held at Esther Short Park. Courtesy of The Craft Winefest.

The 3rd Annual Craft Winefest is quickly approaching. Purchase your ticket for this not-to-be-missed June 12-14 event held at Esther Short Park. Courtesy of The Craft Winefest.

Upcoming events/festival:

  • Fri, June 5 – It’s First Friday once again in the downtown core of Vancouver, Camas, Battle Ground and Ridgefield. Stores stay open late, local art is featured, live music can be heard and nibbles are available at select locations. Check each city’s local link for more information.
  • 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! $16 advanced tickets include entry all three days, a souvenir wine glass and three tasting tickets. A limited amount of VIP passes ($50-$55) are available and include “a meal voucher, cheese plate, and a private wine bar stocked with 26 select wines and Moscow Mules.”
  • Celebrate Walla WallaThu, Jun 18-Sat, Jun 20 join over 60 Walla Walla Valley winemakers along with guest speakers and guest winemakers during a 3-day event focusing on smooth and sultry local and international Merlot.
  • 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 – 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. Their 2011 Malbec is tasting beautifully. 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.  Fri, Jun 5—Open for First Friday from 4-8 pm with wine, live music, local art and dinner-for-purchase courtesy of Class Cooking. Fri, Jun 12-Sun, Jun 14—Participating at the Third Annual Craft Winefest at Esther Short ParkEnjoy award-winning wine at Vancouver’s only urban winery.  Normal tasting room hours Sat, Sun noon-5 pm.

Confluence Vineyards is hosting a Dad's Cigar night from 6-9 pm on Fri, Jun 19—in honor of Father's Day.

Confluence Vineyards is hosting a Dad’s Cigar night from 6-9 pm on Fri, Jun 19—in honor of Father’s Day.

Confluence Vineyards and Winery Fri, Jun 12-Sun, Jun 14—Participating at the Third Annual Craft Winefest at Esther Short Park. Fri, Jun 19—In honor of Father’s Day, come enjoy Dad’s Cigar Night from 6-9 pm. Sat, Jun 20—Sign up for the next Winemaker’s Dinner from 6-9 pm. Fri, Jul 3—Kick off Independence weekend right with the sounds of Norman Sylvester paired with barbecue fair from 6-9 pm. Sat, Jul 25-Sun, Jul 26—Peruse upscale pieces crafted by local artisans at an Artists in the Vineyard Festival from noon-6 pm. Fri, Aug 7 & 21—Relax with Blues & BBQ from 6-9 pm. Open Sat & Sun noon-6 pm tasting the bold and beautiful Rhone and Bordeaux reds Confluence is known for. Keep tabs on their Facebook page for last-minute live music by stellar local artists.

East Fork Cellars – Fri, Jun 5—Open for the First Friday Artwalk from 5-9 pm. After 9 years in Clark County this winery has gone private so drop in for a rare public tasting of their award-winning estate grown Pinot Noir in the historic Old Slocum House within Esther Short Park. Private tastings still available or join the Club to attend invitation-only special events.

English Estate Winery – Fri, June 5—Pulled pork sandwich dinner-for-purchase accompanied by local artist, Tanner Cundy, from 6-8:30 pm. Reservations encouraged. Fri, Jun 12-Sun, Jun 14—Participating at the Third Annual Craft Winefest at Esther Short Park. 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, musicians on two stages and food-for-purchase. 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 – Gary now has six flavors of his non-alcoholic ice cream including Zinfandel with chocolate chip and Muscat with blackberries. New releases include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Malbec. Dolce—his super cute labradoodle pup—is the talk of the winery. Come nosh on some great food paired with award-winning wines. Tasting room open Wed-Sun.

Heisen House Vineyards – Fri, Jun 12-Sun, Jun 14—Participating at the Third Annual Craft Winefest at Esther Short Park. Michele recently received a shout out from a couple Willamette Valley insiders for her 2011 Pinot Noir. 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 Fri, Jun 5—Pouring at 6 pm at the Old Liberty Theatre for a Whites, Reds and Blues wine and music event. Sat, Jun 6— Pouring at Ridgefield’s Big Paddle Party. Fri, Jun 12-Sun, Jun 14—Find them at the 3rd Annual Craft Winefest. This just in: Their 2012 Geisha Red is a Gold 2015 Craft Winefest Competition Winner!  Wed, Jun 17—Sign up for another Paint N Pour event. Ask about their Blancitini wine cocktail. Sat, Jun 27—Join the crew as they celebrate their One Year Anniversary. $15 includes entrance, appetizers, live music and a wine flight tasting. Mural and artwork by resident artist, Micah Boylan, grace the walls. Open Wed-Sun.

Moulton Falls Winery –  Thu, Jun 4—Enjoy their version of Thirsty Thursday from 4-8 pm with $9 pizzas and $5 cider. Fri, Jun 12-Sun, Jun 14—Participating at the Third Annual Craft Winefest at Esther Short Park. Sat, Jun 27—The Guitar Summit with Terry Robb, Mark Hanson and Doug Smith is a must-attend event. Tickets available 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. Normal days: Thu-Sun.

Olequa Cellars – Next opening dates: Pouring at the Third Annual Craft Winefest at Esther Short Park Fri, Jun 12-Sun, Jun 14 and visit Olequa’s tasting room on Sat, June 27. Sip two new releases including Brian’s 2014 Rosé of Maréchal Foch—a varietal he’s had planted on his property since 2005. Bragging rights: 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. Private tastings of his beautiful boutique wines welcome.

Pomeroy Cellars – Bragging rights: 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! Fri, Jun 12-Sun, Jun 14—Participating at the Third Annual Craft Winefest at Esther Short Park. Sale: 35 percent off a case of 2013 Hard Apple Cider or 2013 Rosé. Normal tasting room days: Sat-Sun.

Rezabek Vineyards and Daybreak Cellars Read more here. Bragging rights: Their Solstice red blend is a Bronze 2015 Craft Winefest Competition Winner and their 2014 Tempranillo Rosé won Gold! Fri, Jun 12-Sun, Jun 14—Participating at the Third Annual Craft Winefest at Esther Short Park. 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 rezabekvineyards@gmail.com.

Rusty Grape Vineyards –  Fri, Jun 12-Sun, Jun 14—Participating at the Third Annual Craft Winefest at Esther Short Park. In addition to their paninis and wood-fired truffle chips, they have a crab and asparagus pizza that looks wonderful. Their 2012 Merlot is velvety 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, expanded outdoor seating and the return of movies-on-the-lawn. 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.

Local favorite, Les Cellar Rats, headlines Three Brothers Vineyards' Wine Club Appreciation Concert Sat, Jun 27—music begins at 5 pm with other acts in the lineup.

Local favorite, Les Cellar Rats, headlines Three Brothers Vineyards’ Wine Club Appreciation Concert Sat, Jun 27—music begins at 5 pm with other acts in the lineup.

Three Brothers Vineyard –  Sat, Jun 27—Music begins at 5 pm for their Wine Club Appreciation Concert featuring Les Cellar Rats and other local acts. 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 –  Live music every Saturday from 2-5 pm and open mic, hosted by Marianne Flemming or Wayne Hoffman, every Sunday from 2-4 pm. You never know which local musician(s) will stop by for an impromptu gig with these two around. Folks are welcome to bring outside food to snack on while enjoying their beautiful wine lineup and some extended 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.

Cellar 55 Tasting Room – Fri, Jun 5—Live music on the patio from 7-9 pm, dinner-for-purchase from 5:30-8:30 pm and local artist work displayed. Bragging rights: 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, Jun 5 – Sat, Jun 6—Relax to the sounds of local musicians, Daniel Trent and David Rogers, from 6-8 pm. Featuring Confluence Vineyards 2012 Equilibrium this weekend, expanded patio seating, gazpacho and Sangria. 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 – Fri, Jun 5—Celebrating First Friday with local musician, Ben Union, fro 6-9 pm. Outdoor seating is now available. 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 and Bourbon tastings! 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, Jun 25 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.

Using the Enomatic system Vinotopia is able to keep world-class wines for an extended period of time without altering the exquisite flavors and aromas that each is known for.

Using the Enomatic system Vinotopia is able to keep world-class wines for an extended period of time without altering the exquisite flavors and aromas that each is known for.

Vinotopia – Located inside Cascade Park’s Cinetopia, Vinotopia received Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence five years straight. More info 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, Jun 5—Pam is hosting an off-site tasting at Above & Below Art Studio from 5-8 pm for First Friday, featuring a specially-priced 2008 Bunnell Clifton Hill Syrah for $30! 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.

New Seasons Market – Fri, Jun 5—Pouring international rosés for perfect patio sipping. Sat, Jun 13—Tasting La Vieille Ferme Rhône wines from 2-4 pm. Fri, Jun 19—Featuring Washington’s Cougar Crest Winery from 4-6 pm. Fri, Jun 26—Offering Italian value wines 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. New: Try Keri’s mimosa flight—three mini mimosas for $12—or a wine cocktail. 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 & smoked pork loin crusted with pecans), it’s time to check it out while enjoying 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 carries an impressive 300+ wines-all available for retail purchase. Photo courtesy of La Bottega.

La Bottega carries an impressive 300+ wines-all available for retail purchase. Photo courtesy of La Bottega.

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 – A vegetarian spring orecchiette was just added to the lunch menu highlighting asparagus and spring peas that just screams Sauvignon Blanc. 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 – Plenty of ground floor and veranda outdoor seating in the round at Battle Ground Village. Enjoy lunch al fresco overlooking the Saturday Market where owner, Kathy, and chef Paul shop local for inspired weekly specials like the recent pasta salad with lavender fettuccine tossed with lemon infused olive oil. 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 like the recent sautéed potato gnocchi with wilted romaine, garlic brat, bacon and grilled lemon jus, 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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