Corks and Forks

Travel through the vines with Clark County Wineries Passport

Available for $22, the 2015-2016 Clark County Wineries Passport offers free tastings at nine participating wineries and tasting rooms throughout Washington State’s newest wine region. Proof, Inc.

Available for $22, the 2015-2016 Clark County Wineries Passport offers free tastings at nine participating wineries and tasting rooms throughout Washington State’s newest wine region. Proof, Inc.

Taking a cue from the über popular Portland’s Distillery Row Passport, several Clark County wineries and tasting rooms have teamed up to offer a passport of their own and it’s already a slam dunk with vino fans.

Andee Mowrey, tasting room manager at English Estate Winery, said “(It’s an) easy sell. People love knowing they live in an area where a growing wine region is erupting. Free tasting at nine of those wineries for $22 is quite the deal.”

The passport was just unveiled on June 29th and English Estate sold out of their first shipment over Independence Weekend. The other eight participating locations are Burnt Bridge Cellars, Cellar 55 Tasting Room, Confluence Vineyards & Winery, Emanar Cellars, Heisen House Vineyards, Koi Pond Cellars, Olequa Cellars and Rusty Grape Vineyard.

Inside the pages of the passport purchasers will find winery profiles and tasting notes, maps and touring information and a $5 gift card that can be used toward the purchase of wine at any participating location. All of this plus the cost of tasting at all nine wineries wrapped into a $22 price tag is an excellent value and makes a wine tour even easier.

A bonus of the passport is that there’s no expiration date. While it’s hard for me to imagine not being able to visit nine wineries in one weekend (sorry, hazard of the job), some folks might like to take things a little slower, visiting one a weekend or a handful at a time.

And it’s not just for newbies.

“Two of my regulars bought it (the passport) at Koi Pond Cellars and then used it at our place the following week during our Art & Wine Fair. Even though they’ve been here many times, they enjoyed getting that stamp,” Mowrey said.

She went on to share that Portland visitors are surprised to learn of all the wineries—and the handful waiting in the wings for permitting—just over the bridge and they remark on how much simpler it is to travel north than deal with the congestion found in the Willamette Valley or longer travel times to the Columbia Gorge wineries.

Some of the grapes that visitors will find thriving in vineyards and estate wineries throughout Clark County include pinot noir, sauvignon blanc, cabernet sauvignon, gewürztraminer, semillon maréchol foch, pinot blanc, siegerrebe, golubok, gamay noir, tempranillo, orange muscat and pinot meunier.

Although the passport does not encompass all fifteen wineries that currently offer tastings, the group is an excellent representation of Clark County’s wine scene and Proof, Inc., the marketing company behind the passport, is ready to work with other wineries interested in coming on board.

Cary Craig, spokesperson for Proof, said “We will gladly include new wineries into the passport and are trying to be strategic with our inventory so we can update the printed book somewhat often. We can announce new participants on the web site and through some type of addendum until the book is reprinted if a winery wants to join immediately. The more wineries the better value for the consumer.”

Passports can be purchased at all participating wineries or go to www.proofpdx.com/clark-county-wineries-passport.html.

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Viki

Viki

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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