September 17th: The weekly wine down for Clark County and beyond
- CouvFest NW – Sat, Sep 19-Sun, Sep 20 Dance to the beat of over 15 bands on two stages at this 5th Annual downtown Vancouver block party which features local wines—Burnt Bridge Cellars and Purple Star Wines; brews— Loowit, Heathen, Dirty Hands Brewing, Trap Door Brewing and Mt Tabor; vendors and restaurants spilling out onto the sidewalks. Double V Distillery’s presence guarantees specialty mixed cocktails. Free for all-ages.
- Feast Portland – In its fourth year, this beverage and culinary festival also features classes, dinners and panel discussions. Bring the stretchy pants and enjoy events Thursday, September 17-Sunday, September 20th that benefit No Kid Hungry and Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon. Tickets still available for Friday afternoon’s Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting.
- Hello Vancouver! – Wed, Sep 23 is the return of this live talk show accompanied by local musicians and personalities set in the historic Kiggins Theatre. 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.
- Chehalis Valley Wine Tour – Sat, Sep 26-Sun, Sep 27 from 11 am-6 pm come out for the 8th Annual tour of six Chehalis Valley wineries. $20 includes a tasting at each stop or make a night of it with a $155 passport that includes lodging, passes and shuttle service.
- SE Wine Collective – Throughout September Portland’s collection of 10 urban wineries under one roof offer ample opportunities to view a variety of stages of harvest and crush while relaxing in their wine bar, sipping on one (or more) of 55 featured wines and enjoying an array of small plates thoughtfully prepared by in-house chef, Althea Gray Potter.
- Maryhill Winery’s Vineyard Series Tasting Experience – Fri, Nov 6 This is a FREE event from 6:30-9:30 pm at Vancouver’s Heathman Lodge but an RSVP is required and tickets are limited. Join owners, Craig and Vicki Leuthold, for an opportunity to taste over 20 limited production, single-vineyard wines paired with light appetizers. These are wines found only at the vineyard and usually for wine club members only. Available for purchase at up to 35 percent this night only (depending on bottle purchase amount and Wine Club membership).
Clark County wineries:
Clark County wineries and tasting rooms host special events all year round and can often be found at off-site venues. Check their website and Facebook pages for up-to-the-minute event details.
Bethany Vineyard – Since 2003 owner and winemaker, Walt Houser, has been living a long-held dream. Twenty six of his stunningly-landscaped acres are planted with grapes and several other varieties are sourced from vineyards he owns in the Washington Gorge. Houser’s affectionately referred to as the Godfather of Clark County wine by his peers for his extensive winemaking knowledge and Bethany’s Music in the Vines summer concert series draws a larger crowd to the picturesque grounds every year. Tasting room hours: Friday-Saturday 12-6 p.m., Sunday 12-5 p.m.
Burnt Bridge Cellars – Vancouver’s only urban winery often teams up with adjoining Class Cooking and other local food vendors for special food and wine pairings including Third Friday (similar to First Friday Art Walk but in-house only) . Sourcing from the Columbia Valley, Southern Rhône and Bordeaux-style wines are the focus from a lush GSM (grenache, syrah, mourvèdre) blend to lesser-known marsanne and a spring released rosé, to name a few. Tasting room hours: Friday 4-8 p.m., Saturday 12-7 p.m., Sunday 12-5 p.m.
Confluence Vineyards and Winery – Winemaker, Greg Weber’s, partiality to bold reds is evidenced in his lineup of big French varietals and his commitment to high quality is demonstrated in his predominantly Walla Walla grape sourcing. Traditionally used as a blending grape, petit verdot makes an appearance as a single varietal and Equilibrium—their cabernet sauvignon/merlot/petit verdot blend—is the perennial winner. The Webers are also big music fans and enjoy hosting stellar musicians throughout the year. Keep tabs on their Facebook page for last-minute performances. Tasting room hours: Saturday and Sunday 12-6 p.m.
East Fork Cellars – This award-winning winery—set inside a gracious 1867 home featured on the Travel Channel’s Haunted Destination of the Week —has gone private but joins in-house Gallery 360 for First Fridays from 5- 9 pm. Join the club and enjoy musician-cum-winemaker, Jeff Waddell’s, focus of Bordeaux blends and Italian-style wines. Housed in the historic Old Slocum House within Esther Short Park.
English Estate Winery – Patriarch Carl D. English would be proud of how his son, Carl S., and daughter, Jennifer, have carried on his legacy as the oldest winery in Clark County. English Sr. began planting on their circa 1915 homestead in 1980. As a result, 35-year-old pinot noir vines continue to be harvested annually. Since over 90 percent of their wines and fortified nectars (fortified with their Pinot Noir brandy) are estate-grown, English Estate is the premier example of the North Bank’s terroir. Reservations encouraged for Good Times & Wine every Friday night from 6-8:30 p.m. with a dinner-for-purchase and live, local musicians. Tasting room open Friday-Monday.
Gougér Cellars – Gary Gougér presides over an internationally-awarded wine selection and also crafts 100 percent non-alcoholic, no-sugar-added ice cream from his wine. Samplings of his creations are muscat with blackberries and zinfandel chocolate chip. From the rooftop patio, guests can enjoy views of the scenic countryside. Weekend food specials using a Traeger and smoker to add special touches to meats and cheeses are showcased. New addition: Corks made from the fiber of sugar cane which he’s using to seal his Mine Mine Mine regular and chocolate semi-sweet wines. Tasting room open Wednesday-Sunday.
Heisen House Vineyards – For the love of history Michele Bloomquist purchased this property registered as a National and State Historic Site and soon after planted grapes and set out to make wine. The winery and tasting room is housed in a 1950’s milking parlor and the circa 1890’s restored Heisen Barn—listed on the Washington Heritage Barn register—is a stunning backdrop for their summer Friday Music Nights concert series and annual Barn Bash, Lavender, Sunflower and Crush festivals. Tasting room hours: Saturday 12-6 p.m., Sunday 12-5 p.m.
Koi Pond Cellars – Going from raising koi to crafting wine might seem like a stretch but co-owner, Wes Parker’s, love of wine came from his Sonoma County roots and working in the family business—NW Distribution & Storage, the largest wine storage facility in the Pacific Northwest— alongside his wife, Michelle. Their tasting room in downtown Ridgefield is housed in a 1939 post office and showcases chalk art by area artist, Micah. Tasting room hours: Wednesday-Friday 1-8 p.m., Saturday 12-8 p.m., Sunday 12-5 p.m.
Moulton Falls Winery – In a pastoral setting near a railroad crossing sits this Northwest-themed tasting room. The winery plays host to Grammy-winning artists on the weekends, is the site of Clark County’s Folk Festival and partners with the Chelatchie Prairie Railroad to conduct four wine trains along a scenic stretch of North County track throughout the year, boarding right from Moulton Falls. No visit is complete without a warm welcome from their massive golden retriever/great pyrennes winery dog, Jake. Made-on-site hard cider, wood-fired pizzas and pasta are among other selections. Tasting room hours: Thursday 4-8 p.m., Friday 4-9 p.m., Saturday 12-9 p.m., Sunday 12-6 p.m.
Olequa Cellars – Although his riesling has been a best seller for several years, it’s his estate-grown maréchal foch—a varietal he’s had planted on his property since 2005— that’s particularly interesting. He also sources pinot noir, gewurztraminer and chardonnay from Woodland’s Cawley Vineyards and viognier, riesling, cabernet franc, syrah and cabernet sauvignon from Eastern Washington. Olequa participates in County-wide special events but his regular tasting room hours are the second and fourth Saturdays of each month. Private tastings of his beautiful boutique wines welcome.
Pomeroy Cellars – On the grounds of 115-year old Pomeroy Farm sits Pomeroy Cellars, the venture of Dan Brink—winemaker and great-great-grandson of farm founder, E.C. Pomeroy. Brink has honored his family’s heritage by creating a tasting room in the vein of a 1920’s bar. Inviting outdoor seating, set in the midst of the vast 677-acre farm, takes full advantage of the sweeping vistas that surround them. Guests are welcome to pair wine with a gourmet meat and cheese or hummus platter and play a game of Bocce on the lawn. Tasting room hours: Saturday 12-6 p.m., Sunday 12-5 p.m.
Rezabek Vineyards and Daybreak Cellars – On a 10-acre plot of land minutes from Lewisville Park in Battle Ground, Roger and Donna Rezabek have been hard at work planting grape vines since the spring of 2010. Rows of estate-planted sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meunier are destined for their wine label, Daybreak Cellars. In the meantime, they’re sourcing from throughout Washington and Oregon for their eight available offerings and look forward to bringing estate-grown sparkling wine to Clark County as early as 2017. Tastings by appointment only.
Rusty Grape Vineyards – Wood-fired pizzas, paninis and truffle chips complement Italian-inspired reds and crisp whites. Plenty of outdoor seating takes advantage of this close-in winery with a loyal following. Live music Wed-Sat from 7-9 p.m., their own beer line (Rusty Hop), Thirsty Thursday with wine and pizza discounts that repeat on Sunday afternoons, movies on the lawn during summer, festivals and craft fairs, Pinot & Paint nights and Ladies Nights throughout the year as well as the annual Stompfest held every September means there’s always something happening at the Grape. Tasting room hours: Wednesday-Thursday 4-9 p.m., Friday-Saturday 12-10 p.m., Sunday 12-6 p.m.
Three Brothers Vineyard – Named after winemaker Dan Andersen’s three sons, this winery boasts a current lineup of 24 wines, many of which have garnered national and international awards. He’s able to bottle a considerable amount of estate wine with his vast plantings but continues to source from Eastern Washington, as well. Dan’s expansive covered outdoor seating is a great three-season place to linger over a glass or bottle. Their Summer Concert series and other music venues draw a large crowd every year to the park-like setting with dedicated stage. Tasting room hours: Wednesday-Friday 1-6 p.m., Saturday 12-6 p.m., Sunday 12-5 p.m.
Village Vineyard – This destination winery (two bed and breakfast rooms provide overnight accommodations) is a dream come true for 83-year old owner, Patti Kuni. The majestic butter yellow home crowns a hillside with well-draining vineyard slopes. Their first estate harvest from 24-inch tall rootstock—purchased from Napa and planted in 2012—is expected this fall but for now enjoy an eight-wine lineup that shines from Chardonnay to Malbec. Live music every Saturday from 2-5 p.m. and open mic, hosted by Marianne Flemming or Wayne Hoffman, every Sunday from 2-4 p.m. through the summer. Tasting room hours: Saturday 12-6 p.m., Sunday 11 am-5 p.m.
Tasting opportunities/wine bars:
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! – Friday 4-7 p.m. & Saturday 2-5 p.m., 5 tastings, always complimentary unless otherwise indicated. Presiding over the pouring are knowledgeable friendly folks who encourage questions in a low key, comfortable atmosphere.
Birch Street Uptown Lounge – Their recent expansion into the space next to them will afford room for wine dinners and other tantalizing events in the future. Sunday and Monday night wine flights from 4 p.m-12 a.m. with terrific tasting notes. Live music: Come out and enjoy this classic-style wine and cocktail lounge with everything from live torch singers to bossa nova every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night beginning at 8 p.m. and personable bartenders all week long.
Cellar 55 Tasting Room – Owner, Michelle Brinning, showcases four Eastern Washington wineries known for their hand-crafted wines using Washington-sourced grapes—Basel Cellars, Five Star Cellars, Gordon Estate and Purple Star (with Native Sun as the winemaker’s label). Brinning and her staff are approachable and the space has a large wine cellar feel with plenty of cozy seating to accommodate parties of all sizes. Light appetizers for purchase, local art and special happy hours are featured as well as live music most Fridays from 7-9 p.m. Tasting room hours: Open at noon Wednesday through Sunday.
C’est la Vie – This fantastic creperie in Old Town Battle Ground is run by the lovely Keri Buhmann who holds the Wine & Spirit diploma from the Wine Society Education Trust (WSET). She features specials like French Dip Friday and fresh fig, cambozola cheese and prosciutto crepes topped with balsamic reduction and basil. $1 off her selection of mimosas and wines on Wine O Wednesday and check out here new venture—Soirée Supper Club & Catering—a special event venue that debuted on August 15th.
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 Monday-Saturday.
Emanar Cellars opened their authentic Spanish wine and tapas bar with three of their own wines, all of which have sold out. They hope to release them again in 2016 but for now folks are devouring first-hand knowledge from Richard and, Madrid native, Mar Meyerhoefer. Local musicians, including flamenco guitarists, perform Friday and Saturday nights from 6-8 p.m.; gazpacho, Sangria, tapas and an extensive Spanish wine lineup are showcased; and a local winery is highlighted every weekend. The couple is escorting their first wine tour of Spain this fall. Tasting room hours: Thursday 4-9 p.m., Friday-Saturday 4-10 p.m.
Evergreen Wine Cellar – Owner, Pam Robertson, typically hosts a five-wine tasting for $5 from 5-8 pm every Friday. Sign up for her email blast to keep in the loop. Painting events and special winery pourings are scheduled periodically at this locally-owned wine shop. Pam’s passion is sparkling wines and she has the largest selection 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. Open Tuesday-Saturday.
Flutes & Rocks Lounge – Savor 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 at their outdoor seating. Occasional live music and specialty Champagne and Bourbon tastings! Open Tuesday-Saturday.
Fred Meyer Fisher’s Landing – Every Friday & Saturday from 2-5 p.m. 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 – Occasional tastings on Fridays from 2-5 p.m. and every Saturday from 2-5 p.m. Wine steward, Shawn Martin, hosts a two to three-wine tasting that he pairs with Murray’s cheeses. Shawn’s commitment to Northwest wines is evident in two end caps featuring local selections like Burnt Bridge Cellars and Koi Pond Cellars as well as Bateaux Cellars and Mount St. Helens Cellars.
Fred Meyer Salmon Creek – Friday & Saturday from 3-6 p.m. 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.
La Bottega– Wednesday night wine tasting from 5-7 p.m. $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.
Latte da Coffeehouse & Wine Bar – On the fourth Thursday of every month tuck yourself into Latte da’s cozy wine bar for a three to five wine tasting beginning at 5 p.m. Latte Da’s wine bar is open ’til 10 pm Thursday-Saturday featuring a wine-friendly appetizer menu to pair with their unique vino selection and beer taps. Bonus: The expansive patio is perfect for sipping long into fall days and all wines are available to purchase by the bottle for take away.
New Seasons Market – Beer or wine tasting opportunities every Friday and Saturday from 4-6 p.m. Friday tastings are paired with cheese samplings. Check out their calendar or stop by to see what’s being poured.
Niche-a wine & art bar– The third Monday of every month celebrate Bubbles Club; a flight of 4 sparkling wines— always one true Champagne— paired with some nibbles from 6-9 p.m., $20-$25. The last Tuesday of every month be a part of the recently-founded Vancouver Cheese Board. Each month features four different wines with specialty cheeses from 5-7 p.m. for $25. 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.
Red Lion Inn at the Quay – Sadly, this Vancouver icon will shut its doors on Saturday, October 31st so come on out and enjoy the last seven Wine Wednesdays at this 55 year-old establishment. 50% off all bottled wines on Wednesdays from 4pm – 10pm in the Lounge & 5pm – 9pm in the Restaurant. Sat, Sep 26— Maryhill Winemaker’s Dinner beginning at 7 pm. $65 per person. Reservations required: 694-8341. Future Sharon’s Paint and Pour events: Wed, Sep 23 and Oct 7 Go SeaHawks.
Total Wine & More – Tasting hours: Friday, 4-8 p.m., Saturday 12-6 p.m., Sunday 12-5 p.m. Check out their calendar for upcoming special event tastings and classes which may include a fee.
Vinotopia – Located inside Cascade Park’s Cinetopia, Vinotopia received Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence five years straight. 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 p.m. every Saturday in their dining room and you have a no-fail date night.
Whole Foods – Beer & wine specialist, Kamram, hosts beer or wine tastings Saturdays from 1-4 p.m. Also tasting on Friday evenings from 4-8 p.m. but it’s typically beer-focused.
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