SW Washington Wine Country THE place to be Thanksgiving Weekend

SW Washington Wineries are welcoming you in Thanksgiving weekend all over Clark County for new releases and barrel tastings. Photo courtesy of Village Vineyards.

SW Washington Wineries are welcoming you in Thanksgiving weekend all over Clark County for new releases and barrel tastings. Photo courtesy of Village Vineyards.

This weekend area vintners have come together to offer their largest tour yet; the SW Washington Wine Country New Release and Barrel Tasting Weekend, featuring 17 wineries and tasting rooms. Push yourself away from the Thanksgiving table, shuffle into as many as your schedule will allow and support the tenacity and creative spirit of local winery owners that has helped grow Clark County into a true travel destination.

Just ten years ago, the North Bank was home to three wineries—Salishan Vineyards, English Estate and Bethany. Since then retirement closed one as vision and passion opened 15 more.

With the addition of Cellar 55—Vancouver’s first co-operative tasting room—in 2013, the variety of Washington wines available in our little neck of the woods has grown by leaps and bounds and six more are hoping to make their debut in 2016.

Although area wineries are still sourcing much of their grapes from Eastern Washington, the Willamette Valley and even California, more and more estate-grown grapes are making their way into bottles with every vintage. Varietals like gamay noir, gewurztraminer, tempranillo, orange muscat, pinot noir, pinot blanc, pinot gris, chardonnay, riesling, sauvignon blanc and even some cabernet sauvignon are being lovingly-tended on winery grounds while vineyards with vines dating as far back as 1983 dot land in Yacolt, La Center and Woodland.

Most tasting room hours are Friday, November 27th- Sunday, November 29th from 12-5 p.m. For a list of participating SW Washington Wineries, go to www.swwawine.com/wineries.

Some weekend highlights include:

Burnt Bridge Cellars – Be sure to taste their recently-released Couve Cuveé.
Cellar 55 Tasting Room – Enjoy five new releases as well as discounts and specials all weekend.
Dolio Winery – This Battle Ground winery makes its debut this weekend with a line-up of 2013 Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, Dolcetto, Barbera, and Sangiovese from the Columbia Valley as well as an estate 2014 Tramonto (sunset in Italian).
English Estate Winery – Offering a Past, Present and Future vertical tasting of their 2013, 2014 and 2015 vintage Pinot Noir. Signature Raspberry Delight and a new Plum Nectar and Gewürztraminer Nectar (all three fortified with their Pinot Noir Brandy) will also be available for tasting. Nearly 100 percent of their wines and fruit are estate-grown.
Bethany Vineyards, Gougér Winery and Three Brothers Winery will be serviced by Nellie’s bright red double-decker 1965 Bristol bus. Pay $5 to Nellie’s and enjoy hop on and off service all weekend as well as a secure space on the bus to store wine purchases. Gougér Winery will also be cooking up pulled pork sliders in addition to their normal menu items.
Koi Pond Cellars – Enjoy a special tasting of their pre-release, Dundee Hills Pinot Noir. Their custom cedar wine gift box, featuring a Geisha Red, Blushing Geisha and Riesling for $59, is an excellent gift idea.
Pomeroy Cellars – Black Friday deals and barrel samples.
Rezabek Vineyards – This Battle Ground winery will be pouring their wines at the old Pump House Tasting Room located at English Estate Winery on Saturday and Sunday from noon-5 p.m.
Rusty Grape Vineyard – Live music and wood-fired pizza specials in addition to new releases and barrel tastings.
Village Vineyards – Open Saturday from 12-6 p.m. with live music by Karen Overton from 2-5 p.m. and Sunday from 12-5 p.m. with an open mic session. Light bites will be available and take advantage of their 50 percent off cases through year-end.

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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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