Taste the bounty of SW Washington Wine Country this Thanksgiving Weekend
The SW Washington wine scene may be the best kept secret among Northwest wineries. With uncrowded, bucolic roads leading to thoughtfully designed tasting rooms and vintages that continue to improve with age, SW Washington is what many larger wine areas used to be; personal, intimate and affordable.
Thanksgiving weekend is one of the two most popular times for wineries to swing open their cellar doors. From competition with box store Black Friday sales to supporting small during the 7th Annual Small Business Saturday, there’s a lot of excitement as the Christmas season officially kicks off.
Fortunately, most tasting room hours are Friday, November 25th- Sunday, November 27th from 12-5 p.m. So, when you’ve dropped from shopping or decided to forgo it altogether, grab your out-of-town visitors or close-knit posse and shop local, drink local throughout SW Washington.
The SW Washington Winery Association brings you their Barrel Tasting and New Release Weekend. From noon-6 p.m. on November 25th, 26th and 27th, enjoy lesser-known varietals such as golubok, maréchal foch (grown at Olequa Cellars since 2005) and zweigelt-rebe alongside traditional European grapes including pinot noir, sauvignon blanc, pinot gris and gewürztramimer. The 11 association members are: Burnt Bridge Cellars, Cellar 55 Tasting Room, Confluence Vineyards & Winery, Emanar Cellars, English Estate Winery, Heisen House Vineyards, Koi Pond Cellars, Moulton Falls Winery, Olequa Cellars, Rezabek Vineyards and Stavalaura Vineyard. With an average production of only 1,000 cases per year, these are true boutique wineries where attentive and engaging winemakers can still be found pouring behind the bar. For more information, go to swwawine.com.
Made up of Dolio Winery, Pomeroy Cellars and Moulton Falls Winery, the North Clark County Wine Trail exists to promote not only beautiful craft wines but the natural beauty surrounding their distinctly unique tasting rooms. Come try their new releases from noon-6 p.m. November 25th-27th.
It’s two stops in one at English Estate Winery. Clark County’s oldest winery will be tasting through the past, present and future with a vertical pinot noir tasting of their estate-grown 2014, 2015 and 2016 vintages. Their Black Friday Special, limited to the first 10 people on Friday only, is a grab bag of three 3-liter boxes of wine for $99! New releases will include their 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2016 Raspberry Delight—a sweet, fortified dessert wine. Battle Ground’s Rezabek Vineyards graces the Pump House Tasting room pouring their full line of wines including their newest release, a 2015 Viognier.
A Black Friday Sale happens at Cellar 55 Tasting Room from noon-9 p.m. Enjoy 10 percent off all wines by the bottle, 20 percent off all case/mixed case purchases and 10 percent on gift certificates. Happy hour specials are also in effect Friday only. New releases from three winery partners equals a special tasting of six brand new wines for a mere $10 (refundable) tasting fee throughout the weekend.
Gougér Cellars Winery is teaming up with executive chef, JD Thomas, of the Northwest Culinary Institute to offer small bites that will pair seamlessly with winemaker Gary’s award-winning wines. $15 per person for food and wine samplings from 12-5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday only.
Rusty Grape Vineyard will have a weekend full of wine releases and barrel tastings complemented by live music, their wood-fired pizza and relaxed Tuscan-style ambience. Hours: noon-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday.
Still have the energy for exploring? Head up Chehalis Valley way to enjoy Agate Creek Cellars, Bateaux Cellars, Heymann Whinery, Mt. St. Helens Cellars, Scatter Creek Winery and Wells Winery. These cozy tasting rooms form the Chehalis Valley Wine Trail. For individual addresses and websites, go to www.chehalisvalleywinetour.com.
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