- Theresa Downs
Wine By Appointment Gives Thanks For The Columbia River Gorge
Thanksgiving is such a special holiday; a chance to reflect on the past year spending time with family and friends, and, of course, sampling great food and wine! This year, Wine By Appointment spent the holiday visiting family and the Columbia River Gorge.
The Columbia River Gorge is a canyon of the Columbia River and straddles the states of Oregon and Washington. Less than 60 miles out of Portland, Oregon, it offers an amazing array of climate, soil, geology, and best of all, wine!
According to the Columbia Gorge Winegrowers (a wonderful source of information on this area), Columbia River Gorge is known as “a world of wine in 40 miles” due to the tremendous diversity in soil and climate which allows grapes literally from A to Z, Albarino to Zinfandel, to thrive. If you long for a taste of Italy, one can find Aglianico, Arneis, Barbara or Dolcetto among the area’s wineries, or, Cinsault or Mourvedre wines are availabile if those or more to your liking. It is truly a spectacular area for its beauty and amazing diversity in wine.
The Columbia Gorge is actually part of two American Viticultural Areas (AVA): Columbia Valley AVA and the Columbia Gorge AVA,
We concentrated our winery visits to the Lyle, Washington area.
One of our first stops was Syncline Winery in Lyle, Washington. Syncline features outstanding Rhone style wines. Think luscious Grenache or savory Mourvedre. Or, if not to your liking, try a crisp Gruner Vetliner. We purchased a bottle of Gamay to enjoy while we ambled around the winery grounds.
Syncline is known for their innovation; they’ve begun using cement eggs for the aging process as opposed to the standard French or American oak barrels.
Cor Cellars was on our list to visit next. Cor Cellars specializes in Bordeaux style wines, with a New World twist. Think warmer, juicier Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon (we picked up a sensational bottle of Cabernet Franc). We also sampled an amazing Malbec…this winery is definitely worth a stop and then some.
Our last stop in the area was to Domaine Pouillon. Fun, fun winery with unusual blends (think Alsace and Bordeaux meets Piedmonte and Napa). Post Thanksgiving was the perfect time to sample the their Black Dot blend (Zinfandel, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Dolcetto.
Or in the mood for a different type of white wine? Try their Edzelwicker, a blend of Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, and Riesling. Refreshing and unique.
The Columbia River Gorge is a treat and delight and an area where we will definitely plan for a return visit. For more information, check out the Columbia Gorge Winegrowers great website, GORGEWINE.COM. Lots of great visuals, maps and details about all of the wineries in this beautiful area.