Columbia River Gorge Wine Region - Oregon and Washington

Columbia River Gorge Wine Country Lodging and Dining Suggestions link

Tour guides and driving services for the Columbia Gorge wine country

Washington Wine Shops and Tasting Rooms





 

 







 



 

 

 

 

 

 

Columbia River Gorge Wine Country Lodging and Dining Suggestions link

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Washington and Oregon Wineries & Wine Regions

Columbia Gorge Wine Country, Wineries and Wines

        If you have never traveled in the Columbia River Gorge, you are in for a spectacular treat!  And... there are more than 40 vineyards and wineries, too!

A vineyard view of the Columbia River Gorge

        As the nation's first National Scenic Area, the Columbia River Gorge set the standard for this federal designation (November, 1986).  The Gorge is unique, in the true meaning of the word, and one of the most dramatic river canyons in the country.  Here, the mighty Columbia River flows through an 80-mile, sea-level route slashed through the Cascade Mountain Range 12,000 to 18,000 years ago.  The only sea-level passage through any mountain range of America's western states, the Columbia Gorge's geologic history is not one of gradual processes, but rather that of cataclysmic events... events that first laid down, then tore away, thousands of years of volcanic bedrock. 

        A many-chaptered, astonishing story of Columbia-Basin volcanism, and "The Great Floods" that followed, is written within and etched on surfaces of  precipitous walls lining the Columbia River Gorge... the last leg of Lewis and Clark's nation-altering expedition.  Other geologic records of these repetitive volcanic and flooding periods are found in many locations throughout Oregon and Washington, but nowhere are the dramatic episodes more clearly read than in the lands of Columbia Gorge wine country.

Epic floods...
"...among the greatest known to humanity"

       As temperatures began to rise toward the end of the last Ice Age, violent floodwaters repeatedly broke through the confines of a 2,000-foot-high glacial ice dam that blocked the canyon of the Clark Fork River east of Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho.  First breaching, then fracturing the icy monolith, dammed waters of the huge 3,000-square-mile Lake Missoula swept across the landscape to the west every 40 to 140 years, tearing huge frozen blocks and boulders of granite and schist from the walls of the dam.  These cataclysmic floods profoundly affected the geography and ways of life in the region.

        Water, icebergs and boulders were propelled across the Columbia Basin at an initial, maximum rate of about 9.5 cubic miles of water an hour, scouring out the "Scablands" of eastern Washington and collecting more soil, rocks and boulders along the way.  By the time they reached what is now the Wallula Gap, at the east end of today's Columbia River Gorge, floodwaters had "slowed" to a rate of 1.66 cubic miles of water an hour -- 190 times the volume of the largest Columbia River flood in recorded history.  For two or three weeks at a time, these recurring, stone-laden floodwaters swept through the area, scouring and sculpting the Columbia River Gorge landscape, leaving river tributaries hanging as waterfalls in their surge toward the sea. 

Today's Columbia Gorge Wine Country  

     Today, the Columbia River Gorge is not only a spectacularly beautiful testament of the astounding forces of natural events; it is also rich with the cultural history of Indian People who first lived and traded in the Gorge, and the historical records and viewpoints association with the famous visits by explorers like Lewis and Clark and of settlers that followed on the Oregon Trail to the West.  Providing a route through the bowels of the Cascade Mountains, historic highways allow travelers to drive from "the wet side" to the "dry side" of this major Northwest mountain range, witnessing several eco-system transformations within an hour of Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington.  Nowhere else in the Pacific Northwest can such diversity of habitat (and terroir) be found in such close proximity as in the Columbia River Gorge.

        The Historic Columbia River Highway is America's premiere Historic and Scenic Highway.  Built between 1913 and 1922, along the steep cliffs of the Gorge, this narrow, curving roadway was a technological tour-de-force when it was constructed. 

       The Columbia River Gorge and its surrounding lands are unquestionably a national treasure.  Viticulturists think so, too.  Pockets of old vineyards found near Bingen, Washington, suggest this is not a new conclusion.  Today, hundreds of newer vineyard acres occupy a variety of terroir throughout the Gorge.  Flood-scoured plateau lands offer vineyardists gravelly soils, long and sunny summer days, limited rainfall, and the temperature-moderating influence of updrafts from the nearby Columbia River Gorge.  Delta lands of scenic rivers emptying into the Columbia River offer rich, silty soils, sloping landscapes, and the long summer days characteristic of this northern clime. 

        Climate and terrain throughout the Gorge range from conditions found in Germany to France's Burgundy and Italy's northern Rhone Valley and northwest Piedmont.  From the cool, western end of the Gorge come delicate Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays; moving eastward, warmer-weather red grapes such as Syrah, Zinfandel, Cabernets and Barberas share the warmth with white Rieslings, Gewürztraminers and Viogniers.

        The diversity of wine grapes grown in the Columbia River Gorge are unlikely to be matched elsewhere is such a small stretch of land.  In fact, so unusual is this growing area that vineyard and winery owners filed an application with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to establish a shared appellation for Oregon and Washington... the Columbia Gorge American Viticulture  Area.  The AVA was authorized in the Federal Register on May 10, 2004.  The appellation straddles both sides of the Columbia River for a stretch of about 15 miles, including 280 square miles.


Grapegrowing in the
Columbia Gorge AVA

     Climate, temperature (winter & summer), and rain vary from the eastern end of the Columbia Gorge AVA to its western end.  The Columbia Gorge AVA western boundary is approximately 24 miles east of the crest of the Cascades. As the marine air reaches the Columbia Gorge AVA rainfall is about 36 inches per year. Where that air exits the Gorge to the east, it will leave less than 10 inches per year. As the climate warms heading east, the vineyard plantings change from those grown in Burgundy and Alsace to those from Bordeaux, Provence and Italy.  At the Columbia Gorge’s eastern border, the climate has become one of the Columbia Valley AVA... a continental high desert climate.

       Some of the grape varietals grown in Columbia Gorge AVA include:

Albariño, Aglianico,
Barbera, Cabernet Franc,
Cabernet Sauvignon,
Chardonnay, Dolcetto, Gamay, Gewürztraminer, Grenache,
Gruner Vertliner, Lemberger,
Malbec, Marsanne,
Merlot, Mourvedre, Muscat,
Nebbiolo, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris,
Pinot Noir, Primitivo, Riesling,
Roussanne, Sangiovese,
Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah,
Tempranillo, Viognier,
White Riesling, Zinfandel

       You'll find a growing number of wineries as well, currently more than 40, scattered along the near sea-level routes of  both Oregon's Interstate 84 and Washington's two-lane Highway 14, as well as on the plateau lands above that slope toward the vertical walls of the Gorge.

       You can be sure touring Columbia Gorge Wine Country is the stuff of memorable journeys.  Allow for plenty of "stopping time" along the way in addition to the time you plan to spend at specific wineries... and...

       Do yourself a favor; take the "Scenic Route" (the Historic Columbia Gorge Scenic Highway) on the Oregon side, or the two-lane Highway 14 in Washington.  You won't forget it!   


Navigating the Columbia Gorge wine region

     Forming a border between Washington and Oregon, the Columbia River Gorge offers wine touring on both states, with enough bridges across the Columbia to make interstate touring easy. 

        Click on the thumbnail map below to see a larger, detailed map where you can locate and plan your own wine tour of both Washington and Oregon wineries in this region.  To explore lodging, dining and touring suggestions in this region, see our lodging and dining suggestions.

Columbia River Gorge Wine Country Lodging and Dining Suggestions link


Columbia Gorge Wineries & Touring Map
(Wineries open to the public)

Wine Shops and Wine Bars

Tour Guides and Driving Services

   Small map to winery locations in the Columbia River Gorge
    Click on map to see larger view of  the Oregon and Washington
     Columbia Gorge wine regions.
 


Featured Columbia Gorge Wineries

Cathedral Ridge Winery
(Daily - 10 - 6)
4200 Post Canyon Drive
Hood River, OR 97031
541-386-2882
800-516-8710
Email:  crw@cathedralridgewinery.com

Maryhill Winery
Hwy 14, 4 miles west of
Hwy 97/Goldendale-Biggs Junction
(Daily 10 - 6)
9774 Highway 14
Goldendale, WA 98620
509-773-1976
1-877-MARYHILL (627-9445)
Contact Maryhill

 


Alpha List of Gorge Wineries


Oregon Wineries

Analemma Winery
(Apr 5 - Oct 5, Sat & Sun, 10 am - 5 pm
or by appointment - 541-478-2873)

Bolton Cellars Tasting Room
(Thursday and Friday Opening at 3 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday 2 p.m. - close)

Cathedral Ridge Winery
(Daily - 11 - 5)

Cerulean Wine
     (Thurs & Fri, 4-7 pm; Sat & Sun, 12-7 pm;
      Winter: By appointment only -
541-490-4905
      or 503-333-9725
)

Dry Hollow Vineyards
(Feb - Nov:  Sat & Sun, 12 - 5)

Edgefield Winery
(Daily - Noon to 10 pm)

Erin Glenn at The Mint
      (Memorial Day - Thanksgiving, Wed - Sun,
       12 - 6 p.m. Winter: call ahead for hours)

Garnier Vineyards at Mayerdale
(Weekends - Noon to 6:00 pm)

The Gorge White House & Winery
(Columbia Gorge wines and beers tasting;
Apr & May: 10-6 pm Fri-Mon, by appt Tu-Th;
June - Sept:
10-6 pm DAILY;
Oct: 10-6 pm Fri-Mon, by appt Tu-Th)

Hood River Vineyards & Winery
(Daily - 11 - 5)

Marchesi Vineyards
(Spring, summer & fall:
Fri, Sat, Sun & Mon: 11 am - 6 pm;
Holiday weekends: Noon - 5 pm;
Always by appt
- 541-386-1800)

Mount Hood Winery
(Mar - Oct: Daily, 11 - 5 pm)

Naked Winery
Hood River Tasting Room
(Sunday-Thursday Noon - 7 pm,
Friday/Saturday Noon - 9pm)

Pheasant Valley Vineyard
& Winery

(Daily - 11:00 to 6:00 p.m.)

Phelps Creek Vineyards
(May to October: Thurs - Mon, 11 to 5 pm;
Mar, Apr & Nov: Fri - Sun, 11 to 5 pm;
Otherwise by appointment)

The Pines 1852
Tasting Room (Hood River)
 (Wed - Fri, 1 - 7 pm, Sat & Sun, 12 - 6 pm)

The Pines Estate
Vineyards & Winery (The Dalles)

(Tour reservations required
three days in advance - 541-993-8301)

Quenett Cellars
(Daily 10 - 6)

Quenett Cellars at Sunshine Mill
(Open 12 noon daily)

Springhouse Cellar
(Not Open to Public. Tastings in downtown
Mosier on
Holidays & Event Weekends)

Stella Fino
(Fri 2 - 6; Sat 12 - 6; Sun 12 - 5)

Stoltz Vineyards
(Open Thurs - Sun: 2 - 8 pm)

Viento Wines  
(Daily: 11 - 5 pm)
New Tasting Room
301 Country Club Road
Hood River, OR
541-386-3026

Wy'East Vineyards
(Apr – Oct, Daily 11-5;
Early Spring & Nov, Weekends 11-5)

Washington Wineries

AniChe Cellars
(Mid Feb - Dec 31st,
Wed-Sun: Noon to 6 pm)

Cascade Cliffs Vineyard & Winery
(Daily 10-6)

Chateau Champoux
(By appointment)

Columbia Gorge Winery &
Klickitat Canyon Wines

(Mar - Dec: Sat & Sun, May - Aug: Fri - Sun   
Noon - 6; Otherwise by appointment -
509-365-2900)

Cor Cellars
(Feb 1st - Nov 30th, Wed - Sun, 11 - 6pm)

Demi Anni Vineyards
(Call 509-493-2702 for info)

Domaine Pouillon
(Wed - Sun, 11 - 6 or by appt, 509-365-2795)

Gorge Crest Winery
(By appointment - 509-493-2026)

Illusion Winery 
(Select Summer Weekends & Holidays
Call first - 206-261-1682)

Jacob Williams Winery
(Mar - Oct: Daily 10 to 6 pm;
Nov - Feb: Thur - Sun, 11 - 5)

Memaloose
(New west Lyle Tasting Room open:
  Thur - Sun, 11 - 5:30)

Major Creek Cellars
(By appointment only - 503-860-8713)

Marshal's Winery
(Open daily 9 am - 6 pm)

Maryhill Winery
(Daily 10-6)

Syncline Wine Cellars
(Feb 1 - Nov 30, Thurs - Sun - 11 to 6 pm;
Dec - Sat & Sun - 11 to 5 pm; Closed Jan)

Waving Tree Vineyard & Winery
(Daily 9-5 Memorial-Labor Day
Other times by appointment)

White Salmon Vineyard
Tasting Room
(Apr - Oct: Open Fri, Sat, Sun, 12 - 6 pm)
(Estate Wines & retail grape sales)

Wind River Cellars
(Daily 10 - 6; Closed Dec 15 - Jan 1)

Ziegler Vineyards
(Thurs - Sun, 12-6)


 



Click here for addresses & contact information for wineries.

 


Columbia Gorge Wine Shops and Wine Bars

The Gorge White House

(Columbia Gorge wines and beers tasting;
Apr & May: 10-6 pm Fri-Mon, by appt Tu-Th;
June - Sept:
10-6 pm DAILY;
Oct: 10-6 pm Fri-Mon, by appt Tu-Th)

2265 Highway 35
(4 miles south of Hood River)

Hood River, OR  97031

541-386-2828

Gorge Wine Merchants
Wine Shop & Tasting Room

(Wed & Thurs: Noon to 8 pm

Fri& Sat: Noon to 9 pm

Sunday: Noon to 5 pm

Closed M-T)

218 W. Steuben (State Hwy 14)
Bingen, WA 98605
509-493-5333

The Gift House
(Northwest gifts and wines)
204 Oak St
Hood River, OR 97031
1-800-460-2946

Gorge Wine Merchants
Wine Shop & Tasting Room

(Wed & Thurs: Noon to 8 pm

Fri& Sat: Noon to 9 pm

Sunday: Noon to 5 pm

Closed M-T)

218 W. Steuben (State Hwy 14)
Bingen, WA 98605
509-493-5333

Healthy Habits
107 East 2nd Street
The Dalles, OR 97058
541-298-1906

Hood River Wine and Internet Bar...
and Wine Shop
106 3rd Street
Hood River, OR  97031
541-386-3239

The Wine Sellers
(and a lot more!)
514 State Street
Hood River, OR
541-386-4647


Featured Columbia Gorge Tour Guides & Driving Services



WineDirt.com

Get the dirt on wine...
Educational wine tours
& Custom wine tours... year round

(Serving the OR & WA sides of the
Columbia Gorge; SW Washington;
and the Willamette Valley of Oregon;
Also Customized Tours & Wine Classes)
503-583-4391
info@winedirt.com
 

Aspen Limo Tours

Specializing in Boutique Winery Experiences
(Serving Oregon's
Salem & Dundee areas,
Hood River/Columbia Gorge; Washington's Walla Walla Valley,
Yakima Valley, Tri-Cities & Columbia Valley)

360-260-0515 SW Washington
509-572-7494 E Washington
503-274-9505 Oregon
david@aspenlimotours.com
 


Oregon Wine Tours

The Willamette Valley's
Personal Wine Tours Company

Serving Oregon's Willamette Valley,
Columbia George & other regions by arrangement

Specializing in Boutique Winery Experiences
Member of Society of Wine Educators

503-681-WINE (9463)
Ron@ORwinetours.com


Uncorked Northwest Wine Tours

Let us show you why we're so passionate
about Northwest wines!

(Custom Tours:
The OR & WA sides of the Columbia Gorge
and Oregon's Willamette Valley)
503-705-9200
sip@uncorkednw.com



Beautiful Willamette Tours
A Member of
The Associated Tour Guide Network

Serving Oregon's Willamette Valley
and Columbia Gorge wine country.
360-904-1402
Toll Free:  877-Tour-295
(877-868-7295)

Bon Vivant Wine Tours
and Driving Services

(Serving the OR & WA sides of the Columbia Gorge;
From Seattle to Woodinville, Bainbridge Island,
Olympic Peninsula, Yakima Valley,
Walla Walla
& Columbia valleys; Red Mountain & Horse Heaven Hills;
Leavenworth/Wenatchee, Lake Chelan)
2120 Montvale Place W.
Seattle, WA 98199
206-524-8687
info@bonvivanttours.com

Link to top of page


Click here for a larger alphabetical list of other wine-touring
businesses serving the Columbia Gorge AVA

 



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Copyright © 2003 - December, 2014    Susan R. O'Hara. All rights reserved. 
Last revised:  12/06/2014