by Cassie Courtney, Sales and Marketing Director, Maryhill Winery
Less than 60 miles east of Portland, America’s most unique AVA – the Columbia Gorge – is home to some of the most innovative and prestigious wines being produced today. Nowhere else exists a place as visually stunning, full of outdoor adventure, wildlife and wildflowers, and with vineyards and eclectic boutique wineries throughout its many diverse micro-climates. The Columbia Gorge has it all.
The land is defined by the Columbia River as it cuts through the Cascade Mountain Range and makes its journey to the Pacific Ocean. Although most wine regions don’t cross state lines, the Columbia Gorge Wine Region is unique in that it’s comprised of a tight group of winemakers and growers on both shores of the river in Oregon and Washington. Two of Washington’s most prestigious wineries reside on either side of the river – Maryhill Winery in Washington and Cathedral Ridge Winery in Oregon.
Named the 2015 Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year by Wine Press Northwest, Maryhill is one of the state’s largest wineries producing 80,000 cases annually. They partner with 12 growers and 23 unique vineyard locations in eight of Washington State’s 14 major American Viticultural Areas, making their family-owned winery a true representation of Washington’s winemaking prowess.
Maryhill’s winery and premier tasting room in Goldendale, Washington is located at the edge of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. A true destination winery, Maryhill’s 3,000 sq. ft. tasting room and 1,200 sq. ft. Reserve Room with a private courtyard draw more than 75,000 wine enthusiasts from around the globe each year, ranking among the top-five most visited wineries in the state. They offer an outdoor terrace with panoramic views of Mt. Hood and the Columbia River, outdoor seating and live music (Memorial Day through September).
In November 2017, Maryhill celebrated the grand opening of their first satellite tasting room in the Kendall Yards neighborhood of Spokane, Washington. The newly built space encompasses 5,000 square feet and features 180-degree views of downtown Spokane and the Spokane River.
In the heart of the Columbia Gorge, Cathedral Ridge Winery offers award winning and top selling wines featuring big, bold reds, exclusive blends and delicate, nuanced whites – all perfect for pairing with food and friends.
Their family has lived in Oregon for more than 40 years and for the last 15 years, the pioneering winery has harvested only the best fruit from more than 13 local vineyard partners – each with unique microclimates that almost perfectly duplicate four of the world’s greatest grape-growing regions, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone and Rhine – to create over 25 delicious award-winning wines. With this beautiful fruit, picked and crushed in under six hours for optimal freshness and flavor, their fourth-generation winemaker Michael Sebastiani and Cellar Master Robb Bell and the team use a balance of old-world and new techniques to handcraft our wines in small quantities. These rare wines truly showcase the unique range this rapidly growing region can produce, and Cathedral Ridge is proud to share their love and passion for this wonderful region and its wines.
Both Maryhill Winery and Cathedral Ridge tasting rooms are relaxed and inviting and the views in any direction are always outstanding. Find out why so many are calling the Columbia Gorge Wine Region one of the best kept secrets in the Northwest!