Columbia Gorge Explodes onto Wine Scene, Get Your Passport for the Weekend

gorge_woodwardvnyrd_colvly_vert_fogjpgI loved living in the Gorge a few years ago, Valerie would often take me to Maryhill Winery at the end of her day so I could visit with the Great Pyrenees Wine Dog, listen to jazz and take in the amazing views.

As we traversed the 40 miles of riverside views and wineries on both the Washington and Oregon side many times over the two years, we became fans of the variety of wines made in the  balmy nooks and crannies along the shore, and the sun-kissed vineyards at the top of the cliffs.

The Columbia Gorge Wine Region is expanding at a rapid clip.  We were at a Grand Tasting of the wines on Monday at a trade tasting at the Hotel Vintage Plaza, and it’s a dog friendly downtown Portland old world classic.  They even have merlot and chardonnay grape juice for kids…and me!s4300084

There were many new faces pouring wine and some familiar ones too.  It was good to catch up and chat, while Valerie tasted over 100 wines.

On the heels of the Grand Tasting, the wineries are gearing up for their March 27-29th Passport weekend.  Passports can be picked up at any tasting room for $15. and many of the wineries will have special tastings, discounts, food and music.  Visit for an afternoon, or stay for the whole event in one of the boutique hotels that are popping up among the wineries on both sides of the Columbia River.

s4300111Valerie and I were sorry to leave the incredible beauty of the area and our friendly winemaker pals, but now we are back to enjoy the exploding variety of wineries in one of our favorite places on earth.  How bad can that be!

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~ by winedogreview on March 26, 2009.

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