Wine pairs well with many things (cheese, chocolate, etc.,) but enjoying a glass of wine in a beautifully designed space is an experience all its own. Wineries across the country are becoming destinations in and of themselves, and not simply as places to grab a bottle to go, no matter the season. We spoke with four Oregon and Southwest Washington wineries about what makes their tasting rooms unique for visitors, and their favorite winter wine.
The tasting room at Adelsheim Vineyard
16800 N.E. Calkins Lane, Newberg
Look for: Chardonnays and pinot noirs
The first winery established in what’s now the Chehalem Mountains AVA (that’s American Viticultural Area), to visit Adelsheim Vineyard is to become a part of its celebrated history. The tasting room, open daily, boasts scenic views overlooking their Calkins Lane estate vineyard, and guided tastings with cheese pairings are also available. If you’re looking for something to complement the cold (and admittedly rainy) weather, Dave Paige, the winemaker, recommends sticking with a staple. “Treat yourself to an older vintage first, and enjoy the pure expression of the wine. Our ’07 Bryan Creek pinot noir is tasting very good right now.”
Joe Dobbes of Dobbes Family Estate Winery
DOBBES FAMILY ESTATE
240 S.E. 5th St., Dundee
Look for: Syrah and pinot noir
Oregon born and bred (but French trained), owner Joe Dobbes has been making wines in the Burgundian style (as in Burgundy, France) for over 30 years. His motto is “Let the grapes speak”—and the wines, and even the tasting room, give the perfect platform for them to do just that. From viognier to the popular syrah, each can be enjoyed with the guidance of the friendly and knowledgeable staff and gourmet bites from the neighboring market. With brambly spice and a ginger and nutmeg accent, his Momtazi Vineyard pinot noir is a fragrantly bold and flavorful choice for the season.
Enjoying a Wine and Cheese Pairing at Maryhill Winery
9774 Hwy 14, Goldendale
Look for: Zinfandels and ports
Often referred to as the “Mediterranean of the Northwest,” the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, where Maryhill Winery is located, is worth a visit in its own right. Although the winery, perched on the northern side of the Columbia River with Mount Hood as its backdrop, is difficult to miss. The expansive tasting room and the Tuscan-style terrace, equipped with fire pits, is especially popular year-round, as is their 4,000-seat outdoor amphitheater. For keeping warm in the winter, curling up with a glass of their sweet 2010 Vintage port is a solid choice, especially when sipped with cheese or chocolate.
The Rain Dance Vineyard at dusk
RAIN DANCE VINEYARDS
26355 N.E. Bell Road, Newberg
Look for: Pinot noirs and rieslings
Fifth-generation Newberg residents Ken Austin III and his wife, Celia, unsurprisingly live and breathe the Pacific Northwest, and it shows in Rain Dance Vineyards. Located at the base of the Chehalem Mountains AVA, it makes for the perfect picnicking spot in the warmer months, and in the cooler months, a stop at their rustic tasting room to sample their sustainable and small productions is a must. Oh, and make sure to stop and say hello to the estate llamas, Bonzi and Pierre! When it comes to winter wines, their 2014 Estate pinot noir—with expressive aromas of berry, spice box and loamy forest floor—goes well with relaxing in front of a fire.