Wine & Travel

Snooth User: pinotdiva

Columbia gorge

Posted by pinotdiva, Mar 20, 2016.

Any favorite wines/wineries in this area? planning a spring trip starting in the columbia gorge and heading towards Yakima.


Reply by outthere, Mar 20, 2016.

Sorry, never been so I can't be of much help.Thought someone should at least respond. If you don't have any luck here there is a large contingent of WA residents on the Cellartracker Forum. Good luck!

Reply by dmcker, Mar 20, 2016.

Only Yakima, or are you heading further east? When are you going?

There are a number of participants on these boards who live in the greater area or have traveled there a number of times.

Reply by dvogler, Mar 21, 2016.

Kiona in Benton City

Chandler Reach in Benton City

Skylite Cellars in Walla Walla

Gramercy in WW

Buty in WW

Leonetti in WW

Tamarack Cellars in WW

L'Ecole 41 (just west of WW)

Long Shadows in WW

14 Hands in Prosser

Alexandria Nicole in Prosser

Reply by dmcker, Mar 21, 2016.

Also Woodward Canyon and several others in Walla Walla, but was waiting on OP to get back with itinerary details before diving deep...

Reply by pinotdiva, Mar 23, 2016.


we will be in Washington the first week in June. Last trip out we hit Walla Walla and found some hidden gems,  like Garrison Creek, in addition to those Dvogler mentioned. Many great wineries in the Benton City area as well. Looking for those hidden gems as we make our way from Portland, head North and leave from Pasco.

Reply by Lucha Vino, Mar 25, 2016.

Two of my favorite Yakima wineries are Gilbert Cellars and Treveri Cellars.  Treveri makes excellent Sparkling wines.  Gilbert makes great Rhone and Bordeaux style wines.  Justin, the wine maker, is a super great guy.  Not sure if you would be able to meet him or not.  Either way, you need to visit Gilbert and Treveri.

Will you be able to visit Red Mountain?

Here are a few Columbia Gorge wineries I would recommend:

  • Aniche
  • Cor
  • Maryhill
  • Memaloose
  • Syncliine

Looking forward to hearing about your trip!


Reply by dmcker, Mar 25, 2016.

Pinotdiva, the historical top three for me on past visits to Walla Walla have been Leonetti, Woodward Canyon and Cayuse. These are more or less mainstream and known. What other gems did you find? Any tasting notes and other visit experiences, general or detailed, you can share?

Lucha, can you provide any details regarding the wineries you recommend?

Reply by Lucha Vino, Mar 28, 2016.

Here are some links to the wineries websites.  And a bit of commentary...

Aniche makes some interesting red blends including Super Tuscan and Southern Rhone styles.  Their Albarino is what first caught my attention since there is not a whole lot of this grape grown in Washington.

Cor makes mostly single varietal red wines with a couple of whites thrown in for good measure.

Maryhill is a pretty well established winery and has an amphitheater where they host a summer concert series.  They make an extensive selection of wine and probably have the highest production of all the wineries on this list.

Memaloose makes several Italian variety wines, including Barbera and Dolcetto.  I think their Southern Rhone style red named Mistral Ranch was what first drew my attention to this winery.

Syncline also makes a fairly broad mix of wines with bigger production.  Their Rhone style reds are my favorites from their catalog.

None of these wineries will give Leonetti, Cayuse or Woodward Canyon much competition for "top dog" but they all make nice wines at about 1/3 (or less) of the price of these three Walla Walla Heavyweights.

I hope this information is helpful.


Reply by dmcker, Mar 28, 2016.

Good post, Lucha, thanks.

Reply by dvogler, Mar 28, 2016.

Quality to price is always a good thing.  Maryhill makes some nice wine for the price (my mother-in-law buys it, so it's usually the first wine I have when I get to Enumclaw for visits).  My list also has some good wine for the money with the exception of the 'L's (Leonetti, Long Shadows and L'Ecole 41).  Kiona cab for $15 is fantastic.  Skylite also has some $15-20 blends that are great.

Reply by Lucha Vino, Mar 28, 2016.

I'm in the Kiona and Skylite fan club too.  Both make excellent wines.  Kiona has a large vineyard on Red Mountain so most of their wine is made from estate grown grapes.  All their wines are great no matter where the grapes come from!

Reply by pinotdiva, Apr 1, 2016.

We have been to the Walla Walla area several times and some of our "gems" were Bunchgrass, Garrison Creek,  aMaurice, Maison-Bleu, Walla Walla Vintners, Rotie. Also like Rulo and Reininger.  Disappointed in Long Shadows...

Love Treveri--hope to get back there. Thanks for the tips for the Gorge!

Reply by Lucha Vino, Apr 12, 2016.

PinotDiva - Let us know how your trip turns out.  It is always nice to get more perspectives on wines and regions.

Reply by pinotdiva, Jun 14, 2016.

Trip summary of Columbia Gorge and more...

Phelps Creek: Don't be put off that this winery is a bit off the beaten path and located at a golf course. They make 6 whites, merlot, syrah, pinot and a sparkling wine--about 5,00 cases total. The winemaker (female) is French. That combined with some New Zealand experience makes a leaner style wine, lower in alcohol, fruit driven. Both Washington & Oregon vineyards.

Analemma: 100% Gorge grown grapes. The ribbon-like emblem on the bottle signifies boundless or infinity. Once again there is a NZ influence. One of the vineyards, Atavus, is both organic & biodynamic. Wines include mostly pinot and gewürztraminer, but don't miss the sparkling--100% pinot, method champenoise--single variety, single vineyard, single vintage--what is not to like.

COR: About 4,00- cases. Interesting verbiage on back of wine bottles. Nice dry rosae of cabernet franc and a noteworthy Malbec. Beginning to grow Fruilano on the property.

Syncline: 5-600 cases. uses cement egg for Rose and larger cement cubes for big reds. All food friendly wines wit a French/German style.

Aniche: 4300 cases made by all woman team. Winemaker is also a writer so she uses literary characters in the names of her wines. TZippy ( Where the Wild Things Are); Lizzi (Pride & Prejudice) 3 Witches (McBeth), etc. Tasting room offers plate of small nibbles to pair with wines. Although hesitant to call these more feminine wines, they tend to be less tannic, lower alcohol and Alsatian style. Albarino has not yet been bottles this year...

Stave & Stone (tasting room in Hood River) Small plate of nibbles served to match wines. Riesling is slightly sweet but the Pinot Gris is crisp and clean. The Chardonnay comes from the Celila vineyard--enough said. Other selections include pinot, cab and red blend.

Additional stops

Yakima: Gilbert (take the time to go to the Hackett Ranch)

Selah - Southard--Young winemaker making some great wines, 1500 cases

Chelan - Hard Row to Hoe, Karma (lovely bubbles), Nefarious, Fielding Hills,

Leavenworth- Boudreaux cellars - make an appointment and go to the winery . It is off the grid! A breathtaking trip and the wines match. Got to see them do a pump over .

Zillah - Cultura 1200 cases; interesting first vintage of  rose of cinsault, fresh & bright

Wapato - Treveri (more bubbles)

Plain - Plain Cellars was highly recommended but it was closed when we were in the area.





Reply by Richard Foxall, Jun 14, 2016.

Thanks a million for coming back and reporting.  You ought to get an award or something. 

And thanks for bumping the thread in the process.  I was off Snooth and missed the original--seeing Lucha's (and DV's) responses inspires me to think about a trip up that way myself. 

Reply by Lucha Vino, Jun 15, 2016.

Pinot Diva - Thanks for the update.

Chelan is one of my favorite wine destinations in Washington.  It is a "short" 3 hour drive from Seattle and features some great wine and the wine-makers are all down to earth regular people.  All the wineries you mention are top notch!

Boudreaux is also fabulous.  Here is a link to a feature I did on the winery a couple of years ago.

I visited Plain Cellars in March and agree on the recommendation.  Their wines are quite nice and are all in the 20 dollar-ish price range. 

If you are in Leavenworth you should also visit Goose Ridge.

Reply by pinotdiva, Jun 15, 2016.


Great article on Rob. Thanks for sharing. I could listen to his stories for hours. One of the reasons he makes a white is to complement his Louisiana cuisine!

Will have to check out Goose Ridge.

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