The arrival of Memorial Day Weekend usually spurs Northwest wine lovers to think about Pinot Noir and the arrival of the summer wine tasting with the Memorial Weekend in Wine Country.
While that event extends throughout the state during Oregon Wine Month, the Columbia Gorge wine region east of Portland is putting on a special event called Grape to Table Weekend.
Wineries on both sides of the Columbia River from Hood River, Ore., to Goldendale, Wash., are participating in Grape to Table. The focus of the event is the region’s food-friendly wines and the cuisine that is created in the Gorge.
Members of the Columbia Gorge Winegrowers Association are embracing the weekend as a way to promote their bright, food-friendly wines by providing recipes and food pairings at their tasting rooms.
Grape to Table Weekend is May 23-25, and in many instances there is no additional cost other than wineries’ standard tasting fees.
Columbia Gorge participating wineries
The wineries that are participating in Grape to Table Weekend include:
Analemma Wines in Mosier, Ore., which uses grapes only from the cool Columbia Gorge American Viticultural Area. It offers a picnic setting to go with its wine and charcuterie plate.
AniChe Cellars in Underwood, Wash., which specializes in red blends from the Columbia Valley. Rachael Horn has hired Cork and Bottle Catering to serve up lamb burgers, pork sausage and other local meats and produce as part of its afternoon barbecue on Saturday and Sunday.
Cathedral Ridge Winery in Hood River, which makes a wide variety of wines – from Pinot Noir to Zinfandel. Robb Bell and his team will have meat and cheese plates as well as new releases and recipes to share.
Cor Cellars in Lyle, Wash., which crafts everything from Gewürztraminer to Malbec. It suggests serving Spaghetti alle Vongole with its Cabernet Franc rosé.
Domaine Pouillon in Lyle, which specializes in Rhône blends. It suggests pairing its estate Roussanne with cave-aged Comté cheese.
Gorge White House in Hood River, which features its own wines as well as those from more than 30 Columbia Gorge wineries. It invites guest to try the Gorge White House Red with either the Cherry Bacon Gorgonzola pizza or Blueberry Sausage Goat Cheese pizza from Jack’s Fresh Food Cart.
Jacob Williams Winery in Wishram, Wash., which produces elegant wines from the Columbia Gorge and Columbia Valley.
Major Creek Cellars in White Salmon, Wash., which makes award-winning wines from the Columbia Valley and Columbia Gorge AVAs.
Maryhill Winery in Goldendale, which is one of Washington’s largest, most-visited and most-awarded wineries. It is Wine Press Northwest magazine’s 2015 Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year. The Leutholds challenge guests to play bocce as a fun way to work up an appetite for fare from The Glass Onion.
Memaloose Winery in Lyle, which produces wines from its five estate vineyards in the Columbia Gorge AVA.
Mt. Hood Winery in Hood River, which won six gold medals at the 2015 Great Northwest Wine Competition in March.
The Pines 1852 in Hood River, which makes several wines, including a Zinfandel from vines that are more than a century old.
Springhouse Cellar in Hood River, which is an old fruit cannery. It’s on Railroad Avenue, and during Memorial Day weekend it features complimentary small plates to enjoy with its wines — some offered in refillable 1-liter bottles — and a game of corn toss.
Sunshine Mill in The Dalles, Ore., which is a century-old flour mill and is home to Copa di Vino and Quenett Winery. The weekend theme is “Barbera, Brats, and Bocce” as part of its five-year anniversary of moving into the nine-story mill.
Syncline Winery in Lyle, which produces many cult-status wines, including those made with Rhône varieties. The Mantones will partner with Solstice Pizza on Saturday and Sunday.
Waving Tree Winery in Goldendale, which crafts a wide variety of wines from Columbia Valley grapes. Festivities at its tasting room near the entrance to Maryhill State Park include bluegrass band Donny, Mike. Denise and Friends on Saturday and Sunday.
White Salmon Vineyard in Underwood, which produces Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and more.
Wy’East Vineyards in Hood River, which is just a few minutes from downtown.