With a winery in Wishram, Washington, and tasting rooms in Woodville, Georgetown, and Hood River (Oregon), there are plenty of ways to learn about and enjoy Cascade Cliffs wine.
Cascade Cliffs dates back to 1986 and the first planting of vines. The 20-acre vineyard is set on basalt rock and alluvial soil and overlooks the Columbia River. The location provides a sweet spot of heat and consistent winds resulting in an exceptionally long growing season, perfect for Barbera and Nebbiolo as well as the classic varietals. The winery uses organic and bio-dynamic strategies throughout the vineyard.
The Georgetown tasting room is located on a side street, probably not one I'd think to drive down if not specifically looking for the tasting room. On the sunny day we visited, there was patio seating at tables and wine barrels, and a large indoor space that provided comfortable seating while social distancing. All tasting rooms are currently open for tasting and wine pick up by appointment only.
The wine tasting fee is $15, waived with purchase, and included five wines: 2020 Sauvignon Blanc, 2019 Zinfandel, 2019 Malbec, 2019 Syrah, and a 2019 Barbera. We also sampled the Rose, not on the tasting menu, but happily offered by our server.
We'll review our three favorites (all three purchased to take home):
Aromas of wild iris and violets, with flavors of black plum and blueberry. Deep in color.
Personal tasting notes: Juicy and luscious, this was a favorite from the first sip. The plummy-fruit flavors were prominent. Sitting in the sun and sipping it may hot have shown it at its ideal, we took a couple of bottles home to decant and enjoy with a steak. The wine was tasty now, but we think it will develop well in a couple of years. $40.
Blackberry and blueberry flavors explode on the palate with a warm, mellow finish. Spicy and acidic on the nose. Notes of oak, cranberry, leather, chocolate, cranberry.
Personal tasting notes: Big and jammy from the get-go with lots of fruit flavor, finishing with a bit of a leathery bite. Easy to drink now, I'd prefer to have it with food rather than drinking it solo, but this is another one we'll cellar for awhile and see how it changes. $40.
2019 Columbia Valley Barbera
This Barbera falls somewhere between a more traditional, dry style and the more modern, new-world style of fruit first, fruit last. The aromas and flavors scream with intense, bright red fruit, and the new oak used in its aging gives the wine added structure and texture.
Personal tasting notes: Vibrant, intense, and rich, sitting and sipping was almost like being in Italy. Lots of red fruit flavor. All the yums right now, but will also age well. If we can keep our hands off of it, that is. $60.
The Cascade Cliff Georgetown tasting room is located at 6006 12th Avenue So. in Seattle. Tasting is by appointment only, hours vary.
And since you're in the neighborhood, you may also want to check out the Georgetown location of House of Smith/Jet City winery. It's located just a couple of minutes from Cascade Cliffs. Read the review of their wine tasting here.
Drink responsibly. Have a designated driver (or take a cab or ride service) when doing wine tasting.
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