Thanksgiving in Wine Country; SW Washington Barrel Tasting

 Barrel room at Burnt Bridge Cellars. Courtesy of SW Washington Winery Assn.

Barrel room at Burnt Bridge Cellars. Courtesy of SW Washington Winery Assn.

The wineries of Southwest Washington are officially inviting you to skip the Black Friday madness and tour this approachable wine region over Thanksgiving Weekend. Wine at various stages will be available for sampling including barrel tastings. Enjoy this intimate, behind-the-scenes perspective of the winemaking process. 

 View of Mt. St. Helens and vines from English Estate Winery. Courtesy of SW Washington Winery Assn.

View of Mt. St. Helens and vines from English Estate Winery. Courtesy of SW Washington Winery Assn.

The Southwest Washington wine region is home to 19 public tasting rooms and many more artisan vineyards, all within an hours' drive of Portland, Oregon. Ten of those wineries make up the Southwest Washington Winery Association. Predominantly producing fewer than 1,000 cases  annually, it's a true insider's look into a burgeoning wine scene. Bucolic country roads traverse fall foliage this time of year with mature and developing vineyards peppering the landscape. 

 Tasting room of Stavalaura Vineyards. Courtesy of SW Washington Winery Assn.

Tasting room of Stavalaura Vineyards. Courtesy of SW Washington Winery Assn.

Nestled between the North bank of the Columbia River and the foothills of the Cascade Mountain range, the climate and soil of Southwest Washington are similar to Burgundy in France. The region excels at growing traditional European grapes such as Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay as well as lesser-known varietals like Golubok, Marechal Foch and Zweigelt Rebe. Supplemented with grapes sourced from warmer climates nearby (predominantly Eastern Washington), area wineries are able to produce wines for nearly every palate. 

 Sunlight through the vines. Courtesy of SW Washington Winery Assn.

Sunlight through the vines. Courtesy of SW Washington Winery Assn.

The Southwest Washington Winery Association is organized to promote and encourage the development and growth of the grape wine industry in SW Washington. Member wineries host four region-wide events throughout the year. More information about the association and member wineries can be found here. 

**Edited from press release provided by SW Washington Winery Assn.