Columbia River Gorge (Literally!)
Planning a trip thru the Columbia Gorge, hoping for suggestions for best winery visits in the area, perhaps a total of 6-8 over 2 days. Will probably spend the night in Hood River, would welcome any restaurant recommendations on either Oregon or Washington side close to the area (not Portland or Vancouver). Thanks! Oh, and this would be for a small group of friends in the early fall...
Made a trip last August~ You and your friends are in for a treat!
Starting with the wineries... favorites were Cathedral Ridge and Phelps Creek on the Oregon side and COR cellars and Syncline on the Washington side. (Of course Maryhill too depending on which direction you are coming from and how far you are wanting to travel)
As for Food...
Brian's Pourhouse was an excellent treat when I was there last summer~
Save room for dessert and try the Pear Cobbler!
Another great meal I had was across the bridge in Bingen at the Solstice Cafe
We had a woodfire pizza with a Syncline Mourvedre there and after that, stopping at Syncline was a must.
Also~ Panzanella (102 5th St) is a great Artisan Bakery/ Italian Deli in Hood River. My friend and I stopped in and picked up some bread and cheese to take with us for nibbling between wineries.
Would love to hear back on where you went. August was my first visit to Hood River and I can't wait to get back!
No reservations needed~ Once you get to town, they have a great visitor map with the wineries listed and numbered. Since you like the small and obscure definately hit COR and Syncline.
I offered this same advice to someone last year... His review is here:
...side note. Full Sail brewery is also here, and a fun stop for some micros.
If you like small and obsure try Marshall's Winery. It is just a mile or so east of The Dalles Bridge on the Washington side of the river. They used to be located up a long dirt road, although I hear they have a tasting room down by the highway now. Not sure on that though. If you like sweet wine, their late harvest reisling is wonderful. It usually sells out quick!
Second the Syncline rec, and Phelps. If you like reds visit Cascade Cliffs and (our favorite) Waving Tree for excellent and reasonably priced Italian varietals. Maryhill is OK, but a bit full of themselves and therefore overpriced. In Hood River, without question find Springhouse Cellars; a bit hard to find down at an old railcar siding, but could be the best visit of your trip.
Also second the Solstice Cafe.
Thanks everyone for the replies. I will report back after our trip, which will be in early fall.