Making Merry Wines at Maryhill

Along the Columbia River, where the wind never ceases to blow, the vineyards surrounding Maryhill Winery perch to the waters’ banks. Overlooking vast, tree-barren plains dotted with windmills, the winery is like a little oasis for wine lovers old and new.

“You don’t have to be a good taster, to taste here,” said Joe Garoutte, the media & information director for Maryhill Winery. “We make it so you can enjoy it.”

Maryhill Winery patio

The 10th largest winery in Washington, Maryhill Winery focuses on creating quality wine at an accessible price in Goldendale. With 17 different vineyards around the northwest, they source fruit and support area vineyards to make nearly 80,000 cases annually. From their crisp, flagship Sauvignon Blanc to the deep fig, full-bodied Zinfandel, Maryhill Winery doesn’t skimp on flavor or experience with each bottle.

Positioning the winery as more than just a tasting room, the owners Craig and Vicki Leuthold created a destination. Showcasing views of Mt. Hood to the west and the sprawling old-growth vineyards owned by the Gunkel Family, the tasting room envelops you in cool ease as you sink in with a comfortable flight of their wines. With a no-pressure style and friendly staff, Maryhill Winery welcomes tasters like family.

Also known for its concert series, the winery brings together a sweet & melodious pairing all summer long for visitors.

Maryhill Winery Vineyards

The Wines

Led by Winemaker Richard Batchelor, Maryhill’s exceptional experience is backed by its wines. Developing a native quality to each, Batchelor knows how to shape, blend and craft each bottle to be unique, yet demonstrate a fluid style throughout the brand’s nearly 40 wines.

After spending two full days tasting at Maryhill Winery, here are a few of my favorite bottles:

Viognier

A combo of honeysuckle, pear and soft vanilla minerality, Maryhill’s 2008 Viognier peaks the palate with its clean finish without being too harsh on the tongue.  $15

Syrah

Easily put, the 2006 Syrah is sweet and spice and everything nice. A lovely blend of earthy body balanced succulently with coffee, cocoa and a hint of nuttiness, this wine would be delicious with food or even just enjoyed alone. $20

Rosé of Sangiovese

Pink like lip gloss, Maryhill’s Rosé is a fast favorite by many. With a light sweetness and touch of tart, the wine speaks with notes of strawberry and rose-honey with a perfume fill, floral bouquet on the nose. $14

Maryhill Rose of Sangiovese

What is your favorite Maryhill wine?

If you go:

Stay

While Maryhill is reachable from Portland for a day trip, take your time to really savor the bounty of the area by staying in The Dalles.

The Celilo Inn offers beautiful, modern remodeled rooms with charm and comfort. The front desk receptionists are super friendly and willing to set you up with wine tasting tours, recommend things to do in their area or even provide you with a complimentary bike to ride around town. Bring a bottle of wine back from Maryhill and enjoy the hotel’s 180-degree views of the river and dam from their heated patio.

Do:

Just east of the winery, Maryhill Museum of Art features a diverse display of exhibits from Native American art to British paintings, ornate chess sets and more. Explore the historic mansion and new modern extension to get your mind a-brewing with culture. (I highly, highly recommend stopping here to see the French fashion doll exhibit “Theatre de la Mode.” It’s creepily awesome!)

You can read more about this museum and other day activities around The Dalles soon on my travel blog, The Joyful Shoehorn. Also check out more photos from my trip on the Oregon Winette Facebook page and look for more articles featuring this wonderful winery in the coming weeks.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Grace says:

    I’ve never had wine from this part of the country, but based on your description, it looks like something I would love to try…. when we do travel back to the US. 🙂

    1. Yeah, I highly recommend it! Let me know if you want any additional tasting tips for Oregon or Washington wines. Happy to help.

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