Oak Ridge Vineyard:
When I first visited the PNW in 2011, my uncle David wanted to show me the “up and coming” Columbia Gorge AVA and our first visit was to Oak Ridge Vineyard. I immediately fell in love with the stunning views, the gentle and precise farming, and the wonderful people who cared for the land: Thomas and Marlene Woodward.
Oak Ridge Vineyard sits at an elevation of 1400 ft and is the northernmost vineyard in the Gorge AVA. Nestled in the foothills of Mt Adams, this vineyard is a perfect place for cold climate grape varieties. The 15 acres was first planted in 1984 with the same Gewurztraminer used in the "Pet Nat”. Their devotion to the land shows through to every bottle of wine produced from their grapes and has given them the reputation of being known as one of the best vineyards in the Gorge.
Moody Tollbridge Vineyard
After we moved to the Gorge AVA, I began working at a series of wineries to learn everything I could. One of my former bosses, Scott Hagee, liked to help smaller start-up wineries by allowing them to rent space and help them make wine for them. One of those winery’s was owned by Laurie and John Williams with Moody Tollbridge Vineyards. As we worked with them on their wine, I got a chance to sample their Viognier and Cabernet Franc… I was blown away. The wines were so full of character and life.
I remained in contact with them in the hope that I could one day work with their fruit. You see, I believe that Cabernet Franc from the bank of the Columbia River in eastern Washington/Oregon could be some of the most important vineyards in the Columbia Valley AVA.