I have never been to Washington State and sadly I have not had a lot of wines from Washington either. When I think Washington wines, admittedly, I think Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Riesling. Three varieties I enjoy, and have liked all that I have experienced so far from Washington. However, I was recently introduced to Maryhill Winery and offered three different varieties to try. How do you think I responded?
Maryhill is a family owned winery started in 1999, by Craig and Vicki Leuthold. Maryhill is located on the northern side of the Columbia River, in the southern tip of the Columbia River Valley in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Less than two hours from Portland, Oregon, Maryhill Winery offers a beauty to behold.
The region was formed by the Great Missoula Floods of the last ice age. These floods swept across eastern Washington and down the Columbia River Gorge, leaving behind low nutrient, well-draining soil perfect for growing vitis vinifera. The Maryhill area was established by Quaker Sam Hill, an American businessman, lawyers, and railroad executive.
In 2000, production began on the Maryhill Winery tasting room, located west of the Maryhill Museum. Today, Maryhill Winery is a bustle of activity, leading them to become one of Washington state’s largest and most visited winery. Maryhill is home to a stunning 4,000 seat outdoor concert amphitheater hosting a concert series each summer including acts such as John Legend, Earth Wind & Fire, and Bob Dylan. Furthermore, every summer weekend from Memorial to Labor Day, Maryhill is host to local music on their vine covered terrace. Music and wine is just my style! Maryhill is a great place to host a private party, wedding, or corporate event. Visit the Maryhill event page for more information. And with the holidays right around the corner, be sure and check out Maryhill’s custom label program.
A great setting and loads of fun events is a good start. But how is the wine? Maryhill has an extensive wine portfolio. Maryhill works closely with vineyard partners in 8 of Washington’s 14 AVA’s to craft more than 50 wines. Here are my thoughts on the three wines they shared with me:
2016 Maryhill Proprietor’s Reserve Otis Vineyard Albariño Columbia Valley USA ($26): pale lemon with green hues; pronounced youthful aromas of orchard fruit, tropical fruit, jasmine; racy on the palate with juicy citrus and trailing lime zest, energetic, high acidity with a long, mouth-watering finish.
2014 Maryhill Cabernet Franc Columbia Valley USA ($20): medium ruby; medium+ youthful aromas of fresh picked cherries, red currants, cranberries, blueberries, fresh picked roses, dried savory herbs, warm baking spice, milk chocolate, vanilla; fruit driven palate with earthiness entering mid to back palate, slightly grippy tannins are balanced by medium+ acidity and a kiss of dusty earth, medium finish; a youthful wine, enjoy it now.
2014 Maryhill Sangiovese Columbia Valley USA ($26): medium ruby; medium youthful aromas of dried roses, raspberry, cherry, eucalyptus, lavender, warm baking spice, vanilla; lots of red fruit entering the palate giving way to dusty earth and dried herbs, youthful dusty tannins with medium+ acidity, long finish; all the rustic qualities of Sangiovese with a Washington terroir twist, enjoy it now.
Overall these wines are highly approachable, a good value, and ready to drink now.
These wines are distributed in the US and available at the Maryhill Winery.
*Disclaimer: Wines were shared as media samples; all thoughts and opinions are my own.
My Song Selection:
Get your own bottle of Maryhill wine and let me know what song you pair with it. Cheers!