Clark County, WA – Washington’s Unknown Wine Region

Columbia Valley.

Yakima Valley.

Walla Walla.

When you think Washington Wine, you obviously think of those areas…and for good reason. Some of the best wine comes from those areas.

What if I said “Clark County”? No. Not the one in Nevada that has a famous city where what happens there stays there. What about “Vancouver”. No. Not THAT Vancouver. Geez louise. Read your history books! The FIRST Vancouver. As in Hudson’s Bay Trading Company. Fort Vancouver.

NASCAR fans know it as the hometown of Greg Biffle. Basketball fans may have heard the name Dan Dickau. Yep. He’s from Vancouver as well. Sports not your style? Ever heard of Karen Kingsbury? She’s a Christian Author whose based in…you guessed it. Vancouver. Some guy by the name of Willie Nelson started his radio career here, as well. (Now, before you jump down my throat, YES! I know who Willie Nelson is!)

Vancouver, and Clark County as a whole, have long been overshadowed by Portland’s presence, since Portland is just across the Columbia River from Vancouver.

That overshadowing makes it a pain to travel. If you say Vancouver, they think BC. Say Washington, they think DC. Sometimes you can get away with saying, “Portland, Oregon”…but that’s not really true.

The overshadowing has also made it so that Clark County’s wine industry has been left to be known only to the locals, it seems like. Why?

Good question. Is it marketing? Is it awareness? Who knows. But finally, someone is trying to bring awareness to Clark County’s fledgling wine industry. The Port of Ridgefield, according to a June 9th article in The Columbian titled
Wine Fine for Ridgefield Port

…I’ll give you a moment to read the article…

Yes, Clark County only has an estimated 12 wineries, but we all have to start somewhere! I mean, honestly, the Willamette Valley started with a handful of wineries. So did all of Washington’s wine areas.

Some of my favorite local wineries? Oh boy…where do I start? I’ll take you on a quick tour, starting in Vancouver and working our way north.

Confluence Winery – Sourcing from some of Washington’s best vineyards, Confluence focuses mainly on reds. Tucked away about 3 miles west of the Clark County Fairgrounds, Confluence is a hidden gem! If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to not only taste what they have open, but also do some barrel tasting at the same time. That reminds me…on my next Saturday off, I should swing by there. 🙂

Rusty Grape – so now we’re in eastern-mid Clark County in the town of Battle Ground, the largest city in the northern half of the county. Rusty Grape has a broad lineup of wines that appeal to almost all palates. Oh, and did I mention they do movies on their lawn on Friday nights during the summer? And have wood-fired pizza nights? They are a fun place to go.

Three Brothers Winery – Now, we’re west of Battle Ground, near the town of Ridgefield. Three Brothers is another winery that has a broad lineup that appeals to everyone. In the summertime, they have concerts at their 15 acre vineyard. Curtis Saldago” concert, anyone?

So there you have it…a quick tour of Clark County’s wine country. I didn’t mention all of them. But I plan to. In time. Who knows…maybe this synopsis is just what I need to launch an “In My Backyard…” series with in-depth profiles of Clark County, WA wineries on this blog.

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