Washington’s Frontier Winemakers Are Forging the Next Willamette Valley


Underwood Mountain rises into view on the Washington side of one of the Pacific Northwest’s most iconic landscapes: the Columbia River Gorge, a playground for windsurfers, hikers, skiers, and those in search of one of the prettiest drives in America.

If Thane Hawkins has his way, this mountain and gorge will soon be as big a draw for another kind of activity: wine tasting. He’s so convinced he’s started growing grapes on Underwood Mountain. Last fall, his Hawkins Cellars winery opened a tasting room and patio in Underwood with epic views of Mount Hood. If he and a handful of neighbors succeed, they’ll put an otherwise obscure region on the map, and offer a welcome respite to the often traffic-choked interstates that deliver wine lovers from Portland to the Willamette Valley. But wine is a competitive business, and finding a way to rise above the noise won’t be easy.

“We all have the same goal, which is to sell more wine, to get more people up here,” Hawkins says. “The key is just to put the bug in people’s ear to come to the Gorge. We’re a really convenient stop from Hood River.” Thane Hawkins. For the Full Article click here VINEPAIR

Article by Vinepair.com Published: January 4, 2018