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Maryhill Winery: A Washington Winner

Photo by Andrea Johnson courtesy Maryhill Winery

One of the best things about living in Portland is its proximity to everything. You’re never more than a day trip away from something cool. In this case, one of the largest and most visited wineries in Washington State, Maryhill Winery, is an easy drive from Portland — less than two hours away through the scenic Columbia River Gorge. 

A Destination Winery

Maryhill Winery started as a simple dream, back in 1999, in the minds of Craig and Vicki Leuthold, who turned to the world of wine as a way to escape their corporate shackles. “We always had a passion for wine, and we wanted to take that to a different level. We knew Washington was on the cusp of greatness, and everyone we met in the industry was so wonderful. That excited us, and we knew we wanted to become involved in it,” explained Craig Leuthold to Wine Press Northwest in 2015.

Opened to the public in May 2001, Maryhill Winery was, at the time, one of only 100 wineries in the state. Today, there are more than 800 wineries currently producing wine in Washington State.

But Craig and Vicki were always dedicated to the idea of creating a true destination winery. Maryhill now produces more than 90,000 cases of 50 different award-winning varietals and blends and welcomes more than 80,000 visitors per year to explore its 3,000-square-foot tasting room, vine-covered arbor and private courtyard, world-class bocce courts, picnic grounds, and the adjacent 4,000-seat amphitheater. It’s also home to a 1,500+ member wine club.

Besides the great wine and stunning panoramic views of the second largest river in North America, the Columbia, and magnificent Mt. Hood, Maryhill hosts a summer concert series each year at the winery attracting big name acts the likes of Willie Nelson, Peter Frampton, Buddy Guy, Counting Crows, Styx, Hall and Oates, The Wallflowers and more.

It’s All About the Wine

Earning more than 1,000 wine competition medals in its first 14 years, Maryhill Winery is a force to be reckoned with. Recently chosen as Wine Press Northwest’s 2015 Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year and awarded San Francisco International Wine Competition’s 2014 Winery of the Year, Maryhill works closely with select growing partners, sourcing only the best from the region in order to produce wines that showcase its rich, diverse flavor profiles.

The winery itself sits atop basalt cliffs in what has been dubbed the “Mediterranean of the Northwest,” because of its warm summer days, cool nights and moderate winters, and overlooking Gunkel Family Vineyards (one of the state's oldest and most established vineyards) one of several trusted vineyards from which the Leutholds source grapes to make their award-winning wines.  Some of these include: Barbera, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Malbec, Merlot, Muscat Canelli, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Viognier, Zinfandel and four Port varietals. 

The Leutholds believe that the “warm climate, Walla Walla silt loam soil resting on remnants of the Missoula flood, and steady breezes, make it an ideal site for growing wine grapes.”

It’s also an ideal site to spend the day.

To learn more about Maryhill, or shop for wine, visit www.maryhillwinery.com.