|Sep. 20th, 2010|
Winery Review: Maryhill Winery in Goldendale, Washington
|Wineries in Washington:
Situated on the edge of a cliff overlooking the spectacular Columbia River Gorge with majestic Mt. Hood in the distance, Maryhill Winery serves as an inspiration to wine lovers
. Beyond stunning views, it offers an impressive portfolio of wines and a 10-year success story that has earned Maryhill countless accolades, including being named “2009 Washington Winery
of the Year” by Wine Press Northwest and “Best Destination Winery” by Seattle Magazine.
Maryhill Winery was founded in 1999 by Craig and Vicki Leuthold, a successful business couple from Spokane. “We always had a passion for wine, and we wanted to take that to a different level,” Craig explains. By applying their business knowledge, hard work, and determination, the winery has soared beyond all original expectations. In just a decade, Maryhill Winery has grown from a modest production of 4,300 cases to more than 80,000 cases today, making it the state’s 15th largest winery.
To what do the Leutholds owe their success? For one thing, Maryhill contracts with some of the most sought-after grape growers throughout the Columbia Valley and lower Columbia Gorge and sources a wide variety of grapes. Maryhill produces 28 wines, including 23 varietals, showcasing the breadth of wines the state of Washington has to offer. Additionally, the wines are price-sensitive—most range from $10 to $20 per bottle. And finally, the wines are marvelous. In its short history, Maryhill has won hundreds of medals and awards. Recently, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate writer Dr. Jay Miller awarded seven Maryhill wines scores of 89 or above, declaring, “Based on this superb and well-priced portfolio of wines, Maryhill Winery merits serious attention.”
Winemaker Richard Batchelor, who joined Maryhill last fall, has his work cut out for him. But, after five harvests as head winemaker at Hall Winery in St. Helena, California, he’s certainly up to the task. “The chance to continue the successful line of amazing wine produced here is an amazing opportunity,” Richard says.
The winery grounds are equally amazing. Strategically designed to celebrate the view, Maryhill is a true destination winery. The 3,000-square-foot tasting room boasts an exquisite 20-by-12-foot Brunswick Bar, quarter-sawn from Tiger Oak in the early 1900s. There’s a fireplace to cozy up to, or guests may prefer to meander outside under the covered arbor and enjoy the picnic grounds. Not far away, a 4,000-seat amphitheater built into an existing slope awaits the winery’s next headliner concert. Each summer, Maryhill hosts an impressive lineup of concerts, which this year includes Train; Natalie Merchant; Lyle Lovett; Jackson Browne; and Earth, Wind & Fire.
Beyond wine and music, Maryhill Winery
hopes its more than 75,000 guests each year will appreciate the preciousness of the nature that surrounds them. In 2009, The National Geographic Society’s Center for Sustainable Destinations, which recently released its annual scorecard of the world’s most precious places, rated the Columbia River Gorge sixth internationally and second in North America among sustainable destinations. Wine lovers can enjoy Maryhill’s marvelous wines with the knowledge that the winery is a dedicated steward of the exceptional land it calls home.
WHAT TO BUY
‘08 Winemaker’s Red Caramel, dark berry, cherry, smoke, lilac, cranberry, coffee, chocolate $14
‘08 Pinot Gris Crisp Anjou pear, honey, green apple $14
‘08 Viognier Honeysuckle, jasmine, green apple, crunchy pear, vanilla, honey, hint of oak $15
‘07 Classic Zinfandel Cane berries, cherries, black pepper, clove, chocolate, creamy vanilla, toasted meringue $22
9774 Hwy 14
Goldendale, WA 98620
Tasting Room Open Daily 10–6
Directions can be found on the website or by calling the winery.