by Tim Hansen
In recent years, the Northwest has become a world-renowned winemaking region. The climate and soils of the area produce a wide variety of excellent grapes and the number of wineries in the region has grown substantially over the past few decades. Boasting picturesque locations and warm hospitality, the region’s wineries have become celebrated destinations for wine-tasting. Many of them welcome meetings and events to their facilities. Here are several wineries you should consider for your next event.
CAVE B ESTATE WINERY & RESORT
Perched on a high plateau overlooking the Columbia River, Cave B is a working estate winery offering a rich experience in central Washington State. You will find lodging, dining, meeting spaces, activities and jaw-dropping views. Cave B offers meeting planners all they need to conduct a productive meeting or stage a spectacular event
With 4,800 square feet of conference facilities and three conference rooms, the winery can accommodate groups from 10 to 150. Soaring 20-foot ceilings and a balcony with panoramic views provides a dramatic ambience for groups in the Estate Room. The room holds up to 100 for a conference or presentation and 150 for a banquet.
The Cordon Room, with warm, inviting décor and fine views of the Columbia River Gorge, is ideal for a meeting with 25 guests or dining for 40. The Petite Cordon Room, accommodating up to 16 guests, is suitable for an intimate retreat or a breakout session. Several outdoor spaces are perfect for a reception or dining during the warm summer months. Surrounded by grape vine trellises, the Piazza offers a wine-country setting for up to 150 guests. On-site catering is available for any function, and the resort provides complimentary WiFi.
With 55 guest rooms, Cave B offers planners the opportunity to create a multi-day event and gives attendees the option of extending their stay. Guests can choose from a fully-appointed room at the Inn, one of the Cavern rooms that include a cave-like entry or a rustic, yet luxurious Desert Yurt. Visitors can relax and recharge at the Spa at Cave B Resort or enjoy the cuisine at Tendrils Restaurant.
For group team building or post-conference fun, the staff at Cave B can provide a variety of activities. Guided trail hikes, scavenger hunts, kayak races in the pool, game nights and a low-impact challenge course will provide just the right activity for your group. Wine-related activities include a wine tasting session, wine blending and vineyard tours.
Cave B is located in Quincy, Washington, midway between Seattle and Spokane. It is about 45 minutes from Ellensburg and about two and a half hours from Seattle.
An interior awash with the vibrant colors of fused-glass art creations gives Barnard Griffin winery an art-gallery ambience. This is the only winery in the world that contains an artisan glass studio within the winery. Barnard Griffin offers more than 15 of their award-winning varietals in the stunning tasting room. Located in Richland, Washington near the confluence of the Yakima, Columbia and Snake Rivers, Barnard Griffin lies in the heart of one of Washington’s best wine-growing regions.
Barnard Griffin has several spaces that can facilitate groups. Indoor areas include the banquet room, a flexible space that can accommodate 75 seated or 100 for a reception. With complimentary WiFi and a variety of set-up options, the room is suitable for business meetings, corporate retreats, seminars and banquets. The on-site restaurant offers a full menu of catering options.
The banquet room opens onto the similar-sized tasting room allowing for larger groups in the combined space. The restaurant dining room can accommodate as many as 70 for a banquet or private event. Outdoor spaces include the patio that holds up to 125 and the gazebo that is suitable for smaller gatherings.
For a fun activity to accompany an event, your group members can create their own works of fused-glass art while sampling the artisan wines. Classes in fused-glass art creation are offered for participants of any skill level.
CHATEAU STE. MICHELLE
The essence of Chateau Ste. Michelle is reflected in the historic mansion reminiscent of a French chateau. Old-world architecture set on 105 wooded acres makes a visit to the winery a classical experience. Only 20 miles from Seattle, Chateau Ste. Michelle has consistently been recognized as one of the top wineries in the U.S.
Chateau Ste. Michelle can accommodate meetings and events of all types. The Banquet Room, located in the Chateau, includes a barrel-vaulted ceiling, large fireplace and displays of original artwork. It can accommodate 200 seated guests or 250 for a reception. The warm, inviting space will enable your group to have a productive conference or an elegant banquet. WiFi is available, and the culinary team will create cuisine to complement your event.
Original glass art creations by Dale Chihuly decorate the Manor House, a sophisticated venue that seats up to 60 theater-style. Additional spaces include the Chateau’s intimate lobby, suitable for smaller gatherings, and the Barrel Room. Filled with oak aging barrels, the Barrel Room, located adjacent to the winery’s Tasting Room, is ideal for a private after-hours reception.
Sokol Blosser Winery was one of the pioneers of the Oregon Wine Industry with vines first planted in 1971. Over the decades, the forested Dundee Hills have provided a picturesque backdrop for the vineyards and tasting room of the winery. The new Tasting Room provides spaces for meetings and events in a relaxed atmosphere.
The chic, modern room, with plush seating and original art on the walls, has a welcoming ambiance and a variety of spaces for groups. The winery offers meeting spaces for up to 20 at a single table, private rooms for small meetings and larger spaces that can accommodate up to 40 guests. Whether it is an intimate retreat, a small conference or a special dinner, Sokol Blosser can provide the needed space.
The manicured grounds overlooking the vineyards provide room for outdoor gatherings during the warmer months. Sokol Blosser is located near Dayton, Oregon, about 30 miles southwest of Portland. The proximity to Portland makes the winery a superb location for group excursions from the city.
The rolling hills of the southern tip of the Willamette Valley are home to one of the world’s largest organic vineyards. Overlooking more than a thousand acres of vines, along with fields of lavender, organic orchards and gardens, the King Estate can be the setting for a memorable conference, banquet or corporate gathering.
The estate is impressive. Large underground barrel rooms house French oak barrels; two wings of the facility are filled with stainless steel fermentation tanks, and the elegant tasting room gives guests the opportunity to immerse themselves in the wine experience. Tours of the winery give insight into the history and winemaking practices of the winery.
The indoor space includes the large Vineyard Pavilion that can accommodate a reception for 400, the Conference and Event Room with a seated capacity of 50 and the Private Dining room that can accommodate 25 guests. Both rooms are ideal for small conferences and private corporate events.
The South Terrace, an outdoor space, provides room for as many as 400. The King Estate Restaurant offers gourmet meals made with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. The restaurant provides on-site catering for your event. Audiovisual equipment and WiFi are available.
King Estate is located in the foothills of the Coast Range about 20 miles southwest of downtown Eugene. The easy access from Eugene allows groups to include the winery as an addition to any Eugene conference or event.
WILLAMETTE VALLEY VINEYARDS
World-class Pinot Noir and sweeping views across the fertile Willamette Valley wine region make the Estate Vineyard, home of Willamette Valley Vineyards, a coveted destination for wine enthusiasts. The sophisticated décor of the Estate Tasting Room provides an elegant atmosphere to sample some of Oregon’s most famous wines. Willamette Valley Vineyards has a variety of multi-functional spaces for events of all types.
With a theater-style capacity of 150, the 1,600 square-foot Founders’ Room features a cozy fireplace and eye-catching views of the vineyards. The room can accommodate any type of event from an intimate dinner to a large party. The Pinot Room, with views overseeing the wine production facility, is ideal for an intimate meeting or small banquet of up to 40.
The Barrel Room, with Oak Barrels lining the walls, can seat up to 200 and opens onto The Courtyard, offering groups an indoor-outdoor combination. Additional rooms, with occupancy from 30 to 75, provide spaces for small meetings and intimate dinners. With special arrangements, groups up 20 can book a special tasting and tour led by one of the winery’s Tasting Room Associates. On-site catering is available.
Outdoor spaces include The Lawns, a well-manicured space with breathtaking views, and The Courtyard, adjacent to The Barrel Room. The outdoor areas provide space for gatherings of up to 200.
The Willamette Valley Vineyards are found along I-5 about 10 miles south of Salem, Oregon. The location is an easy one-hour drive from Portland.
ELK COVE VINEYARDS
Views of the estate vineyards and Oregon’s Coast Range, combined with a contemporary tasting room highlight a visit to Elk Cove Vineyards. Named for the herd of Roosevelt elk that once frequented the area, the historic property has blossomed over the decades from an overgrown homestead to a modern winery. The winery is an attractive space for meetings, retreats or special events.
The Roosevelt Room is suitable for corporate events, meetings, conferences and banquet. The room features a full catering kitchen, Italian-tiled floors and French doors that open onto an expansive deck. With 2,500 square feet of space, the room can accommodate up to 120 seated guests or a 150-person reception. The room is an attractive space for a small conference, corporate retreat of special event. For outdoor events, the gazebo and landscaped terraces offer a variety of options.
One of the most picturesque settings in Oregon’s wine country, the facility is located about 45 minutes west of Portland. The location makes Elk Cove an appealing option as a get-away-from-the-city retreat for groups from the Portland area.
TELAYA WINE COMPANY
Garden City, Idaho
A picturesque setting along the Boise River is the home of Telaya Winery. This family-run winery focuses on producing hand-crafted wines from grapes grown nearby in the Columbia and Snake River Valleys.
The winery has a variety of spaces suitable for meetings and events. The Tasting room, with space for between 100 and 150, is available after-hours for a reception or private event. The Production Space provides an interesting backdrop for a meeting, seminar or sit-down dinner. Oak barrels, filled with aging wine add a rustic ambience to any event. The space can accommodate a gathering of up to 150 guests. The Teton Room, located on the winery’s second floor, offers space for 35 guests. With a private setting and views of the grounds, this room can accommodate a corporate retreat, planning session or training.
The winery’s location, next door to Boise’s Riverside Hotel, provides groups that are meeting at the Riverside the option to utilize the winery for a breakout session or reception. Groups meeting at the winery will find an abundance of overnight options at the hotel.
Telaya is located about two miles from downtown Boise and eight miles from Boise Airport.
LINDSAY CREEK VINEYARDS
Located on a sun-drenched ridge above the Snake and Clearwater Rivers, Lindsay Creek Vineyard is a family-run establishment surrounded by wheat fields in Idaho’s Lewis-Clark Valley. The quiet, rural setting is close to Lewiston but enjoys solitude.
The expansive tasting room opens to a pergola-covered patio. Shaded by fast-growing hop vines, the patio offers a cool respite in the summer heat. The production space serves as an event space with a capacity of 400 guests. The expansive lawn area is ideal for a warm-weather reception.
Lindsay Creek is committed to offering premium wines, open space and good times. The tasting room serves a variety of small plates to accompany the tastings. Located next to the nearby wheat fields, a bocce court is laid out on crushed Puget Sound oyster shells. This ancient Italian sport offers a fun diversion for any group.
While it has a pastoral ambience, Lindsay Creek Vineyards is easy to reach. It is located only a mile and a half outside the city of Lewiston and offers an ideal diversion for groups meeting in the Lewiston-Clarkson area.
MONTANA WINERY AND EVENT CENTER
With a hint of French style on the outskirts of Missoula, the Montana Winery and Event Center offers a distinctive venue for a gathering. The modern no-frills style and lively décor create a welcoming atmosphere.
The winery’s tasting room doubles as an event center. The 3,000 square-foot space has seating for more than 250 standing and a large stage. The Event Center regularly hosts musical performances of all types. The space is also suitable for a seminar or business presentation. The dynamic room is also ideal for a banquet or special dinner event.
For groups meeting in Missoula, the Montana Winery offers the perfect spot for an off-site session or an excursion to relax and recharge after a day of meetings.