Review: English Estates Winery

February 2, 2012

A few weeks ago, my husband Burtle and I took a drive on a very rainy Saturday and sent to English Estates Winery in Vancouver, WA. This was the last of the Clark County wineries that we had not gone to, and yet it was the first one in the area.

English Estates Winery is next door to a rock quarry named the English plant, so English is actually more a neighborhood name than referring to the United Kingdom. The winery does grow some of their own grapes, though the city is starting to encroach.

They have a barn in which they have worked on, expanded, and set up the formation and tasting room. The tasting room impressed Burtle so much that he called it the best tasting room he had ever been in. Color wise, it was done up in mustard colors, kind of Tuscan, but it had exposed wood beams, and an area with a fireplace and winged back chairs to give it an English feel. It was very cozy. Being an older building, the concrete floor did slope a little, but when the built the bar, they built the bar level despite the floor. It does give a little bit of an optical illusion.

English Estates Winery is very different when it comes to their wine, so it isn’t like 99% of other wineries in the area. When we went, they had three white wines, a Monte Carlo, Moscato, and a Friday Night Blush. The last two were sweet. They specialize in pinot noir and pinot noir blends, and they don’t put the pinot noir in oak barrels. It kind of left for a softer red wine, though maybe a little less flavorful than I’m used to (unsure if that is pinot or the lack of oak, since both are rare for me). They also have a large selection of eight fortified nectars, where they take a wine, add back in some brandy to stabilize the wine. This higher level of alcohol allows them to add back in sugar without fear of the yeast eating the sugar. They had flavors like Moscato, pinot noir, and raspberry. Some are sweet, and some are semi-sweet.

Last of all, English Estates Winery offers their wines in the traditional 750 mL bottle, or a 3 L bag in a box (BIBB). The bag option is becoming more popular, as you can pour yourself a glass without having air enter the package. This means that you can drink from it indefinitely without spoilage, unlike normal wine bottles.

Overall, I was impressed. While they aren’t really near the other wineries in the county, they offer something different and unique, and for those reasons I recommend visiting them.

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