The Lodge at Columbia Point will play host to the Taste of Cascadia on Saturday in Richland. (Photo courtesy of The Lodge at Columbia Point)

The Lodge at Columbia Point will play host to the Taste of Cascadia on Saturday in Richland. (Photo courtesy of The Lodge at Columbia Point)

Event at posh new lodge gathers 20 winemakers who entered Cascadia contest

The event at new luxury hotel in Richland pays tribute to a wine industry visionary.

The Lodge at Columbia Point opened last summer in Richland and is poised to become the top wine country destination in Washington’s Columbia Valley.

Alas, the man with the vision, the patience and the skill to create the luxury riverfront hotel and spa near the Columbia River was not able to fully appreciate the fruits of his labor.The team left behind by the late Tom Drumheller, however, has created a special event to introduce wine lovers to The Lodge at Columbia Point and honor his legacy.

The event on Saturday is called The Taste of Cascadia. It runs from 1 to 4 p.m. and features 20 Northwest wineries and the people responsible for some of the top wines at this year’s Cascadia International Wine Competition in Richland.

“Tom Drumheller, our founder, had a passion for hospitality and wine, which is why we are excited to be hosting the Taste of Cascadia event to showcase several of the wines that won honors at the prestigious Cascadia International Wine Competition,” said Wendy Higgins, general manager of The Lodge at Columbia Point. “Many of the winners are our wine partners.”

The Walla Walla Vintners 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon received the Tom Drumheller Memorial Award as the top wine produced by a Walla Walla winery. Drumheller, a beloved leader in the Northwest hospitality industry and a Walla Walla native, died of cancer on Sept. 17, 2017 — just days after he opened The Lodge at Columbia Point.

Among those winemakers making the trip from beyond the Columbia Valley to present their award-winning wines on Saturday is Ariel Eberle, head winemaker at Yamhill Valley Vineyards in McMinnville, Oregon. Judges selected her 2017 Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir as the best rose of The Cascadia, and this fall will mark her 10th harvest at one of the Willamette Valley’s historic plantings.

Other wineries lined up to present their award-winners are Angel Vine, Portland; Barons Winery, Walla Walla; Brian Carter Cellars, Woodinville; Burnt Bridge Cellars, Vancouver; Clearwater Canyon Cellars, Lewiston, Idaho; Coeur de Terre Vineyard, McMinnville; Fletcher Bay Winery, Bainbridge Island; Hightower Cellars, Benton City; Lady Hill Winery, St. Paul, Oregon; Maryhill Winery, Goldendale; Obelisco Estate, Woodinville; Palencia Winery, Walla Walla; Schooler Nolan, Richland; Seven Falls Cellars, Paterson; Simpatico Cellars, Woodinville; Spangler Vineyards, Roseburg, Oregon; Vine 46, Lewiston, Idaho; Vino la Monarcha Winery, Kennewick; Walla Walla Vintners, Walla Walla; and Wit Cellars, Prosser.

The award for the best red wine of the 2018 Cascadia went to Maryhill Winery for its 2015 Elephant Mountain Vineyard Carménère. Growers of that wine — Joe Hattrup and James St. Clair — are scheduled to pour it for winemaker Richard Batchelor and share their thoughts about growing the obscure red Bordeaux grape in the Yakima Valley’s Rattlesnake Hills.

The Taste of Cascadia also will allow The Lodge at Columbia Point to showcase its emerging culinary program. Earlier this month, opened its restaurant — Drumheller’s Food & Drink. Just off the hotel lobby is Vine Wine & Craft Bar.

For a complete list of the wines being poured Saturday, visit the Facebook page for The Lodge at Columbia Point.

Andy Perdue and Eric Degerman run Great Northwest Wine, an award-winning media company. Learn more about wine at www.greatnorthwestwine.com.

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