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An Oregon Coast Wine Sampler

(Oregon Coast) - It's a sure sign the Oregon coast is no longer a rugged place. Sipping your way down the Oregon coast has become so huge it's now hard to imagine the region without a glass of vino being close at hand.

From the exploding industry of wine bars on the coast, to its plethora of wine shops, here is a sampler of Oregon coast wine possibilities.

Cellar on 10th – Astoria. This is one colossal and rather famous wine shop on the coast, which often snags national accolades. 1004 Marine Drive. Astoria. (503) 325-6600.

The Wine Haus – Seaside. Aside from an already huge selection of domestic and imported wines, they ship to you as well. There’s a wine tasting bar – which is also useful for nipping at one of their several hundred brands of fine beers. They host periodic events once a week, which you can find at They also have an unusual offer that if you buy 100 different brands of beers, they will host a party with your drinking your favorite beer from their special yard glass. Suite 200, 1111 N Roosevelt, Seaside. (877) 841-8132.

The Wine Shack – Cannon Beach. This Canon Beach stalwart is enjoying nearly 30 years of bringing the fine, fruited nectar to the North Coast. Every Sunday, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., it's wine tasting from bottles from around the world. There's a large selection of Oregon and Northwest wines as well as rare vintages from Bordeaux, Australia, California and Italy. Owners Dean and Pat Reiman like to brag that The Wine Shack was named one of the top 50 wine shops in the U.S. by GQ Magazine. Next to the Coaster Theater, Cannon Beach. 800-787-1765.

Surfcrest Market - Cannon Beach. Are you thinking this is JUST a little convenient store? You’re half right: it is quite convenient. But peruse its sizable wine selection, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. They periodically host wine tasting events. 3140 S Hemlock, Cannon Beach. 503-436-1189.

Nehalem Bay Winery – Nehalem. Perhaps the flagship of local nuttiness is at the Nehalem Bay Winery, just a mile up Highway 53 from the 101 junction. Here, it resembles parts of France or Germany’s Black Forest, sitting in the middle of lush pastures, small mountains and thick forests. The winery even looks a bit like an old, rustic European home from some angles. But inside the tasting room, it’s tie-dye t-shirts over dress attire for employees. The décor boasts everything from local history and comic pictures to images of Ken Kesey scrawled on the walls.

After all, it’s here where Kesey sometimes showed up to read his works, hang out or just show off the Further bus. And it’s here where big pig roasts and music festivals break the mold of most any winery you’ll find in Oregon. There is also the Depoe Bay Winery, in Depoe Bay. 34965 Highway 53. 888-368-9463.

Wine And Romance – Gleneden Beach (just south of Lincoln City). A tiny little shop in the midst of The Shops at Salishan belies its size with the plethora of treasures for the romancer to be found. At Wine & Romance, old B&W movies play on a TV in the background, setting a classic yet fun atmosphere that's conducive to making the right find for that relevant other. Wine in a large array of brands and varieties, lovely gifts, Moonstruck Chocolates and gift baskets occupy this nifty little spot that will charm you. Some wines are occasionally featured, providing the opportunity for wine tasting of these brands. Gleneden Beach. (541) 764-0238.

Anne Amie Vineyards – Carlton (and Lincoln City). This vineyard also has a store outlet in Lincoln City.

Formerly known as Chateau Benoit Winery, Anne Amie is named after the daughters of new owner Dr. Robert Pamplin (owner of The Portland Tribune and radio station KPAM AM-860). The main vineyard is in the Carlton area, with a few others scattered around Oregon wine country, and there's a retail outlet at the Factory Stores at Lincoln City.

When Pamplin took over in 1999, he brought in winemaker Scott Huffman, who in turn brought in new grapes. Now, they have a Pinot Noir that is fruit-driven, with "fine tannins and perfect balance," as they put it.

Their estate includes a 16-acre Pinot Noir vineyard and an 11-acre Riesling that was planted in 1979. Other sites are in the Newberg area, with densely planted clones of Pinot Noir, including 777, 115 and Pommard, as well as Pinot Gris, composed of Jory soil. 6580 NE Mineral Springs Road, Carlton. 800-248-4835. Lincoln City store: 541-996-3981.

View from Flying Dutchman

Flying Dutchman Winery – Otter Rock. Overlooking the ruffian waters of the Devil's Punchbowl, near Newport, the Flying Dutchman is the only working winery on Oregon's coast. While grapes will not mature in the wet coastal environment, the Dutchman utilizes vineyards in the Willamette Valley, then hauls them over the coast range to be crushed and aged. All this is done by hand with old-style, hand-cranked machinery. On the average, they crush about 16 tons of grapes a year - which leaves them maxed out for room. Thus, their award-winning vino is only available at this outlet and on their website.

In their tasting room, you can see the barrels in the back. Their picnic area, behind the tasting room, overlooks the stunning seas and oceanic drama of the area. It's a unique place, in a very unique spot on the coast.

The Flying Dutchman Winery is open every day of the year. Summer hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (541) 765-2553.

Depoe Bay Winery (see Nehalem Bay Winery listing) - on 101, Depoe Bay.

Blu Cork Wine Bar - Newport. Legendary at less than a year old, Blu Cork features some of the most impressive gourmet food you’ll find on the entire coast, as well as a large selection of wines in an atmosphere that’s unforgettably cozy and fun. Plus, their weekend live music shows are now quite famous for the innovative combo of jazz, folk and alternative rock. This place is constantly breaking new ground on the Oregon coast. 613 SW Third Street, Newport. 541-265-2257. See their live music schedule here.

Village Market & Deli – Newport. Gleaming and resplendent is the fare at this sleek bistro-style eatery in the middle of history-smothered Nye Beach. With a partial ocean view to accompany this culinary adventure, it is still a bit of a hidden secret in this intricate and charming section of Newport that is itself a little off the beaten path. It specializes in fine food and a "small but proud" wine shop. The bistro-like spotlights their fine wines and a truly impressive selection of local and international beers. From Chimay (the good stuff brewed by Trappist monks) to delicious new finds like Central Coasters Siletz Brewing Company (try their Red Head Ale or any of their other, wonderful dark beers). 741 NW Third, Newport. 541-574-9393.

Nye Beach Gallery – Newport. Wine and art together – how can you go wrong? A small but impressive wine shop augments this Nye Beach beauty. There’s a free wine tasting session every Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., which often features some ecstasy-inducing cheeses. 715 NW Third, Newport. (541) 265-3292.

Swafford’s Champagne Patio – Newport. Fine dining, a huge array of wines – and recently they put in a wine bar. 1630 NW Coast Highway. (541) 265-3044.

The Wine Place – Yachats. This slightly quirky little gem spotlights a variety of Oregon wines, as well as choice selections from Europe, South America, Australia and New Zealand – all with a bit of a sense of humor. Prices range from $6 to $60. Owner Carrie Yano likes to host interesting wine tasting sessions each Saturday, often with off-kilter themes. It’s a delightful, informative and cozy place. Hwy. 101 and W. Fourth St. (next to the Joes' Town Center Cafe). (541) 547-5275.

View at Yachats

Their April schedule:

- Sat. April 8, 1 to 4 p.m., South American wines. Break out the sunscreen. The Wine Place goes south for this free tasting featuring recent finds from Chile and Argentina. Yano offers complimentary tastes all afternoon.

- Sat. April 15, 1 to 4 p.m., Lorelli Wines. Meet Rich Lorelli, owner and winemaker of Lorelli Wines, located in southern Oregon's Applegate Valley. A viticulturist for 20 years, Lorelli will pour his top picks, as well as share wine tales and insider insights.

- Sat., April 22, 1 to 4 p.m., Saginaw Vineyards. It's Earth Day and The Wine Place celebrates with locally grown and crafted wines from Saginaw Vineyards of Cottage Grove, Oregon. Wine rep Darryl Smith will pour samples of Saginaw's new vintage pinot noirs and other top selections. Always earth and eco-conscious, The Wine Place makes every effort to re-use shipping products. Please bring in your wine club cardboard shipping boxes with the inserts, plus wine bags and wine carriers (even if they came from another store).

- Sat. April 29, 1 to 4 p.m., Mystery in a Bottle, or “What's That You're Dinking?” Step out on a vine. Dare to drink mysterious and unfamiliar varieties. The Vino Vixen (Yano) takes a walk on the wild side with tastes of Huxelrebe, Marechal Foch, Lemberger and other surprises.


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