Out in the rolling hills of Ridgefield, where the Columbia River flows by on its way to the Pacific Ocean, hundreds of locals are discovering the power of the region’s dirt. Full of rock and clay, the reputation of the soils of the region hasn’t been a good one. That is all changing, thanks to the work of the Three Brothers Vineyard and Winery, The winery has transformed the area into a sought-after destination for wine enthusiasts from all over the country. Offering incredible wines, beautiful indoor and outdoor facilities, and friendly staff and owners, the Three Brothers Vineyard and Winery should be added to your weekend adventures in Clark County.
Dan Anderson is the wine maker and vineyard manager at Three Brothers Vineyard and Winery. He started making wine in 1990, buying grapes from a retired medical doctor out in Banks, Oregon. Initially, he only made wine for his friends and family, creating a unique gift to give and a lifelong hobby to enjoy. After many attempts, Dan became quite good, impressing his friends and family with his wines.
“We used to have blind tasting parties for friends who would bring whatever wine they wanted for the group to taste,” Dan shares. “Our wine often won these blind tastings and gave me the confidence that we were on the right track.”
It was then that Dan got even more serious and started his own winery. In the mid-1990s, the regional pioneer of the local wine industry was shutting down “Salishan” and there was a market that needed filling. He decided to get more land and open his own winery, naming it “Three Brothers” even though Dan didn’t have even one — let alone three — brother. Instead, he named it for his three sons — now ages 17, 20 and 22 — who have all worked in some capacity for the winery over the past few years.
Since Dan planted his grapes and opened the doors to Three Brothers commercially, 11 years have passed. In that time, thanks in part to Dan’s wines, Ridgefield has become the hub of the local vineyard and wine-making marketplace. With soil said to be “just bad enough,” the grapes grown around Ridgefield make great wine. Ridgefield has rocky, clay soil, forcing the grapes, according to Dan, to struggle to survive, concentrating their sugar and flavors. The soils have also made the region quite popular.
“The rural setting for the vineyard/winery is ideal, with the population base of Vancouver and Portland being so close to our operations,” Dan says. “A couple of new vineyard/wineries have recently started up, and that will only make Ridgefield more of a destination for the wine tasting and drinking market.”
When Three Brothers Vineyard and Winery first opened in 2006, they only had a total of five wines on their entire list. Even with only a handful of options, the reviews were great, and people from all over the region seemed to really like what they were making. Today, the winery has over 20 wines available, with one of the favorites being their Tempranillo. According to Dan, who is the wine expert at Three Brothers, Tempranillo is a black grape grown in areas similar to Ridgefield’s climate. In the United States it has been planted in much more arid climates. The Tempranillo grapes from the Three Brothers property are full of juice and make wonderful wines that have guests returning for bottle after bottle.
Three Brothers is more than just delicious wines. It is also home to incredible events year- round, including a summer concert series that people love to attend. In recent years, it is common to have 700+ people listen to music, drink wine and enjoy the picturesque scenery at the vineyard. In 2018, the concert series will feature very popular tribute bands – Stone In Love (Journey), Petty Fever (Tom Petty) and Eagle Eyes (Eagles). Sitting, drinking wine and eating food, and visiting this place over the summer sounds like the perfect day.
Able to host company and family events in the winery’s large, outdoor landscaped areas and patios makes this a perfect destination year round. Seasonal events are hosted throughout the year, while the winery also hosts a small amount of weddings when requested. New to the winery is a recently opened food service area called “The Old Operations Room.” Here, visitors can eat pizza, sandwiches and appetizers while tasting wine and watching games on big screen televisions.
If you haven’t visited Three Brothers Vineyard and Winery, let Dan give you one more reason to make plans to head to Ridgefield. “When visitors come to Three Brothers Vineyard and Winery, they will find a friendly and professional tasting staff with a large array of wines available to purchase and a wide range of wines to taste. We have some wonderful areas to enjoy the wines with large outdoors areas in the summer, and the Old Operations Room and covered patios in the cooler months. We have been very fortunate to win some major wine awards through the years and have coined the phrase that we offer ‘World Class – Local Wines.’”
Three Brothers Wineries & Estates
2411 NE 244th St