My wonderful lady friend and I discovered some fantastic spots in Up Town Vancouver recently. Well, we have known of them for awhile, and they are some favorites, but maybe others don't know of them.
North of downtown Vancouver (Known as Uptown) is home to many small businesses which focus on local goods and services. All are very connected with their local community and business network.
We first hit up Fouresse, a local small business that specializes in infused balsamics, olive oils, and also has wonderful varieties of sea salts, loose leaf teas, and soup mixes. I am one for some fancy cooking and wine/beer pairing, and this is a great place to start. I use only olive oil primarily when cooking with oils and/or butters... and this place was like a candy store to a young sugar-hungry kid to me. Seriously quality stuff, and you can taste just about everything in there.
After that, we hit up Mint Tea, which is a wonderful coffee/tea/food/atmosphere kind of joint for an art show and free wine tasting. The art was that of Abby Harris, and some wonderful new talent was present for music. An angel of a girl just graduating High School soon sang like a classic soul artist and blew everyone away in the place. Mint Tea's food is amazing and of the best local, pure, organic quality and is prepared with great care. The art displayed was wonderful, and I believe it was liked so much that more than a couple were sold. It was a lovely evening, and the wine tasting from Columbia Gorge Winery/ Klickitat was stellar. This wine is all organic, and actually fermented in oak barrels. I will go into the oaks and spears later with the tasting at Gouger Cellars Winery. The wine was delicious and Hanna was very friendly in explaining the processes and knew very well what was up. I like that in someone who is serving a product. I look forward to the Mash Fest Homebrew event tomorrow at Mint Tea.
Then came a Winery that I have heard many great things about, and learned previously that Gary Gouger is one of the better wine makers around. He knows his science, and achieved a degree in wine making from Australia, and he as well holds many other achievements. A smart, intuitive, and gracious man for sure. He kept the tasting room open an hour longer than planned for our stay along with other patrons. He was happy to share his education, his art, passion, and science in the art of wine making. The wine I had there was among the best I have ever had, and I immediately became a club member and plan on obtaining a lot of wine from Gouger' Cellars Winery.
Gary Gouger plans on moving his production facility to Ridgefield, WA and move the tasting room to Uptown Vancouver on Main St. This is a brilliant move and his wine is so amazing that I think he can do whatever he wants really. A true master at his craft... I can't explain enough and am certainly no master myself, but as I have taken a dive into reds and other wines lately... I have found his to be just my taste as it is his. Get there and seriously try the wine. Talk to Gary. You will not experience such a thing, and the current site won't be around for much longer as the expansion will take place.
Also be sure to check out another fantastic new winery and cellar, Burnt Bridge Cellars in Vancouver as well. Vancouver is popping with new breweries and wineries with the likes of Mt. Tabor Brewing, Loowit Brewing, Heathen Brewing and more. Salmon Creek Brewery and Pub has re-opened right next door to the famous By The Bottle, and Washougal and Camas are home now to new breweries and bottle shops. A Beer At A Time is a fantastic bottle shop and taproom in Washougal with near future plans to open Beacon Rock Brewery. Washougal Brewing is in the works as well while Amnesia Brewing completes the finishing touches to their production facility and tasting room in Washougal. Things are happening around here, and I think it is wonderful. I really love being in the heart of an up and coming community of small business owners working so hard, wearing their fingers down to the bone to create such an amazing culture of creativity, friendliness, and craft. All you have to do is Google the names to get more info. A lot of establishments are using Facebook now to promote.
I am just loving the experiences and people here in Vancouver since I have moved up here from Portland a couple of years ago. The great people and hard working business owners have taught me a lot, and I want to continue learning and experiencing the business, hardships, and great fun Vancouver/Camas/Washougal has to offer.
I would like to reassure people that this blog is strictly a non-monetary venture. It's a hobby of mine, and I thoroughly enjoy the art, the craft, the people, and the beer. That's it! I want to help promote local business and good people. That in itself is fulfilling and makes me happy. I will continue to spread the good word. This has all been very educational for me, and a big part of this blog has been the experiences for me. Thanks to all those that play fair, and are kind to their neighbor. That's where it's at.
Come to Vancouver, and experience this entirely new variety of brews and wines. You won't meet better people anywhere else.