Archive for the ‘Washington Vacations’ Category

Washington Getaway: Cave B Inn

The travel bug began to stir when I read an article on living & buying real estate in Ireland linked from Marlow Harris’ Happy Saint Patrick’s Day post over at 360 Digest this morning. 

I did volunteer work in London for several months right after high school, and took as many side trips to Wales and Ireland as I could. As I read the article above, I started to miss how unattached and able to “get up and go” I was back then. But then I remember what I got in exchange for some of that freedom – a fantastic partner, a home, and a career I love. So in the spirit of compromise, I decided to begin gathering a list of destinations right here in Washington that I’d commit to visiting over the next year or two. The first in this series: Cave B Inn and Winery in Quincy, Washington. 

Cave B Inn, Quincy WAI first heard about Cave B about a year ago while tasting a few Columbia Valley reds at Everett’s Wicked Cellars (which, by the way, is the best wine cellar in the North Sound – expansive inventory and knowledgeable, friendly, unpretentious staff). Cave B is about 2.5 hours east of Bothell via I-90, literally right next door to the Gorge Amphitheater at George. Interestingly, Cave B has more in common with the Gorge than mere location, namely Vince and Carol Bryan of Seattle. The Bryans purchased what’s now known as the Gorge at George in the early 80’s, and are the current owners of Cave B. Though they sold the amphitheater in 1993, the Bryans remain stewards of “the Northwest’s first luxury wine resort.” (Travel Age West magazine, May 2006.) Considering the posh accomodations and the resort’s proximity to the Gorge, rumors of celebrity guests during the summer concert season come as no surprise.

As I read and became more excited about all that Cave B Inn has to offer, the idea of spotting Dave Matthews or Tracy Chapman in the dining room or walking the halls quickly lost ground as the reason to visit.

First, the food. Reading Leann Pauley’s review of Tendrils, the resort’s on-site restaurant, was enough to make me wish it was Friday instead of Monday so I could drive over and experience the food first-hand. Executive Chef Fernando Divina, formerly opening chef for Skamania Lodge near Portland, uses only organic ingredients that are sourced locally whenever possible. In a separate interview with Divina, Pauley quoted him as saying, “Organically grown food is very important to me and collaborating with local farmers is the best way to ensure this.” A relatively local high-end restaurant serving socially-conscious cuisine? Tell me more!

Pauley’s glowing review was based on the following multi-course meal: Quinault Razor Clams, sauteed and presented on a bed of ginger slaw and summer cress; chilled cantaloupe soup topped with Blanc de Blanc and mint slush; pan-roasted black cod and wild King Salmon with shell peas and morel risotto; roasted pear sage sorbet; grilled and braised beef, slow roasted over 36 hours with merlot and aromatic herbs, served with potato puree, Blue Lake beans, ginger glazed carrots and accompanied by the SageCliffe Merlot from the adjacent vineyard. Dessert was a warm fallen chocolate souffle with Chantilly cream and ice wine. Are you hungry yet?

Next, the wine. Far from a connoisseur but certainly an afficionado, I love wines – tasting them, learning about them, experimenting with food pairings. I’ve never tasted anything from Cave B’s Estate Winery, but I’m eager to. Winemaker Rusty Figgins reportedly has years vineyard and cellar experience both here and abroad.

The Front Desk at Cave BFinally, the accommodations. According to Dawn Endean, head of marketing for Cave B, rooms are most scarce during the summer concert and fall harvest seasons. When there are reservations to be had, expect to pay around $200 a night for a king size bed. There are other options available including rooms with sunken tubs and breathtaking views via floor-to-ceiling windows. Other resort amenities include an on-site spa and mountain bike rentals.

Cave B is now definitely on my radar. Whether it’s in conjunction with a concert at the Gorge or a quiet, relaxing getaway all on its own remains to be seen.

photos used with permission