Story by Jessica Swanson
The Columbia Gorge American Viticultural Area, or AVA, is marketed as “a world of wine in 40 miles.” Because of its unique topography, varying elevations and micro-climates, grapes from all over the globe thrive in this four county area — Skamania and Klickitat in Washington, and Hood River and Wasco in Oregon. White Salmon is overlooked as a home to some of the most interesting and experienced winemakers in the Gorge.
One such winery is Major Creek Cellars, owned by Steve Mason. Steve is a new winemaker, on the eve of his sixth crush, but a dedicated afficiando of the craft. Steve, a chemical engineer and environmental manager for Boeing, was in the company’s Employees Winemaking and Brewing Club, known for producing more than a dozen well respected professional wineries. Steve started windsurfing in the Gorge in the 1980s and soon bought the property in Snowden that Major Creek Cellars now sits on. He wasn’t planning to start a winery or grow the half-acre of pinot noir he has today. But good food and European travel led him to wine — and he is hooked.
Charlies Bistro, Charlies Burger
Story + photo by J. Maury Harris
While new to the downtown Vancouver scene, Charlies Bistro feeds off tradition.
Chef and owner, Peter Dougherty of La Bottega, began by paying tribute to his grandfathers – both named Charles. He also focused his menu on old-fashioned American comfort foods, with a smattering of family specialties and a pinch of modern flair.
Recognizable classics like beef wellington, rumaki and buffalo wings grace the menu. But when talking American tradition, nothing trumps a thick hamburger resting on a bed of fries.
To be exact, a half-pound, ground chuck burger in a sesame brioche bun. That’s the heart of the Charlies Burger.
Dougherty’s personalized touch gives it soul – thoughtfulness demonstrated when the melted white cheddar accentuates the roasted poblano pepper. Thick-cut bacon and balsamic caramelized onions help deepen the flavor, while leaf lettuce and organic, hydroponic tomatoes impart a crisp freshness. Read more
New community food program to focus on central Vancouver
Story by Jessica Swanson
Urban Abundance, a new project of Slow Food Southwest Washington, plans to reach into Vancouver’s food history in order to serve its future. Director Warren Neth was offered a grant from a community member to increase the food supply in the four neighborhoods that meet at Mill Plain and Grand boulevards, just east of downtown Vancouver: Harney Heights, Edgewood, Central Park and Hudson’s Bay. The program will center on providing the bounty from community fruit and nut trees to Vancouver’s emergency food system. Read more