Nicky’s Blog: Cave B Winery
In 2014 I made a decision that would forever change me. I took the Sous/Banquet Chef position at Cave B Resort and Spa. At the time, Cave B Resort was owned by Vince and Carol Bryan. Vince and Carol are also part owners, along with their children, of Cave B Winery. It was here that my passion for wine, pairings and farm to table was truly ignited.
Here is a little history on the imagination and perseverance of the family that I have grown to love. Dr. Vince Bryan is an accomplished neurosurgeon. After dealing with the stress of life or death decisions, Dr. Bryan and his lovely wife Carol, fulfilled their childhood dreams and started a winery on the Columbia River Gorge. During these early years they discovered the property was a natural amphitheater, and they founded the now world-famous Gorge Amphitheater. The Bryan’s sold the successful music venue in 1993 to focus on their wines. However, we owe one of the great music venues of the world to the Bryan’s vision.
By the time I came into the picture in 2014, Cave B had already become an established estate winery. Cave B was making banner-worthy wines from their estate vineyards where 17 varieties of grapes are being grown. Freddy Arrendondo has been the winemaker and part owner since 2006. Before entering the world of wine, Freddy was a professional chef. At the time I did not realize that this fact alone made us kindred spirits. For almost 4 years I had the privilege of working at this magical place. I would spend my mornings strolling through the vineyards and my garden tasting the grapes as they ripened into maturity. My nights of course, were spent catering the vast weddings and events that were held at Cave B all summer long. At the end of a grueling 14 hour day, I would sit on the back steps of my kitchen gazing up at the starry night sky, drinking a glass of wine.
The Bryan’s sold the resort side of the business in 2017, and late that fall my husband and I took the fortuitous opportunity at Sun Mountain Lodge. But Cave B will always hold a special place in my heart. When I took the Wine Steward position at the Lodge, my first order of business was bringing on Cave B wines in my cellar. I have noticed Cave B wine keeps getting better. I currently have the Semillon, Barbera and Malbec on my list.
The Semillon is fleshy on the palate with nicely balanced acidity. It has baked stone fruit aromas with flavors of citrus and peach on the palate. The Malbec is our F&B Manager’s personal favorite. It has blue and black fruit on the nose and palate with integrated spicy notes that linger on the finish. Being an Italian wine lover myself, the Barbera will not disappoint. It has nice balanced acidity, wonderful red fruit profile and medium to full body that makes this wine pair well with most entrée’s.
Please contact me using the link below to purchase one of these wines during your next visit.
“My love for food and wine is due to the social aspect of sharing the experience with my family and friends.”