MikeL's Guide to WA Wineries
English Estate
17908 SE 1st Street, Vancouver, WA, 98684
Phone: 360-772-5141, Fax: 503-285-1826

[label source: the winery]
  • Tours: If not too busy
  • Tasting room: most weekends, 12-6pm; plus Labor Day, Memorial Day and Thanksgiving weekends; or by appt. Cost: $2/person.
  • Official website: http://www.EnglishEstateWinery.com/
  • email: click to email (winery)
  • BW-WA-315; Bonded 2001; Tasting room opened 06-Apr-2002
  • Owners: Carl & Gail English
Click here for map/directions.
Page last updated: 10-Apr-2003, Page generated: 11-Sep-2005

Vineyard with rainbow
Vineyard with encroching suburbs
Barn through vineyard
Second tasting room in barn
Kristin and Carl in tasting room
Tasting room from lawn
Front with house
Newsletters: Apr 2002.

Production: (2002) 1200 cases, plan to triple
Vineyards: 4 acres, Pinot Noir, 20 year old vines; plan to expand to 7 acres
Distribution: Self distributed -- many restaurants and wine stores throughout WA state

The English Estate farm was established in 1903 when Carl English's great-grandfather bought the property, originally consisting of 200 acres. The wonderful barn was erected turn of the century, and added onto in the teens, and again when converted for dairy use in the fifties. The original house is gone, the existing house was built in 1917; Carl is doing some renovation in early 2003.

The front dairy area of the barn includes a small corner room that once held the final milk storage tank. This area is naturally cool due to the concrete walls, and has been set up as a tasting area with a woodstove. There is also an additional small building in the front and center that they are currently in use as the tasting room.

Carl grew up on the farm, and remembers milking cows there as a kid. He worked for the Peace Corp in Tanzania in the early sixties. He lived in Vermont during late sixties through seventies, working in adult education. He returned to the farm in 1977, and began to restore it from years of neglect. In 1983, Carl showed some incredible foresight by planting Vinifera grapes with cuttings from Salishan Vineyards. He planted Pinot Noir (Pommard clone), Cab. Sauv., Merlot, for a total of 4 acres. They plan to expand the vineyards by 3 acres in the next year or so. They also buy grapes from both other Clark County vineyards, La Center and one in Yacolt. Carl has been making wine from these grapes for 15 years, and just recently decided to go commercial. Currently he co-owns a fireplace shop in Portland (OR).

The property behind vineyard is now a gravel mine. They anticipate rebuilding the slopes down into the hole to be a gravity fed winery and sloping terraces in the next few years. This dig is a blessing for them as they have been able to see first hand exactly the what the soil composition is down to 75 feet!

Their current production is all Pinot Noirs, including a Nouveau style, several dry reds, a sweet wine, and a port-style wine. Most are Estate, all are from Clark County.

The tasting room was opened for business in Apr-2002. It's manned by Kristin Dowling, Carl's step-daughter. She also manages wine sales and most of the business.
Sources: [the winery]

The Wines: (Spring 2003)
  • 2001 Gravel Mine Pinot Noir
  • 2001 Gravel Mine Pinot Noir Reserve
  • 2001 Demi Anni Pinot Noir Nouveau
  • 2001 Demi Anni Pinot Noir
  • 2001 Pinot Noir Blend
  • 2002 Gravel Mine Pinot Noir Nouveau
  • 2001 Pinot Noir Nectar (dessert wine)
  • Pinot Noir Port (fortified wine)
  • 2002 Pinot Noir Nectar (dessert wine)
Previous releases: Spring 2002,
Carl English 2002-present

Of special note:
Carl believes that a wine should reflect the nature of the grape, and that the grape and the terroir within which it grows is what individualizes a wine. Thus he makes wines that are amazingly fruit-forward, producing wines that the consumer loves. The grapes at Gravel Mine Vineyard on English Estate are grown on 75 feet of gravel affording ideal drainage for the grapes. The low water level forces the roots through amazing depths of nutrients and minerals in the soils and thus helps them to develop a character unique to English Estate wines. In each bottle, one senses the typical underlying cherry wood terroir of Gravel Mine Vineyard Wines.

02-May-2003: Dinner with the Winemakers of Clark County, being held in the property's historic Manor House. Join the winemakers of the region for a delicious meal and fascinating discussion about the growing wine industry in Clark County.
03,04-May-2003: Winery/Vineyard Tours, 3 New Wine Releases and Great Sales
03-May-2003: Traditional Tuscan Brunch with the Family in the Manor House.
Each of the meals will be catered by Le Sous Chef--whose chef trained at Paris' Cordon Bleu Culinary School--and they promise to seduce the most experienced palates. The tour will take place at 1pm on Sunday with the vintner, Carl English, whose knowledge of the vine and wine extends far beyond the wines he produces. This celebration must be attended to experience English Estate's unique variety of Pinot Noir wines that are produced from the Estate's 20-year-old vines. Attend some of the events at English Estate for a sure way to have a great time and taste some fabulous wines! The wines are sure to be flowing at the end of April at English Estate Winery as The English Family celebrates one hundred years of being in Clark County at the English Farm!

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