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“Wine, Chestnuts & Olive Oil” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Marchesi Vineyards

Marchesi Vineyards
3955 Belmont Drive, Hood River, OR 97031
541-386-1800
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Ranked #1 of 35 Activities in Hood River
Type: Food & Drink
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Owner description: Franco Marchesi's passion for wine began in his hometown of Borgosesia, Peimonte, Italy. As a child he always wondered what it would be like to be a winemaker like his grandfather Achille. After running his own import company specializing in Italian wines for over 20 years, Franco began planting his favorite Northern Italian grapes in Hood River, where the climate and soil are just like Northern Italy. Please come visit, and taste our wines. Salute!
Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Wine, Chestnuts & Olive Oil”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2012

My husband and I visited Hood River for the first time in November. We had no plan of attack so we just dashed around the river area visiting wineries. As a sommelier, it was unfortunately underwhelming for most of the afternoon. Then our GPS picked up Marchesi Vineyards..hmmm...sounds Italian...and off we went. The weather was cool and drizzly outside but the tasting room couldn't have been more inviting. We pulled up to what we thought was a private party. People were happily spilling out of the tasting room onto the trellis-covered patio with fire pits blazing. Inside the aura was even cozier with two lovely tasting room ladies...I believe one's name was Donna. They made us so welcome even in the cluster of people. We sat on the edge of the windowsill and on stacks of cases of wine. There are comfy seats there but were already filled with chatty groups. We were happy though.

We drank through the tasting flight of wine while the charming Italian owner and winemaker scurried around with warm chestnuts he toasted on the outside fires. He was delightful and so were his wines. I absolutely feel in love with the Barbera and took that along with some Pinot Grigio to go. I didn't want to leave the good times, but they recommended another winery to try. We traveled down the road briefly to another spot but then decided to return to Marchesi, afterall they were going to be open until 6:00.

We ordered a couple of glasses of Barbera and hung out with the owner more. By that time he began offering delicious antipasto with meats that he slices in the winery. It was such an awesome time, my husband and I look forward to a return in the late Spring.

The reason why this review is three months late is that I was just reminded of these fantastic memories because not only does Marchesi make wine, but he also makes olive oil...which I just used the rest of. Don't forget to pick up some olive oil while you're there!

Visited November 2011
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67 reviews from our community

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English first
Hood River, OR
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Italian Heaven in The Gorge”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2012

Marchesi is the best place for wine tasting in The Columbia River Gorge. The owners Franco and Sandy serve their award winning Italian style wines with a complementary assortment of cheeses and meats in a small courtyard facing Mt. Hood. Could heaven be better than this?

Visited August 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hood River, Oregon
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15 reviews 15 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Best Wine Tasting Experience in the Gorge”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2011

I'm a local. This is THE BEST wine tasting experience in the Gorge. Get here before everyone in Oregon and Washington discovers this experience. Great wine, great setting, great people. The owner is there most of the time and is very approachable and interested in educating patrons about Italian varietals, his wine, etc. They also offer cheeses and antipasto with the tasting fee. The tasting fee is waived with wine purchase. Great to visit in the spring, summer and fall when there is outdoor seating literally feet from the grape vines, but also nice and cozy inside in colder weather.

In the summer they have a 3rd party barbeque partner on site.

Visited October 2011
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nearest winery
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5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“A friendly wine tasting experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2011 via mobile

The before mentioned reviews really say it all. I really wanted to add that this was the best wine tasting experience we have ever had. It seems that a lot of winery owners are so pretentiuos. The owners and staff of Marchesi know that drinking wine is supposed to be a fun thing! So, a fun atmosphere with great wine makes this our favorite stop.

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Portland, Oregon
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“It's why I go to Hood River.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2011

If I remember right, we found this place while Googling different wineries in Hood River but even if we hadn't, a shop keeper downtown directed us there and even called upon the approval of some nearby customers.

The vineyards are across the street from a school on Belmont, just a little bit out of downtown Hood River. You'll pull around back to find a nice outdoor patio and indoor tasting room. Greetings are immediate and I felt as if there was little to no awkward period of, "Hi.. I'm... and we're here to...." They get right to it and act as if they've known you for years while doing so.

A tasting will run you $5. Five whole dollars will include about 6-8 wines and a plate of baguette, salami and cheese. Hell of a deal. I recognize this next part is completely subjective, but I've tried a hell of a lot of wines and I can tell you that by tasting number three, I asked for a club sign-up form. That's a bold move, I know, but there is something about their flavor that is unreal to my taste buds. It's not often that I like everything a winery makes. Here, I do.

So the club... Club Paesano. It's $160 (or $165?) for six bottles of wine every six months. If you elect to have your wine shipped to you, you get six. If you come out to the winery to pick it up, you get a seventh bottle of wine, or a bottle of olive oil. They also do a wine maker's dinner celebration for the release of the wines including as much wine as you can drink without falling asleep at the table, paired with seemingly unending courses of incredible, authentic Italian cuisine. Yes, please.

Throughout the year they also host BBQ's on their property with local businesses in Hood River supplying the eats. They email out menus ahead of time so you can start salivating early. Tastings are free after you've become a member, making this a must-stop on every Hood River trip to come. I forgot to mention, you cannot get these wines in stores. They're extremely small batch.

As for the owner, my grandpa is pushing 90 now, but back in his prime he reminded me quite a lot of Franco Marchesi. It helps they hail from the same culture - their mannerisms almost spot on. Franco is a really, really nice and laid back guy. His fiance Sandy also helps out and is -incredibly- accommodating. She loves getting to know the people that come in, no matter how much or little they stop by.

Now for some jealousy... Marchesi Vineyards just announced their first annual Marchesi Vineyards Goes To Italy Tour for 2012 and we're confirmed (YES YES YES YES YES YES YES). Since Franco is from Piemonte and has quite the history there, his wine maker friends are rolling out the red carpets for 17 couples to see a side of Italy not often experienced by tourists. From Milan to Gattinara, Asti, Cinqueterre, Langhirano, Fratta Terme, Ravenna, Bagnacavallo, Tuscany, San Gimignano, Montepulciano, Siena then flying home from Rome.

May cannot get here fast enough and neither can the next visit to what is undoubtedly my favorite winery of all time.

Visited September 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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