When clients visit a winery, they usually stop for a sip, buy a
bottle and hit the road. When they go to Cave B Inn at SageCliffe,
they stay for the duration. Open since June 2005, the Northwest’s
first luxury wine resort salutes human accomplishments in a setting
nothing short of superhuman.
From the moment I arrived, I was overcome by the setting of the
resort, which seems to grow out of cliffs that rise 900 feet above
the Columbia River. Cave B owner Vince Bryan, who also owns the
surrounding 150 acres of vineyards and apple orchards with his
wife, Carol, told me they made sure that the design didn’t
overwhelm the landscape.
“There’s something humbling and moving about the scenery here,”
he said. “When you’re looking across the river, you’re looking at a
cross-section of time.”
So, basalt rocks excavated from the grounds became natural
building materials. Curved roofs mirror the lines on the bluffs
across the gorge. Decades-old Cabernet Sauvignon vines find new
life as wall hangings in the lobby.
Whether clients stay in one of the 15 individual Cliffehouses or
12 rooms in the Cavern Building, they never lose sight of that
divine view through floor-to-ceiling windows. My Cliffehouse, named
after the Syrah grape, paid tribute to the great outdoors with its
high ceilings, exposed beams, wood floors, stone fireplace and
slate floors in the bathroom. Just outside my front door, I found
the trail that winds down to the gaping river valley, and I felt at
once dwarfed, yet delighted, by the vastness of it all.
The main lodge houses three additional guestrooms, two meeting
rooms and Tendrils restaurant, where chef Fernando Divina puts a
Northwest spin on each meal, pairing it perfectly with a Cave B
varietal. Eager to learn more, I met winemaker Rusty Figgins in the
resort’s tasting room, a short walk from the lodge.
“Because of the diversity of soil and light, west-facing setting
and proximity to the water, we can grow 15 varieties of grapes,” he
said. “I want to build loyal relationships with clients and teach
them that wine-tasting isn’t a stuffy experience.”
A working farm, Cave B bustles with activity throughout its four
distinctive seasons. In the summer, clients can watch blooming
vines turn into purple grapes. Apple harvest starts in late-August,
with the grape harvest from mid-September through mid-November.
Clients can even take part in supervised pruning, trimming and
As Mother Nature changes and improves the resort, developers are
growing Cave B’s physical plant. In June, the Round House opens
with a 2,500-square-foot tasting room and space for special events
like culinary classes and live concerts. The freestanding spa,
small and efficient, recently added manicures and pedicures, and in
the next three to five years, Cave B will create a second
restaurant on the edge of a cliff.
In such spectacular environs, the Bryans hope clients will tap
into their inner artist. Over the next few years they will expand
the resort into a 500-acre hilltop retreat for gatherings of
creative thinkers. Another lodge, more accommodations, artists’
studios, indoor and outdoor theaters, a links-style golf course and
pro-shop, equestrian center, exhibition halls and galleries will
complement the surroundings. For now, clients who make their way to
the edge of the Columbia can’t help but feel humbled, and happy, to
spend time in this inspiring destination.
Cave B Inn at SageCliffe
344 Silica Rd. NW
Quincy, WA 98848
Hits: A jaw-dropping setting on the cliffs
above the Columbia River. Architecture and furnishings draw on the
beauty of the environment.
Misses: There’s currently only one restaurant
at Cave B. While the quality of the food scores high points, the
menu feels repetitive after a couple of days.
Be Aware: Cave B is a destination resort, so
clients should plan to spend all their time on-property. Like the
vineyards surrounding it, the resort will continue to evolve over
the years, so construction equipment is evident.
Plugging In: High-speed Internet access is
available in all guestrooms for a one-time fee of $10.
Clientele: Wine connoisseurs, lovers of the
arts and fans of the great outdoors.
Rates: Nightly rack rates range from $350 for a
Cavern room to $550 for a two-bedroom Cliffehouse. Rates are driven
by demand, varying substantially during peak and non-peak
Commission: 10 percent