Sip It Slowly

The Cave B Inn at SageCliffe is the Northwest’s first luxury wine resort

By: Marty Wentzel

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 picking.

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 periods.

Commission: 10 percent