Battle Ground recently welcomed its first Spanish-style tasting room to compliment the growing wine industry in North County.
Emanar Cellars (pronounced M ‘n R, as in the initials in the owners’ first names) is owned by husband and wife team, Richard and Mar Meyerhoefer. It’s located at the entrance to Battle Ground Village. The Meyerhoefer’s enjoyed a successful Grand Opening on Oct 26.
A distinct Spanish influence is no accident as Mar is from Madrid, Spain. Drawing from her upbringing, Emanar’s rotating wine list features carefully-chosen wines from Spain and a few of their own wines blended with grapes sourced from the Wahluke Slope, north of Prosser, WA.
“We want to sell wines from Spain that are not sold in retail outlets like grocery stores,’’ Richard said. “They‘re recommendations from our last trip to Spain.”
The décor of the tasting room is undeniably Spanish with dark wood, rich, red accents and heavy fabric touches. It feels like a comfortable living room with attention to detail such as low slung pendant lighting, softly covered bar stools and seating at the north-facing window perfect for mingling to discuss a favorite pour with other wine enthusiasts.
Emanar’s own wines are blended with traditional Spanish grape varietals such as Tempranillo, Garnacha and Monastrell, the last being known in France as Mourvèdre. Tempranillo is arguably the big daddy of Spanish grapes showcasing Emanar’s dedication to lean toward bigger, full-bodied reds as opposed to a line up heavy on whites or sweet wines.
There is, however, a wine for just about every palate to be found at Emanar. In addition to their hand-picked import wines and their own label, Emanar’s intention is to show case wines from area wineries and currently they have two wines each from Bethany Vineyards in Ridgefield, and Heisen House and Rusty Grape Vineyards in Battle Ground.
“We are a tasting room. We really want to promote the local wines,” Mar said.
Serving local as much as possible is important to the Meyerhoefers. There’s a gift shop area in a corner of the tasting room where customers can purchase local chocolates, match boxes, pottery, wine wafers, and an assortment of other wine-related items. It’s their intention to grow this area as other local opportunities present themselves.
As has been the norm within the Southwest Washington wine community, area businesses have shown Emanar a warm welcome. Before Pasta Gigi’s Harvest Dinner on October 26, owner Kathy Aikens sent all her customers over to Emanar to support their Grand Opening, Heisen House is bottling Emanar’s wine for them and Moulton Falls Winery, located in Yacolt, has been recommending that their customers include Emanar in their tasting route.
“We’ve had people come in telling us that they (Moulton Falls) recommended us,’’ Mar said. “We haven’t had time to go up and introduce ourselves. It’s very sweet of them.”
The current set up is six import wines, six local wines and three wines under the Emanar label. Each customer is able to select eight tastes for $5 and, again, many of these wines will rotate out.
Regarding the wines themselves, the 2012 Palcio de Fefinances Albariño, which is a traditional Spanish white that can be unpleasantly green, is much smoother than most while still retaining the crisp, apple finish it’s known for. The 2005 Valsacro Dioro Rioja is full of fruit with a hint of smoke yet still smooth enough to appreciate without a food compliment to distinguish it. A fun wine on the current line up is their S’Naranja-Pedro Ximenez, which is a liqueur wine that was paired with mocha chocolate wine wafers at the grand opening that are sold at Emanar. As the Meyerhoefers can attest, it is dessert in a glass.
Their own wines are a bit of a tribute to Mar’s Spanish heritage. Ciriaco Red, Catalina Red and Cata Red are combinations of her late father’s name, Ciriaco Catalina.
“We think we came up with a really good combination,’’ Mar said. “The three bottles are really different. We feel really good about that. We want them to be unique (to other wines). Cata is Spanish for wine tasting room. When you do a cata, you do a tasting.”
Emanar’s wine club, Club La Cata, offers its members free tastings and a 15 percent discount on wines. They plan to host pick up parties for their wine club members, as well.
Current hours of operation are: Fridays, 5-8 p.m.; Saturdays, noon-8 p.m.; and Sundays, noon-6 p.m. but the Meyerhoefer’s encourage people to check their Facebook page for the most up-to-date information and any special tastings they might be scheduling as the holidays draw near.
Emanar Cellars is located at 1113 SE Rasmussen Blvd, Battle Ground. Go to www.emanarcellars.com/ for more information.