Cave B Estate Winery, rooted in the Columbia Basin

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Emry Dinman/Columbia Basin Herald Grapes swell in the summer sun at Cave B, taking in the minerals of the local micro-climate several hundred feet above the Columbia River.

It takes a certain clarity of vision to get temporarily distracted with a little, incidental side-project – creating the Gorge Amphitheatre – only to retire from managing the hottest music venue in the Northwest to dedicate more time to an older passion: making premiere Washington wine.

Carol Bryans and Vincent Bryans II have that kind of vision.

In the 1980s, it took that kind of vision simply for the Bryans to look at the arid, cliff-laden lands in the middle of nowhere and see potential for boutique vineyard. They opened their first winery, the Champs de Brionne in 1984.

Stumbling across the Gorge Ampitheatre’s iconic natural acoustics a few years later, it took vision for the Bryans to build a music venue inside the natural landscape. Originally named the Champs de Brionne Summer Music Theater, the “little gorge” was only a side project, one that would help draw business to their winery, they thought. Little did the Bryans know that their small side project would grow to a nationally recognized venue, drawing in music stars that span genres and continents.

The Gorge did take off, however, and the venue’s meteoric growth quickly took time away from the vineyards and winery, which had brought the Bryan’s out to the Columbia Basin in the first place. It took vision again in 1993 to sell the burgeoning amphitheatre and attached winery to an L.A. concert organizer, setting aside management of the venue so the Bryans could get back to their roots – and the roots of their vineyards.

With responsibility of the amphitheatre passed on, the Bryans opened a new base of operations in 2000, the Cave B Estate Winery, less than a half-mile away.

Almost two decades on and the Cave B Estate Winery has rooted itself firmly in the Columbia Basin as a premium, boutique venue for tastings. Rows of vineyards studded with tasting rooms and accomodations from the nearby Cave B Inn and Spa — sold by the Bryans to private owners in 2017 – give way to stunning vistas of the Columbia River and surrounding bluffs.

Cave B Estate Winery’s vintages are certified estate wines, with everything from growing grapes to bottling taking place on the property.

Though significantly downsized, the Bryans also didn’t resist the allure of building a more manageable music stage, the Cave B Summer Music Theatre, to add to the region’s constant festivities.

Contemporary Rock musician is scheduled to play August 17 from 8-11 p.m. at the venue. The Yakima Symphony Chorus will present “Battling Napoleon,” a three-piece set of works inspired by famous battles against the self-styled emperor, August 19 starting at 8 p.m.

Visit caveb.com for wine options, wine club registration and more.

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