The evolution of Koi Pond Cellars continues and, over Mother’s Day Weekend, visitors will see its newest addition when Koi Pond Cellars Winery and Bistro opens in downtown Vancouver.
Occupying what was for years the dining room section of Sparks Home Furnishings – and more recently Véraison Wine Shop and Tasting Bar – Koi Pond Cellars Winery and Bistro is envisioned as an extension of the Ridgefield winery and tasting room.
Koi Pond Cellars opened their first tasting room in June of 2014 inside downtown Ridgefield’s circa 1939 former Post Office building, briefly operated a seasonal outdoor tasting room near Shorty’s Nursery in Ridgefield and moved their entire operation to a six-acre Ridgefield parcel in 2017. Owned by Wes and Michelle Parker, Koi Pond has been seeking the right location to marry culinary with their expanding wine portfolio.
“We’ve always wanted to join food with wine more regularly and it became too difficult to do at the winery property, so we decided to relocate to the city of Vancouver where there is more commercial space to serve food and wine under one roof,” Michelle said.
Their Ridgefield location will continue as the wine production facility and visitors can enjoy wine tastings outdoors only from Memorial Weekend through Labor Day Weekend. Wine club members will also be privy to regularly scheduled private events at the working winery with a quintessential pastoral setting.
Meanwhile, Koi Pond Cellars Winery and Bistro will be open seven days a week from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Guests can order either a Signature or a Reserve tasting flight, wines by the glass or wines by the bottle. Bistro-style food will include hummus plates, charcuterie boards and panini sandwiches. Michelle also said that daily happy hour specials are being planned and their new wines-on-tap program will be a fun and cost-effective addition.
Wes, winemaker for Koi Pond, sees the bistro as another dimension of their overall project.
“I really like the downtown space. It’s a totally different vibe with a more luxurious, sophisticated feel so now customers can make a choice. If they want urban, they can come to the bistro. If they want a rural feel, they can come out to the winery,” Wes said.
At least one monthly Winemaker’s Dinner will also be offered. Every five-course menu will be choreographed and designed to be served with Koi Pond wines. As is typical of winemaker dinners, each wine and food pairing is introduced by the winemaker and chef wherein they go over attributes of both and why the combination works well. Working alongside Michelle in the kitchen will be son and sous chef, Ty.
Another opportunity that the new space provides is private, sit-down tastings with Wes. Here wine lovers will have uninterrupted time to delve deeper into the mind of a winemaker and glean an understanding of his aging program, oak versus stainless steel aging, why he chooses the type of oak he does, why he sources from the vineyards he does, when and why he drops fruit and a myriad of other fascinating decisions that go into each barrel of wine. These intimate tastings will be paired with small bites.
Due to the soft opening date of Mother’s Day Weekend, Koi Pond Cellars Winery and Bistro will join Cellar 55, Burnt Bridge Cellars and English Estate Winery as they celebrate moms with The Bouquet Tour. From noon-6 p.m. on Saturday, May 12 and Sunday, May 13, every mom will receive a free rose from each location with their tasting. Enjoy all four stops and collect a bouquet.
Koi Pond Cellars Winery and Bistro is located at 212 E. Evergreen Blvd., in Vancouver.