A family’s winemaking legacy continues

Public is invited to enjoy the ambience of English Estate Winery

Previous Next

English Estate Winery

Regular hours: Fridays through Sundays, from noon to 6 p.m., and Mondays, from 4:30 to 7 p.m.

Where: 17806 S.E. First St., Vancouver

Good Times and Wine

Fridays, from 6 to 9 p.m.

What: food, wine and live music, from 6 to 9 p.m.

Art & Wine Fair

When: Saturday, July 11, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, July 12, from noon to 6 p.m.

What: art, food, wine and live music

Free admission

Contact: 772-5141, email wine@englishestatewinery.com or visit www.englishestatewinery.com.

English Estate Winery

Regular hours: Fridays through Sundays, from noon to 6 p.m., and Mondays, from 4:30 to 7 p.m.

Where: 17806 S.E. First St., Vancouver

Good Times and Wine

Fridays, from 6 to 9 p.m.

What: food, wine and live music, from 6 to 9 p.m.

Art & Wine Fair

When: Saturday, July 11, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, July 12, from noon to 6 p.m.

What: art, food, wine and live music

Free admission

Contact: 772-5141, email wine@englishestatewinery.com or visit www.englishestatewinery.com.

On a recent sunny Saturday morning, children, chickens and a cat named Lizzie scattered about on the grounds of English Estate Winery.

The names of the chickens include Blanca, Princess and Sir Grey.

The traditions of a close-knit family and wine making are being passed from generation to generation there.

The property, located along the Camas-Vancouver border was purchased by Carl S. English and his father, Jude English, in 1903, to become the English Farm.

Their grandson and great-grandson, Carl D. English, started growing wine grapes and making wine in 1980. The winery opened its doors to the public two decades later.

Carl D. English served as the vintner of the winery, until he died in 2010.

Jennifer English Wallenberg, daughter of Carl and his first wife, Marian, lives on the English Estate property with her husband, Fredrik, and their two children.

Wallenberg and her brother, Carl S. English, grew up on the grounds of the estate.

She said the farm was 80 acres when she was a child.

“We had about 50 head of cattle which my grandfather raised and sold — grass fed beef,” Wallenberg said. “There were always three or four horses around too. We also had pigs, chickens, geese, barn cats and some dogs. I rode my horse every day before and after school, helped my grandfather make hay in the summer and helped take care of the cows, which mostly meant shoveling a lot of manure.

“I also helped my grandfather raise orphan calves if a cow died giving birth,” she added. “The area was still mainly empty fields, so I used to ride my horse to Lacamas Lake and certainly all around the neighborhood, to the grocery store and friend’s houses. It was a great childhood, very little television, mostly being outside.”

Kristin Dowling, daughter of English’s second wife Gail, also lives at English Estate with Vance Corum, and their two children.

Dowling moved to the property in 2000 and developed the winery over the next year with her stepfather.

She has lived on English Estate on and off since then.

“It’s a piece of heaven with all the luxuries of convenient, suburban living within a mile,” Dowling said.

The wines are estate grown and handcrafted by Wallenberg, with the help of her brother. Their primary focus is Pinot Noir. English Estate also produces Cabernet Sauvignon.

White varietals include Pinot Gris, Semillon, Gewurztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc. There are also sweet fortified dessert wines.

Visitors to a tasting room, named The Loafing Shed, can view black and white historical photos of the English Estate property, as well as more recent color images of the winery.

“It provides a cool respite on hot days,” Andee Mowery said about the tasting room.

She manages events and tastings for the family.

In addition to wine, soda, water and custom English Estate wineglasses are available to purchase.

The grounds of the 20-acre estate are worth exploring. They include fruit and vegetable gardens, maintained by Gail English, with blueberries and raspberries, as well as corn, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, peppers and onions.

“I think it’s really great that we are able to preserve some open space for wildlife in what is becoming a very urban area,” Wallenberg said. “We regularly have bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, wild rabbits, kestrels [falcons] and sometimes deer.”

Special occasions, such as bridal showers, weddings, receptions and corporate events, are held at English Estate. The Volcano View Event Center can accommodate up to 100 people.

Jan Hinds, a Portland event planner, recently celebrated her mother’s 90th birthday in a covered area next to the Pump House tasting room.

She planned the celebration with her daughter and sisters.

“I was truly impressed with the winery’s flexibility with the event,” Hinds said. “We were covered for any inclement weather that might have come along, but it was a truly spectacular day.

“I took care of the set up of the area we were using and had an absolute ball with the folks that came to the winery as patrons and our invited guests,” she added.

Hinds said her 94-year-old father enjoyed playing bocce in a covered court.

He is a World War II veteran who wore a Navy U.S.S. Enterprise hat to the birthday celebration.

“At the end of the party, he was approached by a lovely young couple and saluted by the young man, and he thanked my father for his service,” Hinds said. “This young man was also a veteran.”

Through the years, the winery has hosted chili cook-offs, painting classes and anniversary celebrations.

“We love to make wine, and we love to drink it,” Vance Corum said.

Wallenberg said she appreciates that wine making involves many disciplines, including farming, chemistry, food pairing, travel, wine history and understanding how wine is made all over the world.

“Running the winery and the farm means we get our hands into a little bit of everything,” she said. “In any given day, I might spend an hour on web design, order a part for the tractor, run some tests in my chemistry lab, blend wine samples in different configurations so we can decide what recipe we like best and then research an organic way to keep deer out of the vineyard.”

Please review our community guidelines