Pacific Northwest Wine Club Review
In this review · What is The California Wine Club? · Wine Review · Membership Benefits · Who Should Join? · Gift Review
The California Wine Club has been sending great wines produced by California’s small family wineries for over 25 years. They’re very good at it, especially when it comes to gift giving. Long-standing relationships with wineries and respect from the wine world gives them access to small-production wines that are practically impossible to find anywhere other than the winery.
Seeing the success of their approach with California wineries, The California Wine Club branched out to offer a Pacific Northwest version. Featuring only wine from Oregon and Washington, all of the same ideas about sourcing wine, quality, and value apply to this wine club level.
Some interesting statistics about Washington wine from the Washington Wine Commission:
- There are nearly 1,000 wineries in Washington.
- More than half of Washington wineries produce less than 5,000 cases per year.
- Washington is the second largest premium wine producer in the US.
Some interesting statistics about Oregon wine from the Oregon Wine Board:
- There are more than 1,100 wineries in Oregon.
- 70% of Oregon wineries produce less than 5,000 cases per year.
- 47% of Oregon vineyards are certified sustainable.
- 20% of Wine Spectator’s 90+ ratings are for Oregon wines (2015-2017) even though they only comprise 1% of wine produced in the US.
The wine experts at The California Wine Club travel these Northwest states looking for the best wines from small wineries and deliver them to you. If you don’t like a wine you receive, take advantage of their “Love It” guarantee and get it replaced with something you do like.
Pacific Northwest Wine Club Options
The Pacific Northwest Series is one of The California Wine Club's subscriptions from outside California. Each box features two of Oregon or Washington wine which showcase the winery, wine region, and grapes used. Here are the ways you can customize your membership:
- Choose a mix of red and white wine, or red wine only (two of the same).
- Choose to have shipments sent bi-monthly or quarterly.
- Pre-pay for gifts — or yourself — and save.
- Important note: If you’re joining as a member, your shipment prices will vary. They average $71 per shipment but, depending on the wines being featured, the price may vary. Additionally, the base price for choosing two red wines is higher than a mixed red and white wine membership/gift.
Pacific Northwest Wine Review
My PNW Wine Ratings
|Quality of Wine|
|Price of Wine|
More than 10 years ago when we started this website, The California Wine Club was one of the first we reviewed. In the intervening time we’ve sampled shipments from the Pacific Northwest Series periodically and something that has never changed is the high standard for quality set by this club level.
In addition to scouting wine that exceeds their members’ expectations, they also only work with small-production wineries, typically owned and managed by a family or a winemaker who farms her own land. Whether they’re just starting out on their own or they’re branching out into new styles and grapes, there are always new winemakers producing hidden gems — if you know where to look.
The most recent box we received (their 2019 Holiday shipment) featured two wines from Gård Vintners in Washington’s Columbia Valley AVA. We received the 2015 Vaucluse Lawrence Vineyards Columbia Valley Red Blend and 2016 Grand Klasse Lawrence Vineyards, Columbia Valley Reserve Pinot Gris.
Here are the details from their Uncorked magazine which accompanies each shipment.
Some examples of other recent wineries and wines sent to Pacific Northwest Series members include:
Youngberg Hill Winery. “Nicolette and Wayne Bailey acquired an 1850s family farm in 2003 and embarked on a full-scale transformation. Their 23 acres of vines are among the Willamette Valley’s westernmost vineyards, and experience significant maritime influence. They converted the estate to organic and then biodynamic viticulture to promote healthier vines and higher quality fruit.” — The California Wine Club
Shipped: 2015 Bailey Willamette Valley Pinot Noir ($42) and 2017 Aspen Willamette Valley Pinot Gris ($25)
Syncline Winery. “Poppie and James Mantone met at a custom crush winery in Oregon during the harvest of 1997, and were soon madly in love, married, and ready to start their own winery. Inspired by some of the first Syrahs from Washington, they founded their winery in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. “It seemed like a great opportunity for wines that fit the climate really well,” explains James. “You could celebrate the exuberance of Washington’s generous climate but, being so far north, retain a lot of freshness, energy and vitality in the wines.” — The California Wine Club
Shipped: 22016 Boushey Vineyard Yakima Valley Syrah ($45) and 2017 Boushey Vineyard Yakima Valley Grenache Blanc ($30)
Cedergreen Cellars. “Julie and I make wine that captures that essence of harvest,” says Founder/Winemaker Kevin Cedergreen. They source their grapes from premium vineyards where they have control over the farming. “I’ll walk the rows to see if I want to do any leaf stripping or if I want to drop any fruit that doesn’t live up to my quality,” explains Kevin. “We triage the fruit before it gets picked, so it does not require an optical scanner to knock things out. The ‘optical scanner’ is in my fingers and connected to my head. The fruit is gorgeous before it ever hits the picking crates.” — The California Wine Club
Shipped: 2010 Columbia Valley Merlot ($44) and 2017 Columbia Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($17)
My Pacific Northwest Series
At first glance, this might look like any other wine club, but when you scratch just a little below the surface, you start to uncover some delightful details. Club members enjoy the following benefits.
Satisfaction Guarantee. The California Wine Club offers a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. They'll refund you for any wines you don't love. That said, we'd be genuinely surprised and concerned if you receive a poor selection from The California Wine Club.
Their “Love It” Guarantee: “What if I don't like the wine? Although wine tastes vary from person to person, our wines are guaranteed. If you get a bad bottle, we will immediately reship a replacement or refund your money!”
Customer Service. In ten years of working with The California Wine Club we have never had a single customer complaint. It could be because they pride themselves on the best customer service. In addition to their Satisfaction Guarantee, they have staff wine consultants whose job it is to help you find wine you love and wineries to visit when you go to wine country.
Convenience. The California Wine Club is a more old-fashioned company. If you need to hold your service for a vacation or want to cancel your membership you'll need to call and speak to someone during regular business hours. You can handle reorders yourself online, as well as see a record of the wines you've received and when you received them.
Personalization. A personalized wine club used to mean you picked the color of your wine and how often you received your two-bottle selection. For The California Wine Club, it still does.
Discount Opportunities. We look at three areas when evaluating the discount opportunities offered by a wine club: is there an introductory offer to sweeten the deal, are there discounts available for buying more of wines you loved in your shipments, and are there special discounts only available to members?
The California Wine Club frequently posts introductory offers. Sometimes this means extra wine in the first shipment, free shipping, or a free month. Often these can be used either for yourself in an ongoing subscription or when buying a gift.
Exclusive Deal for WineClubReviews.net: Our readers get a special offer, 50% off your first shipment when you join at any club level, use code WCRHALF at checkout. Oh, you also get a $25 credit to use in their wine store when you sign up or give a gift.
The California Wine Club also offers members-only pricing on reorders, while supplies last — pay just $1 for shipping for case and half-case orders to most states, too.
Lastly, members-only special deals come up all the time. Whether it's presale opportunities or extra discounts in their wine shop, you'll be glad you participate.
Wine Education. The California Wine Club members receive the prettiest assortment of wine info (a full-color magazine called Uncorked) with each shipment of the Pacific Northwest Series. It contains tasting notes about each wine, the wineries they come from, the winemakers, and the wine region.
Who Should Join The California Wine Club Pacific Northwest Series?
When it comes to paying for premium wine, it can be hard to tell the difference between wine that’s been overly hyped (and then over priced) and one that’s genuinely outstanding. That’s where a trusted company who stands by their selections with a “Love It” guarantee comes in. Why risk buying from a retailer who won’t replace wine you don’t like when you can be sure to enjoy what you get from The California Wine Club?
This wine of the month club is perfect for:
- Washington and Oregon wine lovers seeking hard-to-access wine from small family wineries.
- California wine lovers who want to branch out, but not too far out.
- Giving as a gift — they’ve really nailed gift presentation and ease of gifting. Anyone who receives this gift (and loves Pacific Northwest wine) will be thrilled.
The California Wine Club knows there are different kinds of wine drinkers, and sometimes you want to try new things. They also offer:
- Wines from small producers from outside the US in their International Series
- Premium boutique California wines in the Signature Series
- Perfectly cellared high-end Cabernet Sauvignon in their Aged Cabernet Series
Pacific Northwest Wine Gifts
The California Wine Club offers gift upgrade option for an even better recipient experience. For an additional $18 you can have this delightful package mailed to you so you can present it in person, or you can have it mailed directly to your gift recipient in advance of the first wine shipment. The package comes gift-wrapped and custom-printed with the recipient's name and what you've ordered, along with a deluxe corkscrew and bottle stopper.