The Winery at
Manzanita owner/
winemaker Mark
Proden takes a
break from business
to walk the
beach with Pinot,
his loyal, furry
companion.##Photo by Kathryn Elsesser
Customers relax at The Winery at Manzanita with open-air seating and a fire pit. ##Photo by Kathryn Elsesser
Guests sit down
for a glass of wine
and food at The
Winery at Manzanita.##Photo by Kathryn Elsesser
Sinkler inside The
Wine Shack.##Photo provided
Dutchman wines
range from Pinot
Noir to Syrah to
Pinot Gris, plus
other varieties.##Photo by Kathryn Elsesser
Chenin Carlton christens another harvest at R Stuart & Co. in McMinnville, where the winemaker/wine bar
owner makes her Chenin Blanc. Taste it and other wines at Twist in Pacific City. ##Photo provided
Nehalem Bay s Tudor-style winery was once a creamery.##Photo by Kathryn Elsesser

Deep Sea Dive

Plunging into the wineries of Oregon’s North Coast

By Sophia McDonald

The Oregon Coast’s many natural wonders are reason enough to plan an adventure to the edge of the Pacific Ocean. But there’s more than meets the tide. The region has become a destination for lovers of local foods, including cheeses, chocolates, oysters and, of course, wine. Bottle shops represent the bulk of the wine, but there are wineries, too, a half dozen in Oregon’s North Coast. These mostly family-owned ventures boast a casual, welcoming vibe, a familiar feeling up and down Highway 101 and along the sandy beaches.

Flying Dutchman Winery founder Richard Cutler, and his daughter, Debbie Cutler, the winery’s second-generation winemaker. ##Photo by Kathryn Elsesser

Flying Dutchman Winery

Richard Cutler fell in love with wine during his many years as a resort and restaurant manager. It wasn’t until age 62 that he took chemistry courses and started making it himself.

His first few vintages in the late 1990s were crushed on the lawn of the Inn at Otter Crest’s restaurant. When it looked like making wine might be a sustainable business, he purchased his own building and set up shop. 

Cutler’s real love is blending, so most of his wines are Bordeaux- and Rhône-style reds made with grapes sourced from Southern Oregon. In sticking with the European style, he practices native yeast fermentation in open-top containers. This allows the sea mist to become part of the finished wine — the brand uses the term “salt air fermentation” to describe its wine; tests have shown they have some residual salt. Cutler’s daughter, Debbie, serves as winemaker now that he’s reached his 80s.

Visitors to the Flying Dutchman can expect a friendly reception and detailed explanation of how the wines are lovingly made.

915 First Street, Otter Rock

Puffin Wines / The Wine Shack

The Wine Shack, founded in 1977, remains the oldest bottle shop on the North Coast, where owner Steven Sinkler specializes in Pacific Northwest wines. Shoppers can choose from more than 100 Oregon Pinot Noirs as well as reds, whites and rosés from Southern Oregon and Washington.

Adjoining the Cannon Beach shop is the tasting room for Sinkler’s own label, Puffin Wines, which made its first vintage in 2005. It offers eight wines — including Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet and a red blend — crafted by a team of winemakers. “We make the best wines that are true to the Pacific Northwest style and true to varietal correctness,” says Sinkler, noting that the wines have consistently done well in competitions.

The rosés are dry; the Pinot, earthy and brooding... “The Chardonnay is clean and you can taste the fruit,” he says. The tasting room regularly offers five Puffin wines available for sampling. In the summer, Sinkler plays host to a visiting Pacific Northwest winery every Sunday.

124 N. Hemlock St., Cannon Beach

Melissa Stetzel, Nehalem Bay Winery founder Ray Shackelford’s daughter-in-law, manages the tasting room. ##Photo by Kathryn Elsesser

Nehalem Bay Winery

Nehalem Bay Winery holds the distinction as the oldest winery on the Coast. It released its first wines in 1974, which also makes it one of the oldest wineries in Oregon. Although it produces some grape wines, including a Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris with fruit sourced from the Willamette Valley, founder Ray Shackelford got his start making wine with local berries and tree fruits. Blackberry wine remains the No. 1 seller among the winery’s loyal followers. Peach, plum, pear and rhubarb wine, plus honey mead, are also popular.

“We provide a fun wine tasting experience for people who are visiting the Coast who might not otherwise expect to step into a winery,” says Melissa Stetzel, Shackelford’s daughter-in-law and manager of the tasting room. The winery has its own interesting history: The red-and-white Tudor-style building is a former creamery once occupied by the Tillamook County Creamery Association (known today as the Tillamook Cheese Company). The interior makes a cozy spot for wintertime tastings. During spring and summer, many customers prefer to sit on the large patio to enjoy the wine and views of the surrounding mountains.

34965 Highway 53, Nehalem

Depoe Bay Winery 

Whale watchers and tourists alike are encouraged to stop into Depoe Bay Winery, which is owned by Nehalem Bay Winery. Expect the same friendly service and delightful wines in a smaller setting.

22 Highway 101, Depoe Bay

Twist Wine Co. / Basket Case

When Chenin and Sean Carlton moved to Oregon for jobs in the wine industry, they already knew they would open their own winery someday. When the time came, it made sense for them to sell their larger property in the Eola-Amity Hills — part of what is now Brooks Winery — and operate the business from their weekend home on the Coast. The couple made their first vintage in 2004.

“Generally speaking, what we’ve done with our wine program is make wine we like to drink,” Carlton explains when describing the brand’s three labels. Shy Chenin includes a high-acid, dry Chenin Blanc made with grapes from the Horse Heaven Hills as well as a sparkling Syrah and Syrah rosé. Reversal is the reserve program and offers a Pinot Noir and Syrah that pairs well with barbecue and grilled foods. Moodlite, which pays homage to Chenin’s father’s career as a Hollywood lighting pro, bottles a Merlot made with grapes from Southern Oregon. Tasting room visitors can also try draft beer, some of which is made by her brother.

34930 Brooten Road, Pacific City

The Winery at Manzanita

Owner/winemaker Mark Proden started his winemaking career in Salem with his nonprofit label, Bodhichitta Winery, before moving to Hawaii and launching Island Mana Wines, a line of organic tropical fruit wines. When he returned to Oregon, he opened The Portland Wine Bar in downtown and a winery along the main drag in Manzanita. He now produces more than 24 varietals, including Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and a Blanc de Noir sparkling. All wines are small-batch and made onsite with fruit sourced from single vineyards in Oregon and Washington — including Black Dog Vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, which Proden purchased last summer. 

 Visitors can sit on the second-story deck or around fire pits made from wine barrel staves in the courtyard while enjoying flights, glass pours or a bottle of wine. “We’re more laid back, given that it’s the Coast,” Proden says. “It’s not a formal tasting experience; it’s more come as you are and enjoy our wine.” Kids are welcome and can make s’mores, snack on local cheeses and salami, and pet the resident dog and label inspiration, Pinot, Proden’s sweet black Labrador Retriever.

253 Laneda Avenue, Manzanita


Fresh seafood appetizer at Bridgewater Bistro in Astoria. ##Photo by Susan Spence


Bridgewater Bistro

Boasting one of the finest Oregon wine lists in the state, Bridgewater Bistro continues to satisfy guests on every page of its menu. Since opening in 2007, owners Ann and Tony Kischner have been dedicated to serving local, seasonal ingredients inside their storied building, once a part of the Union Fish cannery. With a daily seafood special, diners can experience the freshest catch prepared with great care, not to mention savor the house-made baked goods by Ann, a talented pastry chef and gracious host, too. Then there is the view, the bustling Columbia River reaching out to sea.

20 Basin Street, Astoria

Local Ocean Seafoods

When Local Ocean first opened in 2005, owners Laura Anderson and fisherman Al Pazar envisioned “a fish market with a little restaurant attached.” Fortunately, demand caused the couple to double their seating capacity to accommodate the growing fans. Anderson, now the sole owner, hails from a multigenerational fishing family. Her background shows in the sincerity of the dishes, showcasing sustainably caught seafood fresh from the boat. The wine list also highlights the restaurant’s dedication to local producers.

213 S.E. Bay Boulevard, Newport

Restaurant Beck

Officially the in-house restaurant of the Whale Cove Inn, Restaurant Beck remains a hidden gem with pristine coastal views yet a refined, metropolitan menu. Justin Willis, a two-time James Beard Award semi-finalist for “Best Chef Northwest,” elevates locally foraged and farmed ingredients into artistic, dramatic fare. With wife Stormee, Justin opened the white-tablecloth restaurant in 2009. From any seat in the house, you are treated to a mesmerizing seascape, a secluded cove where wandering whales drift by and pockets of old-growth Sitkas tower overhead.

2345 S. Hwy. 101, Depoe Bay




Brut Wine Bar

Enjoy Northwest wine, beer and cider, alongside snacks, plus retail bottles to take home. 

240 10th Street, Astoria 


Featuring small plates and a cozy ambiance, the wine bar hosts regulars and private events.

100 39th Street, Astoria 

WineKraft Wine Bar

Primarily focused on Northwest wines, the bar also pours local beer and cider with six rotating taps and a menu of small bites. 

80 Tenth Street, Astoria

Cannon Beach

Laurel’s Wine Shop

For decades, Laurel Hood has welcomed guests to her place, selling and sampling a selection of wines, including her own brand, Laurel Hood Wines. 

263 N. Hemlock Street, Cannon Beach


Nye Beach Wine Cellar

The classic wine shop curates its thoughtful selection of labels from Oregon and beyond.

255 N.W. Coast Street, Newport

Pacific City

PC Pour

Selling boutique brands from the West Coast, the bar offers an approachable sophistication.

33310 Cape Kiwanda Dr., Pacific City


Buddha Kat Winery

Based in Sandy, Buddha Kat Winery pours its wines, crafted from both wine grapes and fruit, from its other sandy (literally) location on the Coast. Savor a laid-back, sweet time. 

37 N. Edgewood Street, Seaside

Evoke Winery

Evoke attracts a fun crowd to its satellite tasting rooms. From everyday wines to premium bottles, the winery offers a great variety. Other locations include: Hood River, Bend and soon-to-be Vancouver, Washington. 

270 S. Columbia Street, No. 486, Seaside

Hop & Vine

The popular gathering place is stocked with 1,000-plus wines, plus coolers and 20 taps.

220 S. Columbia Street, Seaside


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