Some wineries take themselves waaaaaaaay too seriously.
Not the folks at Naked Winery in Hood River. For them, wine is all about fun.
The name of the winery (ahem), for one thing, suggests an interest in … having a Naked experience. And just what that might be? In the upper case, it all starts with the wine, says Dave Barringer, a partner in the enterprise with the risque rep. Lower case? Well, what happens after Naked stays after Naked.
“Our mission is, we want couples across America to shut off the TV, share a glass of wine, and talk with each other,” Barringer says. “We think that if you do that, good things will happen.”
Longtime tasting room manager Shelly Bradley says, “We’re hopeless romantics at Naked Winery.”
Hopeful, too. Following the guidance of Bradley and other servers, visitors to the winery two blocks from the Hood River Hotel can amble down a dry tasting menu, or a sweet tasting. On the dry side, for example, sippers might sample Dominatrix Pinot Noir, Penetration Cabernet or Vixen Syrah.
Ahem. Romance, indeed.
To reinforce the message, the tasting room sports a rich selection of racy T-shirts and other wink-wink clothing and glassware. Ironic (and fun) to be wearing … Naked … clothing.
If the the label seems a little too salacious for your taste, the Naked folks offer a low-brow alternative — the Outdoor Wino brand. Its plastic bottles support the goal of putting wine in the hands of active people — bikers, hikers and such.
With three production facilities — two in the Gorge, and one in southern Oregon — Naked Winery produces more than 20,000 cases a year. It also supplies two tasting rooms in South Dakota.
In Hood River, the main tasting room supports live music three nights a week. Enjoy the music on Monday, Friday and Saturday nights.
Two separate rooms allow more relaxed tasting, or even group events by reservation.
“We want people to come in, relax, have a glass of wine and just take their time,” Barringer says.
Tasting room hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, later on music nights.