Dauntless. “not to be daunted or intimidated; fearless; intrepid; bold.”
When we heard about Dauntless Wines from a close friend we decided to give their wines a try. Founded by three military veterans, Ben Martin, Ryan Mills, and Paul Warmbier, Dauntless is dedicated to their craft and to returning veterans as well. Their tasting room is scheduled to open in May 2019, with an open house on May 1st. However, they have a reservation system for private wine tastings so you can try their wines before the official opening.
What better way to try new wines!
The Dauntless Wine Company Tasting Room is nestled in small town USA, Forest Grove, OR, around the corner from Pacific University.
The drive from Portland to the tasting room is about 45 minutes (minus traffic) and winds you through beautiful lush countryside and working farms and vineyards. Once you have arrived in Forest Grove, head downtown to the corner of Main Street and Pacific Avenue. There you’ll find a three story, gray brick building and the Dauntless wine tasting room is just inside on the first floor.
Inside Dauntless, the brick walls and wood floor give the air of days gone by when alcohol was consumed in saloons or in prohibition era speakeasies. Industrial style, butcher block, bar height tables and stools look like they will be positioned throughout the tasting room where patrons can sit or stand to enjoy the wines offered by Dauntless.
Adding to the eclectic, yet sophisticated, atmosphere is a collection of antique, military memorabilia showcased throughout the tasting room.
In the front corner of the room is an antique sound system that they hope to use for in-house concert events.
Dauntless is still in the process of the final touches for the tasting room, but one can already imagine being taken back to times of old while sipping wines and listening to music crackle through the vintage speaker.
Private wine tastings are available in 30-minute and 60-minute time slots. (The 60-minute does have an additional fee.) We were thrilled to have Ben Martin, co-founder and military history aficionado, as our wine tasting host.
We were seated at the beautiful, newly installed, copper top front bar for our tasting. It had just been installed a couple weeks earlier per a Dauntless Instagram post. The bar faces a rustic (possibly reclaimed wood) wall.
Our tasting started out with the bottles lined up so we could see each wine we would be trying that day.
Dauntless has a variety of wines in white, rose and red. In whites, Dauntless produces Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. In Rose, they have their popular Rose Pinot Noir, and in red they offer a Pinot Noir. Our tasting flight included these wines:
- 2017 Chardonnay – Dreadnought
- 2017 Pinto Gris – Trenton
- 2018 Rose Pinot Noir – Riveter
- 2017 Wadenswil Pinot Noir – No Man’s Land
- 2016 Pinot Noir – Howitzer
- 2016 Pinot Noir – No Man’s Land
Being a novice wine “connoisseur”, talking about notes and body is best left to wine experts. However, Ben did an amazing job guiding us through the attributes of each wine. For example, the Chardonnay is not buttery. Rather, it was dryer and less sweet than your typical Chardonnay. The Rose had depth to it and was closer to a red wine rather than the sweetness of a simple Rose. The Howitzer was a definite favorite in our tasting group. We were impressed with the smoothness of the wine and the light boldness of the underlying notes.
What really captured our attention was Ben’s in-depth knowledge of military, and American, history. Each wine has military name and a story behind its name on the back of each bottle.
Ben kept us entertained with every sip we took. One of our group members even suggested he offer a night of history and wine with him once the tasting room is in full swing. We are sure he will be over the top busy promoting his brand and products, but who knows! Wishing we’d had a recorder to capture his amazing stories and historical knowledge.
It is evident that the founders are devoted to their work and their brand and to helping returning vets. It shows in their product, the atmosphere exuded in the tasting room, and their support of organizations that focus on helping returning veterans.
Ben was professional and passionate during our tasting session. He is well schooled in wines and knows his products. The stories he told kept the tasting informative, entertaining, and lighthearted.
The wines are truly enjoyable. Each is unique and stands out on its own. We look forward to more wines from Dauntless in the future. If one is interested in wine clubs, Dauntless has three wine clubs, The Founder’s Club (currently full but has a waiting list), The Case Club, and The Veteran’s Club (for military veterans and active duty service members).
You can find more information about the Dauntless Wine Tasting Room here:
|Website: https://dauntlesswine.co/ |
Address: 2003 Main St, Forest Grove, OR 97116
Shop Wines: https://dauntlesswine.co/collections/all
Hours of Operation: Currently by appointment. Tasting room officially opens tentatively May 2019.
Wine Club: https://dauntlesswine.co/pages/wine-club
Social Media: Facebook | Instagram