For the last 12 years, Drew and Maura Bledsoe have been raising their four children in Bend while successfully operating Doubleback Winery and Bledsoe Family Winery in Drew’s hometown of Walla Walla, Washington. It’s only fitting, then, that the former NFL quarterback would opt to open his second Bledsoe Family Winery tasting room — and the first outside of Walla Walla — so close to his adopted and current home in Central Oregon.
Set to open on August 15 in the trendy and historic Box Factory between downtown Bend and the Old Mill District, Bledsoe Family Winery’s 3,593-square-foot tasting room will welcome wine lovers with an indoor/outdoor concept that will be right at home in Bend. A formal grand opening event is being scheduled for early September.
“We are thrilled to be able to share our passion for wine with a community that has created so many wonderful opportunities and memories for our family,” said Drew Bledsoe, who moved to Bend with his family shortly after he retired from football in 2006. “Bend has long been a beer and outdoors town, both of which have become interwoven into the fabric of the town. And we felt that the timing is right to pair great wine with the area’s beloved outdoor-oriented culture, too, and to do so in a way that is both unique and fun. This has long been a dream for us.”
With soaring ceilings, walls lined with staves that have been repurposed from Doubleback and Bledsoe Family Winery wine barrels, and large, roll-top doors that make for a seamless indoor-outdoor transition, the tasting room creates an experience that is at once elegant, refined, industrial and rustic.
White quartz countertops befitting a formal tasting room are contrasted by a large barn mural on one of the interior walls that pays homage to the Bledsoe family’s Flying B ranch in Ellensburg, Washington. The spacious tasting room offers indoor and patio seating on the first floor, a mezzanine for private tastings and events and a lineup of wines available for purchase by the glass or bottle.
Given the success of Bledsoe Family Winery’s Walla Walla tasting room, president and director of winemaking Josh McDaniels expects the Bend location to be similarly received by locals and tourists alike.
“The Bledsoe Family Winery tasting room is designed to be open and accessible for all to enjoy,” said McDaniels. “We want our guests to be able to enjoy a great wine in a beautiful space, while at the same time creating a welcoming, comfortable atmosphere, a hallmark of both Bend and Walla Walla.”
For a $20 tasting fee, which is refundable with any bottle purchase, guests can sample a flight of four Bledsoe Family Winery wines from a rotating lineup that includes Elizabeth Chardonnay, Healy Rosé, Stolen Horse Syrah, Flying B Cabernet Sauvignon and Bledsoe Family Wine. Wine club members will receive as many as six complimentary tastings per month and a 20 percent discount off wines by the glass or bottle.
The tasting room — at 555 NW Arizona Avenue, Suite 198 — will be open from 12-8pm, Monday through Saturday, and Sundays from 12-6pm.