Runner-up: The Wine Shack, Cannon Beach
Honorable mention: The Cellar on 10th, Astoria
Rebecca Kraft and her daughter April Thorgramson opened WineKraft nearly four years ago.
“I wanted to have a place you could relax and enjoy a good glass of wine, and enjoy some good local music,” Kraft said. “It’s really important these days to have places where people can meet up and chat, and connect.”
The two opened in a suite on Pier 11 with panoramic views of the Columbia River. Visitors there can taste up to 34 different wines — whites, reds, rosés, bubbles and dessert wine — five types of beer, cocktails and nonalcoholic drinks, along with small plates of cheese, charcuterie and other snacks. WineKraft also offers a wide variety of events, from open mic poetry nights and music to paint-and-sips.
“It’s an alternative to all the beer places in town,” Kraft said. “Not that there’s anything wrong with the beer business. I like beer.”
A former hairdresser whose mother ran restaurants, Kraft said she wanted something of her own and saw a similar wine shop model in Sisters. Even through trolley track construction and closures on the Astoria Riverwalk, people have still been searching out WineKraft, she said.
“I just think it’s all about taking care of our customers, and being consistent with things, offering locals different things, like the tipsy painting and the wine tours,” Kraft said. “This is my feeling on how to promote a business to locals. They in turn will tell others to come to my place.”