Saturday, August 29, 2009

Day 3

Yes I know that it's almost September & I went to Oregon Pinot Camp a few months ago but I just realized that I didn't post about my third day of OPC. All the campers had their choice from about 25 different events to attend on the 3rd day. The problem was that we could only choose 1!! I just went with my first gut instinct....Oysters, Pork & pinot noir. Oh.....yeah. After an incredible, & incredibly exhausting, past few days & nights I got to sleep in a bit. At about 8:30 a.m. I arose in my hotel bed took a nice hot shower & grabbed a cup of coffee at the bakery next door. With a nice caffeine boost I hopped in my rental car & sped off towards Adelsheim Winery in the Chehalem Mountains AVA. I arrived a bit early so I drove around a bit & stumbled on one of my absolute favorite wineries!

I've been a huge fan of Lachini Vineyards ever since my very good friend Elizabeth brought them back from HER OPC trip a few years ago. These wines are elegant, expressive, untamed, silky, luscious & just really really damn delicious. I unfortunately didn't have enough time to stop at their tasting room, bummer. Being the punctual man that I am I arrived at Adelsheim just in time to explore the estate.

Adelsheim is set amidst beautiful rolling hills that are lush with vines & a large hazelnut orchard. I did not know this but Oregon is the largest producer of hazelnuts in the world. This little baby hazelnut was illuminated in such a beautiful light that I was compelled to snap a photo of it.

I hiked my way back down the hill to the winery to indulge in some a bevy of bivalves & some porcine delicacies. Along with a little vino of course! Portland restaurant EAT provided the oysters & a bit of oceanic farming education. I was intrigued to find out that there are only 2 different species of oysters. What gives each type its unique flavor & texture is where it is grown. It's "terroir" so to speak.

They had hot sauce & lemons to put on the oysters but C'MON! These are super fresh, incredibly delicious oysters. Why in the hell would I want to sully them with anything?? They are swimming in their own super flavorful liqueur so why screw with that? All I accompanied my oysters with was a glass of Elk Cove Brut 1999, a creamy but brightly acid driven sparkling wine that was a seriously welcome surprise.

Aside from the bubbly (I just love me some bubbles) the two standout wines for me were the Cooper Mountain Tocai Friulano 2008 & the 2007 Chehalem Winery Gruner Veltliner. I just absolutely love the unique wines that are a little different & super tasty. Oregon Tocai? What? Gruner? Seriously? I was in heaven, literally. The tocai was nutty & aromatic with a hint of ginger & the gruner had spicy white pepper & notes of white peach. D-Licious. After about 7 different types of oysters we adjourned to the sun drenched patio for a lunch of locally sourced pork. The pig farmers were also on hand to discuss why they started farming & what breeds they farm (the pigs are a hybrid of berkshire & another breed that I can't quite remember....too much wine.) During lunch reps from each participating winery (Bergstrom, Cooper Mountain, Chehalem & Adelsheim) poured back vintages, reserve bottles & large formats. It was one of the most exceptional days of my whole life. If that wasn't enough, after lunch Josh Bergstrom gave me a ride through David Adelsheim's vineyards in his Mini Cooper.

David specifically asked Josh not to drive into his hazelnuts but as you can see above he neglected to heed that request.

As you can see the weather was perfect. If you look closely you might be able to see the large crack in his windshield. Obviously he's rough on that poor little Mini.

At one point Josh slowed down, reached out the window & snatched a bunch of baby grapes off the vine. He said that these had grown so quickly that they were twice the the size they were just the day before.

I can't believe I got into that little car & went tearing through some of the best vineyards in the U.S. with Josh Bergstrom.


Samantha Dugan said...

Nice review Michael!

Michael Hughes said...

Thanks! I had an incredible time & was so amazed at the work everyone is doing in Oregon. The wines were insane!!