This past Monday morning we awoke at 4 am to hop in Max's van & speed off towards MEM (Memphis International Airport). The last time I was up at that hour it was from the night before. However, we had good reason to be awake at this ungodly hour; a flight to Portland Oregon!!! I've been to Oregon once before just over a year ago. That first trip was incredibly magical & ever since then I've wanted to share it with Kelly. I wanted to show him why I fell in love with the region's food, wine, beauty & energy. This trip was going to be a mix of business & pleasure. Wine tours, tastings but also relaxing, eating, drinking good wine & interesting cocktails. It took us a bit of time to get the rental car so we were about 20 minutes late for our first appointment which was at Ponzi.
Laurel Dent, Marketing Manager at Ponzi, led us through a few rows of the older blocks on the Estate. These gnarly trunk vines were so beautiful to look at. Wild, rustic, moss covered, with warped & twisted angles. Gorgeous agriculture. Laurel was so pleasant, friendly, warm & knowledgable & really made the experience special to me. One of the standouts was the riesling. It was bright, pungent, full of petrol & flint notes & had a mouthwatering acidity that lingered in a lovely way on my palate. I had only twelve spaces available in my wine case luggage & I instantly knew the Ponzi Riesling would take up one space.
Poor Kelly was starving halfway through & actually said "we need to get lunch..soon". Laurel suggested the Dundee Bistro which was conveniently located near the guesthouse we were staying in so we headed down into the Willamette Valley floor for lunch. Since it was such a gorgeous day (& not oppressively hot & sticky humid like in Memphis) we sat down outside & ordered some bubbly. Relaxing, soaking up the sun & sipping on some beautiful sparkling from Burgundy (Sorry Argyle!) was heaven. Our excursion had begun.