We awoke a little groggily after perhaps one too many sips of wine the night before. I luckily didn't have to shield my eyes from the glaring sun because the morning fog was doing that for me. Gazing out over the Willamette Valley I was already getting nostalgic for it. I knew I'd miss it regardless of how much Kelly didn't really care for it. This place just felt like home to me. We said goodbye to our Renegade Ridge Vineyard home & hopped in the rented Nissan to get some strong coffee & get a jump on the day. I wanted to try to get by Carlton Winemaker's Studio before our appointment at Elk Cove Vineyards. We drove into McMinnville for coffee then headed towards Gaston. the drive was idyllic. Quaint country roads, green rolling hills, blue skies. Wow. Who couldn't love this?? We pulled into Carlton & discovered a cute little town with a traditional main street that was quiet given the early morning hour. After meandering around the street & stopping for more coffee we were on our way to the Studio. Unfortunately they weren't going to open until just before we were supposed to be at Elk Cove. Boo. Oh well, there is always next time. So we headed back out & made our way towards Elk Cove on a series of two lane gravel roads that were a bit dicey for awhile but we made it out the other side to this:
Karen Sanderson poured us some refreshingly delicious rose of pinot noir to quench our thirst after the rough drive.
We tasted through a series of wines with Karen. 2008 Pinot gris & pinot blanc as well as 2007 pinot noir. One of the key qualities to Elk Cove's wines are their acidity level. It keeps them bright & fresh & helps the flavors linger on my palate while making me want to go back to the glass. Each wine was as good if not better than the last & was a perfect example of why they have garnered such respect & admiration from wine lovers all over the world. After the tasting run through we sat back & enjoyed a little lunch out on the deck & just unclenched.
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