After a long, leisurely (except for Kelly) few hours at Elk Cove we jumped in the car & sped off towards Beaverton to visit with Barbara Gross at Cooper Mountain Vineyards. Anyone who has read this blog in the past year knows how passionately in love I am with their wines. Across the board they produce wine that is expressive, elegant, balancing ripe fruit with beautiful acidity & with wonderful textures. These components make them some of the most food friendly wines I've tasted. They also truly over deliver for what retail price point they are at.
As we pulled up to the winery I couldn't help but notice that it was unlike most of the other places we had been to in Willamette Valley. This was no "chateau" style operation. It was family style all the way & I instantly appreciated that. What that says to me is that they are 100% focused on the health of the vines & the quality of the wine. In the center of the small gravel parking lot they have a flow form fountain for mixing all their biodynamic teas & sprays & such. Barbara poured us some of the deliciously zippy '09 tocai friulano (I'm so excited that we will have this in the store soon!) as we walked through some of the estate vineyards. The sun was definitely beating down on us but not nearly as much as how bad it was back home in Memphis. We looked at some pinot gris & pinot noir vines that were just so beautiful & calming. There was an energy to these vines that was obvious, it radiated.
Barbara took us into a small warehouse area that housed the balsamic vinegar they produce. The air was thick with a pungent sour-sweetness that was unlike any other aroma. Rows & rows of tiny barrels housing some very delicious vinegar. I wish I would have photographed the aging room but I was just too excited by it all to remember to take pictures. Cooper Mountain is a unique place with wonderful people who make absolutely delicious wine. Seek their bottles out!