Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day 2 - Oregon

Sorry for the lapse in posts but the rest of our trip was jam packed & didn't allow me a moments rest to blog. So here we go...

Waking up to this wasn't half bad at all especially considering it's 100 billion degrees back home in Memphis.

Our house was located right outside the estate vineyards of Stoller. This picturesque setting is also the source for some world class wines from not only Stoller but also Chehalem & Argyle to name a few.

First stop: Owen Roe

Owen Roe Winery is well known for their bold, dark, & gripping wines sourced from premier vineyards in Washington State. Their winery is located in St Paul, Oregon in the eastern part of the Willamette Valley. Since they are not open to the public this was a rare treat for the Joe's Winos Club.

We were there just as their were bottling the new vintage of Ravenna Riesling in a mobile bottling line.

While most people might find something like this boring everyone on the trip was fascinated by it. Each person was inquisitive & curious about the necessary process to bring wine to market. Since OR uses mobile bottling it showcases how small they really are.

Now to the fun part...

Starting with a delicious pinot gris was a perfect mouth-watering beginning to the day. Fresh, clean, bright, & zippy yet with an undertone of rich pear & hazelnut.

Next it was on to one of my favorite things: barrel sampling. Samples were pulled of two different clones of pinot noir grown side by side in the same vineyard. The group got to experience first hand how unique each clone can be even when grown adjacent to each other. Its one thing to attempt to explain this to someone but its something else entirely to experience. I could see eyes lighting up with the "ok I get it!" face.

After tasting through a few more samples I asked if a barrel sample of the 2008 Red Willow Vineyard Chapel Block Syrah could be pulled. He said yes & ran off for a pitcher. Red Willow is such a desolate & starkly beautiful vineyard producing ruggedly delicious grapes.

We continued on through some other Washington wines of theres such as Rosa Mystica Cabernet Franc which was deep, dark, haunting, gripping, lush & super aromatic. The Yakima Valley Red was plush, with subtle yet bold tannins (I know, seems like an oxymoron) & dark spice & fruit notes.

Next up, Argyle........

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day 1-Oregon

I got a bit worried when we were in MSP on our layover. Flight delays make me nervous. However, this one was quick & painless & we were on our way to PDX. I never cease to be in awe of the rugged beauty of the scenery when flying into PDX.

As soon as we grabbed our bags & got the vans we were off for Willamette Valley.

First Stop: Erath Winery

Located in the much coveted Dundee Hills AVA this venerable winery has been a touchstone for Oregon wines.

Erath gave us a warm welcome & poured some absolutely stunning pinots for us. There is good reason why they have been around so long.

After Erath we headed to our three vineyard houses on the Stoller Vineyards property. Brad, Brandon & I got to work preparing a very PacNW spread of grilled salmon that I rubbed with dill, mustard, lemon zest, lemon juice, s&p.

Bring on Day 2

Monday, June 06, 2011

Film & Music

Now I know this isn't food or wine related but this sounds like one of the most unique events. Everyone who can should go check this out.