Our friends Amy and Andy are old hands at this wine tasting thing; they seem to know all the back roads southwest of town. They were our tour guides, oracles (I’m more of a beer guy), and benefactors (they belong to various wine clubs; one benefit of which is extra special treatment and/or free sampling at the member wineries). So yeah, we owe them.
Apparently Thanksgiving weekend is a big day for visiting wineries. So we got an early start; we were drinking tasting well before noon.
(But I really don’t know much about it. I got this information from the Oregon Wine Board’s excellent website.)
Our first stop was Lemelson Vineyards. Of the four wineries we visited they had the coolest wine making facilities. I know now that both the managing owner, Eric Lemelson, and the winemaker, Anthony King were among the pourers. With enthusiasm they regaled us with facts and arcana about the grapes, the soil, and the vintages. My favorite wine of the day was one of the first ones I tried; the 2006 Stermer Vineyard Pinot Noir.
The next destination on our epic wine adventure was WillaKenzie Estate Winery. I tried my first Gamay Noir ever, I think. It was fine. Again, I’m not much of a wine person. I like beer. The tasting room was more crowded here than at Lemelson, so we didn’t chit chat much with the pourers. We did get our picture taken though.
That’s John and Marta on the left, me and Heather in the middle, and our guides Amy and Andy on the right.
Brick House Vineyards was the most rustic winery we visited. I tried my second Gamay Noir ever here. But the wine I liked best there was the 2006 Chardonnay.
Our final stop was Winderlea Vineyards and Winery. The dramatic high-ceilinged aluminum and glass tasting room has a large deck with a view of rolling hills. We ended our wine tour here, on the deck sharing a bottle of 2006 ANA Pinot Noir.
All the wines were more expensive than I’m wont to spend (especially after reading The Wine Trials), but I can appreciate that the small scale, craftsmanship and experience involved results in premium wines, with premium prices. In any case, I could think of worse ways to spend a Saturday, and I scored a few wine glasses!
Heather blogged about the trip too, with photos: Tank Full Of Gas Chapter 11: Oregon Wine Country (hic)