Wine & Travel

Snooth User: VegasOenophile

8/17/10 Willamette Valley Winery Trip

Posted by VegasOenophile, Aug 30, 2010.

I only had one afternoon in the OR wine country and my tastings at Bergstrom and Penner Ash fell through, so we just drove around and explored.  We stopped first at the Ponzi tasting room along the highway.  Here, we got a map of wineries and some recommendations.  We ended up also stopping in to Domaine Drouhin, Torii or, Lange and Erath before the day drew to a close and it was after 5 PM.  We got sprinkles of rain and it was a really beautiful area, in the Dundee Hills.  Lots of well known names there in close proximity, but I had decided it might be fun to hit a few we knew and a few we'd never heard of. 

At Ponzi, the tasting flight included:

2008 Chardonnay

2009 Pinot Blanc

2009 Arneis

2009 Pinot Gris

2009 Rosato Pinot Noir Rosé

2008 Tavola Pinot Noir

Favorite was the chardonnay.  Then we drove up to where Domaine Serene and Domaine Drouhin were and chose Drouhin.  Great views from the hill! 

At Domaine Drouhin, we tasted:

2008 Chardonnay Arthur

2009 Edition Rosé

2007 Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

2006 Pinot Noir Lauréne Cuveé

The chardonnay was stellar!  I actually enjoyed the regular pinot noir more than the Lauréne.

Upon many recommendations, we stoped in next at Torii Mor. 

Could see Mt. Hood off in the distance.

At Torii Mor, we tasted their:

2009 Cote D'Mor Viognier

2008 Pinot Blanc

2008 Willamtte Valley Pinot Noir

2008 Dundee Hills Select Pinot Noir

2008 Olalla Vineyard Pinot Noir

2006 Late Bottled Vintage Port made with syrah grapes and fortified with a pinot noir spirit.  I most enjoyed their Viognier and Pinot Blanc.

It was then on to Lange.

I personally, really enjoyed the wines at Lange!  We tasted their:

2009 Pinot Gris

2007 Domaine Trouvére Chardonnay

2008 Pinot Noir Reserve

2008 Pinot Noir Three Hills Cuveé

2008 Pinot Noir Freedom Hill Vineyard

2008 Lange Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir

2006 Domaine Trouvére Pinot Noir

2008 Domaine Trouvére Tempranillo

Highly recommend their flagship wine, the pinot gris and the Trouvére chardonnay is outstanding!  The vineyard specific pinots are also really exceptional, in my opinion.

We began running out of time and Erath stayed open later.  That closed our day.

At Erath, we tasted:

2008 Oregon Gewurztraminer

2008 Oregon Dry Riesling

2009 Oregon Pinot Blanc

2008 Oregon Pinot Gris

2008 Oregon Pinot Noir

2008 Estate Selection Pinot Noir

2006 Pinot Noir Prince Hill Vineyard

I am not usually a big fan of gewurz, but Erath makes a really lovely one!  I was disappointed that it was sold out, so I couldn't buy any.  My folks are riesling freaks though, so I got them the riesling.  The pinot blanc is great as is the estate selection pinot noir and the pinot gris is also good.  Check them out!

I can't wait to go back and explore more of the wineries.  If you like Burgundy or Rhone varietals, get to Willamette Valley!


Reply by napagirl68, Aug 31, 2010.

Ohhhh.... Love this :-)  Oregon is my fave place on earth...if it didn't rain 9mos..

I can give a few that I have visited and loved:

Tyee Vineyards.. been a few years, but like the pinot noir, LOVED the pinot gris.

Bethel Heights.. pinot noir all the way..

Sokol Blosser. pinot noir, pinot noir!!!  Is there anything else up here??? LOL!

SOOOO tell me about the Rhones... I am not familiar...I know this area for pinot noir/pinot gris (grigio) only.... Help, OP?

Reply by VegasOenophile, Aug 31, 2010.

I know some of the wineries up there have grenache, syrah, etc.  I didn't have any, but I know they do have them around.  White Rhone varietals too.

Reply by Danuta1, Apr 16, 2011.

Next time go a pinch further to the south Willmette Valley in Oregon and try the boutique wineries.  Not distributed wines.  Exqusite quality with only moderate alc. so the fruit flavors are not burned out.  Sumptious, alive pinot noir!  Earthy, fruity, fresh, staggeringly good.  My favorite, --Pfeiffer Vineyards.  wow!

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