- With regards to JTRYKA, looks like we weren't the only ones visiting the Northwest wine country recently.We traveled to Portland OR, to visit our son for the week of the fourth of July but he was at a music festival the first weekend we're here so what to do?How about a little trip south into wine country!Last time we were here we stomped around the wineries near Newburgh and Dundee, so for this trip I decided to head out a little further afield and check out the Eugene area (with a stop in Salem on both ends just for good measure).This is Pinot country and the typical tasting menu consisted of 2-3 whites (mainly Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc) and 3-4 Pinot Noirs. Kind of surprised that there wasn't more Chardonnay.Our normal routine is to split one tasting and then buy one or two bottles of what tasted best. I find that we can do an adequate job of tasting, visit a decent number of wineries and still be standing at the end of the day.Here are the places we stopped and the purchases we made (unfortunately I didn't take detailed tasting notes but I do have the tasting sheets):Saturday (Salem)Cristom VineyardsPinot Noir Sommers Reserve - 2010Viognier - 2011St. Innocent WineryChardonnay Freedom Hill Vineyard - 2011Pinot Noir Zenith Vineyard - 2011Bethel Heights VineyardGewurztraminer Rogue Valley - 2010Pinot Noir Flat Block - 2009Saturday (Eugene)Eugene Wine CellarsPinot Gris - 2011Recess Red - NVJ. Scott CellarsRoussanne - 2011Sunday (Eugene Northwest)Benton-Lane WineryPinot Gris - 2011Pinot Blanc - 2011Brigadoon Wine Co.Pinot Noir Lylee - 2011Pfeiffer WineryBlushing Bride Rose - NVHigh Pass WinerySauvignon Blanc Late Harvest - 2002Domaine MeriwetherBrut Vintage Cuvee 2001Monday (Eugene South)Noble Estate VineyardPinot Noir - 2010Silvan Ridge WineryPinot Gris - 2011Sarver WineryPinot Noir Elhanan Vineyard - 2010Pinot Noir Elhanan Vineyard - 2009Tuesday (Willamette)Sokol Blosser WineryEstate Cuvée Dundee Hills Pinot Noir - 2009Estate Cuvée Dundee Hills Rose of Pinot Noir - 2012Torii Mor WineryPinot Blanc Yamhill-Carlton - 2011ArborBrook VineyardsPinot Gris Croft Vineyard - 2012Origin 1886 Pinot Noir - 2010Ponzi VineyardsAnniversary Pinot Noir Reserve - 2010For me, the wine highlight/aha moment of this trip was the Domaine Meriwether 2001 bubbly. Although it was the only sparkling wine we had, it was fantastic! Vibrant, dry, toasty, slightly yeasty with a really nice finish and for $30 we felt like we were stealing. This rates up there with some of the best I've tasted. They hold onto their wines until they feel like they're ready for drinking, so in addition to the 2001 cuvee we also taste a 2000 vintage sparkling, a 2007 Pinot Gris, a 2000 Pinot Rose sparkling and a 2006 Pinot Noir.In general, for reds, the Salem area Pinot Noir was much better than the Eugene area offerings. I thought that Ponzi stood slightly above all the others with Bethel Heights and Cristom right on its heels.The major attraction with the Eugene wineries was the friendliness of all the people in the tasting rooms and the lack of crowds. We were usually the only people there (even on the weekend part of the outing) and on more than one occasion we had family members pouring us their wine and on one occasion entertaining us with an accordian solo. Also, the prices were noticeably lower.
Recent Trip to Eugene OR and side trips to Salem
- Reply by jtryka, Jul 9, 2013.
What an excellent report! I lived in Portland from 1999-2002 and had a number of visits to the Dundee area for wine tasting, but unfortunately I was never as into the Pinots as I was the bigger reds of the Columbia Valley but I do recall that Ponzi and Sokol Blosser always had nice wines, I was also a fan of Elk Cove Pinot Noir and have found it occasionally here in the midwest. Thanks for sharing your experience, sounds like you had a wonderful time!
- Reply by MetteinCoMo, Jul 9, 2013.
What an interesting trip!
My husband and I have the exact same strategy when tasting and buying wine. Unfortunately, we haven't gotten a chance to travel to Oregon yet, but after reading about so many great trips to the area, it's getting higher and higher on our list.
Thanks for sharing!