Recent Posts

Thursday, July 7, 2011

VACATION. In the Willamette Valley.

Thursday4 pm. Chris and I hit the road for a weekend wine getaway up in the Willamette Valley. Here are some of my favorite moments from the trip.

First stop, beer at Venti’s Cafe Basement Bar with old friend Mike and new friend Kristen. Oops! Forgot to take a picture here.
Chehalem Tasting Room, Newberg. I’ve always been a fan of Chehalem whites, which was the reason for the stop, but lucky for us, the winemaker dropped off a lot of open bottles, meaning we tried everything from Pinot Gris (that tasted like Sauvignon Blanc) to a Gamay/Pinot blend to  five single vineyard Pinot Noirs. Coincidentally enough, Chaney, the generous Chehalem-ite, just got back from a Vintage in New Zealand where him and Chris crossed paths. We even cracked open a bottle of our 2009 God King Slave for the staff to try.

Colene Clemens Vineyards, Newberg. One of the newest producers in the Willamette Valley, the winemaker, Steve Goff, use to be the assistant at Beaux Freres. With a gravel driveway to rival Lange Estate Winery, it makes you wonder if it is going to be worth it (dust covered picture below). And it is. Currently tasting three wines, a rosé the color of copper with some major acidity, an Estate Pinot Noir and the Estate Reserve that is as good as any we tried all weekend. Plus they have one hell-of-a view.

The Allison, Newberg. The home of the cutest glass water bottles on the planet, the most irresistible  burger made with Pinot Noir, the most lovely smelling soap and lotion from Boony Doon, many late night indulgences in soft chocolate cake infused with Pinot of course,  and the best sleep I’ve had all year – making it the most ideal place to stay while in wine country. We couldn’t have been more fortunate.

Farm to Fork
, Dundee. Incredible farm-fresh breakfast for two people that rarely have more than cups full of coffee ’til noon.

Wine Tasting with Friends, Everywhere. Our buddies, Franklin and Simon joined us for some wine tasting throughout the Dundee Hills and Chehalem Mountains. Who knows if the Willamette Valley was ready for that many over-swirls, f-bombs, or “industry” jokes, and who really cares.

Adelsheim Vineyard, Newberg. Happy 40th Adelsheim. Your “Lizzy” Reserve and Bryan Creek Pinots were everything I ever wanted in a Pinot. I bought an Auxerrois because it was delicious and I think it is fun to make up pronunciations.

The most hilarious thing I have ever seen. Joe’s Secco.

The Painted Lady, Newberg. The best dining experience ever. Chris and I ate here last year and anticipated our return more than anything else on the trip. If you go, you must leave the wine and food pairing to them, the combos are mind-blowing:
ME: Wild Salmon Carpaccio, Pistachios, Capers and Local Olive Oil 2007 Argyle BrutCHRIS: Oregon Shrimp Napoleon w/ Avocado, Cucumber & Citrus Aioli 2009 Trisatum Riesling
ME: Seared Diver Scallop and Alaskan Spot Prawn with Bourride 2009 Bergstrom Old Stones Chardonnay
CHRIS: Hazelnut Crusted Halibut with Sunchoke Puree and Red Wine Reduction 2007 Le Cadeau Enquinox Pinot Noir
BOTH: Beef Two Ways; Prime New York Steak and Braised Short Ribs 2008 Pamphlin Family JRG Red Wine
ME: Chocolate Grand Marnier Souffle 2007 Abacela Port
CHRIS: Chevre Cheesecake with Blueberry Compote 2006 David Hill Muscat Port
I seriously have never complained about being this full in my life, but there isn’t one bite I would take back!
Other worthwhile moments- drinking the strongest drink of my life at Thistle in McMinnville (congrats to them for being named Restaurant of the Year by The Oregonian), and  having our friend Travis tell us:
Ripe fruit, dry fruit, leather and spice. All around drinkability. It was great. 50/50 Syrah/Temp (2009 God King Slave) was meant to be. You might want to keep that going.
That made my whole weekend!
Sunday 11 am I throw myself a pity party because my fabulous vacation was coming to an end. But…welcome home my new friends!


Post a Comment