Crisp, bright and cool, this Oregon white has it going on in all the right places.
R. Stuart’s Bigfire Pinot Gris with its juicy fruit flavors – pear, apple and a little liche – welcomes in spring for your palate like sunshine and showers for the daffodils. Easy to drink and refreshing, this white wine finds perfect balance between acidity and sweetness and leaves the mouth curious for its evolving layers.
R. Stuart is located in Mcminnville about an hour southwest of Portland. Stop by their urban tasting bar to sample this wine this season and then make sure to pick up a few bottles for those upcoming hot summer days.
Rich in color but with a light mouth feel, this Pinot Noir is inspiration on the palate.
If you have writers block, pick up a bottle of R. Stuart’s Vignette Pinot Noir. With its signature calligraphy label, the Pinot Noir will leave your mind raving with its silky body and notes of soft earth, chocolate and dark cherries. Finding equilibrium, the wine paints a big picture in your mouth without being overly complicated or heavy.
This is the third part of a five part series featuring day trip itineraries in Oregon’s wine country. Each itinerary features 4-5 wineries within driving distance of each other near a city or accommodations hub.
With rural tasting rooms scattering the farm filled valley, the Salem area of the Willamette Valley is filled with delicious wineries pair with quiet and quaint views. If you are looking for an escape from the crowds, try a wine tasting day trip from this area. Hub: Salem
Starting from Salem head west out of town to explore the lush, rolling hills of the area’s wine country. Down a long winding road, stop first at Cubanisimo Vineyardsfor a blend of Cuba and Pinot noir, Oregon culture. Owned by Cuban native Mauricio Collada, Cubanisimo features small lot Pinot noirs. If you feel like getting your groove on, stop by this winery on on of their salsa lesson and wine tasting nights. Open 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily, April through December and by appointment in the winter.
Then continue to Left Coast Cellars for a taste of this new winery’s sustainable Pinot noir, crisp Pinot gris, Chardonnay and Pinot blanc. Also make sure to grab a taste of their new Settler Cider. Open 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Friday to Sunday in the winter.
From one small producer to another, head to Johan Vineyards to taste authentic and elegant Pinot noir from the core of the Willamette soil. Also crafting small lot productions of Chardonnay and Pinot gris, this is one winery you don’t want to miss. Open 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily, February – December.
Next stop in Rickreall to sip the offerings from one of the area’s larger producers, Eola Hills Winery. With a wide range of wines and prices and a large tasting room, this winery is great stop for groups. In the summer, this is also a popular winery stop for cyclists. Open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily.
Before heading back toward Salem, continue south to Illahe Vineyards and Amalie Roberts- you won’t regret the extra miles to taste their superb wines. At Amalie Roberts make sure to try their Viognier and at Illahe don’t leave without a sip of their dry Riesling and Reserve Pinot noir. Both open by appointment only.
Lightweight in both size and flavor, this white blend is easy to drink – and pack – while on the best adventures!
Produced my Naked Winery, the Outdoor Vino Wanderlust White features savory, light notes of summer fruit – melon and honeydew. With a lingering note of minerality on the finish, the off-dry white wine is crisp like high altitude winter air. This is a nice, simple white blend – no over thinking while you enjoy it and the outdoors simultaneously.
Also at one sixth the weight of a traditional wine bottle, the Outdoor Vino bottle is durable, recyclable and easy to carry for a picnic or hike. BPA free, screw cap and only $15, this is a wine that you can easy grab and go!
I took the Wanderlust White snowshoeing up at Crater Lake and it drank – and played- nicely with friends.
Deep, dark yet still oh-so-fruity, this blend sparkles with layers of delicious flavors.
A rich purple blend of 66% Malbec, 25% Syrah and 9% Dolcetto, Sarver Winery’s cuvee shows off with notes of blue fruits and an earthy undertone that makes it perfect for post-puddle stomping evenings. For $24, this 2006 is a sweet, sweet deal.
Located in the South Willamette Valley, Sarver Winery produces specialty, small-lot wines. Perched on the top of a hill overlooking the Elhanan Vineyard, planted in 1984, the winery’s tasting room is quaint and relaxing for small groups or couples looking to taste around the Eugene area.
From sexy costumes to sultry chocolates, Halloween has turned up its “hellish hot” dial in the past few decades – at least for those over the age of 21. Now instead of the ghoulish goblins and villainous vampires (and anyone dressed up as a character from the Twilight series doesn’t count), on all hallows eve we now have 1920s pin-ups and smokin’ fire fighters. And while I’d never complain about a pillowcase full of candy, my palate for the holiday has changed too.
Bring on the frightening good wine! So for this year I’m following the trend and pairing Naked Winery’s luscious wines with my Halloween celebrations – and it’s bound to get a little risque once the corks pop.
Start the Halloween party off right with a little Foreplay.
With a crispy apple flavor, touch of nuttiness on the finish and a soothing balance of acidity, Naked Winery’s Foreplay Chardonnay gets the evening rolling with its light and easy nature. Sip this juicy number with party-pleasers like popcorn balls while you and your friends get flirty bobbing for apples strings.
Now that you’re warm and the party is started, it’s time to bring on the chocolate. Whether you stay in and snitch mini Hershey bars and Twix candies from the Trick-or-Treaters’ stash or you head out on the town, pour a glass of their 2009 Merlot to compliment your sweet tooth. With a tight blend of cherry and plum on the mid-palate and a finish of spice and smoke from the wine’s oak aging, this Merlot flirts in your mouth like a jazzy Louis Armstrong tune or the she-devil/ripped lumber-jack costumed duo hanging out in your hallway.
Now that you have the holiday party wrapped around your little finger, tease them with Naked Winery’s Riesling and like puppy dogs they (or just that special someone) will follow your lead for the rest of haunting night. With a lingering tropical flavor like seductive summer fruit, hot honey and pineapple, this Riesling gets you bopping and juiced up to head out (or in) for the night. Also if you haven’t figured out a costume yet for Halloween, here’s a fun 1989 group suggestion that this wine might just lead to!
About Naked Winery
Located in Hood River, Naked Winery focuses on making high quality wines that “enhance the romance of wine by pleasing the palate.” They create wines that taste good and make you feel good – without taking life too seriously (I appreciate that!). With vineyards in the Willamette Valley and Rogue Valley in Oregon and Columbia Valley in Washington, Naked Winery produces eight varieties of wine under two labels. With a provocative brand, Naked Winery gets the senses and interests peaked easily before opening and with prices ranging from $15 – $28, one of their bottles are sure to please – or should I say palate haunt this Halloween.
What are your favorite wines to pair with Halloween?
As the grapes plump with sugar and the vine leaves turn toward the sun’s warmth, harvest season 2012 rolls through Oregon.
Heading out to wine country in the north Willamette Valley, I volunteered my time and hands at Kramer Vineyards as the fields spread out in fully fall glory. Walking the rows of Chardonnay with bucket in one hand and snippers in the other, I dropped fruit for their next vintage with about 12 other volunteers, who couldn’t pass up the chance to be a working part of this amazing vineyard’s next Brut. And without a cloud in the sky, the first harvest graced us with lovely grapes, warm weather and lots of laughter.
This is the first part of a five part series featuring day trip itineraries in Oregon’s wine country. Each itinerary features 4-5 wineries within driving distance of each other near a city or accommodations hub.
From Oregon’s largest to delicious whole-in-the-wall wineries, the South Willamette Valley knows how to mix it up and keep your taste buds guessing. Hub: Eugene Continue reading →
Awww….summer is in full swing here in Oregon. This week blessed us with over 90 degree weather for multiple days in a row. That means lake time, barbeque, park reading…and lots of chilled white wine. So to say cheers to all my fellow sun worshipers out there, here are three white wines to help beat the heat (and keep some money in your wallet). Continue reading →