Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wine, Oregon-style

I'm in Oregon for three weeks to sing at the Oregon Bach Festival. Besides the music and the great colleagues that I'm with, I'm loving the weather, the berries at the farmer's market, and of course the wonderful local wine and beer. On a free day my boyfriend Nathan and I drove down to the Umpqua Valley to visit some wineries. The scenery was stunning and the wineries small and personal, like in Sonoita.

First we went to Girardet Wine Cellars. We headed there because I met their winemaker, Marc Girardet, at a wine event last summer, and I really loved his Baco Noir. It was as tasty as I remembered, and we also enjoyed their Estate Riesling which is just slightly sweet.

Vines at Girardet and the Oregon hills in the background

Being in vacation mode we'd gotten a late start, so we asked Cedar at Girardet what winery we should visit if we only had time for one more. She recommended HillCrest Vineyard which is Oregon's oldest vineyard and winery. Dyson and Susan Demara do all the work themselves, with the help of their children, and they sell only from their tasting room and online.

In the HillCrest barrel room with Susan

Susan gave us a tour of the winery works and showed off their concrete fermenting tanks. We also got to barrel-taste a couple of wines including a wonderful oaked Chardonnay (and I thought I didn't like oaky Chardonnay!) and a Tempranillo which was nice and interesting to compare to our Arizona-grown Canelo Hills Estate Tempranillo. The wines we ended up taking home were a fantastic Zinfandel and their Inside Out, which is a white Pinot Noir (yes, white) and a really delicious and unusual wine. Now we just have to drink all this wine with our singer friends before flying home next week...

Nathan and the HillCrest winery dogs

1 comment:

  1. I wish we could have been there. Thanks for doing the research for us! Any wine left?