Saturday, August 30, 2008
Visiting Oregon Wine Country
We spent four days in the area around McMinnville, Oregon visiting about 13 wineries. Driving to the various vineyards and tasting rooms gave a better appreciation for how the AVAs are designated and why such variation in soil structure and content would occur. Meeting the winemakers and growers reinforced the notion that, really, anyone can get into the wine business given enough enthusiasm, passion, a business plan, and some cash! My favourite wineries were: Arcane, Brickhouse, Prive, Methven, Torii Mor, and Tyrus Evans/Ken Wright. I came to these conclusions based on the wines' present taste and potential, interaction with the winemakers and the people staffing the tastings, the general ambiance and setting of the tasting rooms. Of interest were Maysara, Rockblock/Domaine Serene, White Rose, Panther Creek, Sineann, Chehalem, Cristom, and Dobbes. We did not get to Adelsheim, Rexhill (been there before), Patricia Green, Erath, Argyle, Witness Tree, Elk Grove, Owen Roe, Nemaste, Montinore, or Willa Kenzie. We were pleased to learn that there are now 5-6 women winemakers on the McMinnville area, several more than in Walla Walla.