Saturday, April 18, 2009

New Video by Eric Silverberg

This is the first video that Eric made about our wine gathering project. We hope to keep it up and do a couple of wineries each month and encourage people to come and taste or order the wines we select. Lorrie from Sweet Cheeks and Angela from Silvan Ridge star. I am the old guy with the white hair.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Auction Over! Now We Begin Again!

The auction was about 3/4 of what I wanted but it was a very good one and a success in raising a lot of money for Oregon Mozart Players. The staff, Tiffany, Gina, and all the volunteers works sooo hard keeping up with what was coming in, and people donated so freely. The wineries are all in for next year and so are a lot more so this year I will get an early start and get the all. We sold 12 cases, 3 magnums, one 3.5 litter bottle (from Pfiffer) and 24 "table bid" bottles.
Willakenzie Estates, Opine, and Lavelle supplied the wine for the diners.
Thank to all for a wonderful evening and I look forward to next year!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Video of Lorrie and Robert

Here are Lorrie, from Sweet Cheeks, and Robert discussing the growth and the sharing in the Oregon wine industry and doing a barrel taste of the 08 Pinot Noirs.

These are just test videos that will be refined and will soon lead to a on line wine club based on interviews and visits to wineries around Oregon where we will taste the wines, make recommendations, and offer them to the public.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Iris Hill's New Cottage Grove Facility

This morning, after securing my wine stash, I headed out for Cottage Grove to visit Iris Hill's new digs. They had promised a bottle of 2007 Pinot Noir and I was eager to get it as it is the LAST BOTTLE (as far as I know) in the collection. I was pleased and surprised when Mike upgraded me to the fantastic 2005 Arete' Pinot Noir! Here is Laura with the bottle. Only 200 cases were made and there is very little left. "A stylish, silky, full bodied Pinot Noir with raspberry, black cherry, and spicy, earthy notes on the nose. On the palate the mouth is filled with ripe flavors of Marion berries, blueberries and black plums, with hints of cinnamon and oak spice followed by a long and elegant fruit driven finish. This wine has excellent cellaring potential".
Linda and I bought this when it was released and have it down until 20011-14.
I returned to the office and was greeted by a box that said "Otis Kenyon Wines" The Walla Walla Valley is in Washington BUT the winery and facilities for Otis Kenyon is in Milton- Freewater so...Oregon wine! They sent a bottle of their 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon! Truely a great wine.
Well, I guess that is that for a while. The auction is tomorrow night and we have 180+ attendees so far. Let us hope for the best!

Putting the Cork in it!

Well, today is the clean-up day. I need to go to Cottage Grove and accept a bottle from Iris Hill and then track down a friend who has a bottle of Erath and a couple more for me.
The article in the paper was nice though I think they forgot to mention that ALL THE WINERIES DONATED THE WINE! It sounded like I bought it all. Oh well. To all the incredible wineries "Thank you again for your heart felt gifts. Wine is what you do, how you make your living, and is a real love. I know that to give so freely after being ask so often by so many is a burden. I don't know that I would have the patience to put up with it. That is why I limited my asks to ONE BOTTLE. Thank you again!
I will post tasting notes, wine recommendations, and travel tips over the next few months until I start the journy over again, hoping for even more next year.
More later

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Salem,Carlton, Dundee, Gaston, McMinnville, Lafayette for Wine

A long long day started with gathering up my paperwork and loading up on coffee. I arrived in Salem just as Honeywood Winery opened its doors. I had been there once many years ago when the just made fruit wines. I found a very good reason to return when I read that they had received a 90 in Wine Spectator for the 2006 Pinot Noir from their Eola vineyard. I tasted it while it was still tight and again after a few minutes and found it to easily deserve the 90 points. Very tasty and not as fruity as some. They gave me a bottle of 2006 Pinot Noir for the auction!
In Dundee I found Crumbled Rock Winery and saw the progress they are making on the barrel room, tasting room and crush pad/balcony. Very cool site. They bought the vineyard in '87 and she just retired so they are at it full time.They plan to open and be tasting by next year. Julia gave me a 2007 Pinot Noir. Very generous considering how few cases they made.
My usual stop for lunch was excellent as usual. The Bistro served up a hearty pork and bean soup( no, not THAT kind) with a rich flavor that paired well with the Ponzi Pinot Gris. I finished with some Tam cheese and a slice of smoked bacon and apple.
Sustained, I headed out for Carlton and a special treat: Barrel tasting with Patrick Taylor, the winemaker at Canas Feast. We tasted through his line in the tasting room, all delightful, and then went in and found the 2008 Sangiovasi. Wow! I also met with Patrick Taylor, the GM. I can't wait to attend one of the food pairings they do. After an hour of sip and spit I drove to the Abby where my friend Rebecca works. WShe arranged for me to have some of the wineries they store and ship to donate wine from there. She cased it up and saved me much time and raised my count by 18 bottles!Elkhorn Ridge-2007 Le Terre Foss Pinot Noir, Shea Wine Cellars-2007 Estate Pinot Noir, Daedalus Cellars-2006 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, Trium- 2007 Pheasent Hill Pinot Gris, Cristom Vineyards-2006 Sommer Reserve Pinot Noir, Barbara Thomas Wines- 2005 Vigna Giovanni Yamhill Pinot Noir, Brittan Vineyards- 2006 Basalt Block Pinot Noir, Ardiri Estate Grown- 2006 Carmeros Pinot Noir, Winter's Hill Vineyard- 2004 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir, Anam Cara Cellars- 2006 Nicholas Estate Pinot Noir ,CarabellaVineyard-2007 Pinot Noir, Seventeen Eighty-nine Wines-2007 Pinot Noir and Johan Vineyards-2006 Pinot Noir.
Be sure to click on the winery AND the wine.
Rebecca took me to see Steve Lutz, the winemaker and owner of Lenne Estate. What a view! We interrupted him in the middle of work but he was gracious enough to taste us through his wines and present a 2007 Pinot Noir.
On to Willakenzi Estate were I picked up a case of Pinot Noir and a case of Pinot Gris for the auction have to give them wine to drink or they just sit there!
I toured the winery and got to see the bottling machine, then went up for a little taste. I bade farewell to Thibaud and Rebeca and went in search of Plum Hill where I was greeted by Ghost Dog, who was very excited to see me, as you can see here, and a bottle of 2006 Pinot Gris presented by Juanita, the owner and with her husband, the operator.
My last stop of the day was at Youngberg Hill Vineyard and Inn. I want to take Linda there for a weekend. It is so beautiful and the view is fantastic! Wayne, the owner, gave a bottle of 2006 Jordan Block Pinot Noir.
Now I am back home and sorting the wines one last time. The Register Guard is doing an article on the wine collection and the auction in Thursday's paper .

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Counting, Casing, and Watching New Video

Today is count, cross check, and case day. Here is a shot of the ones I have out on the dinning room table.
Eric has uploaded a test video to You tube about the wine gathering and has a good shot of Lorrie Norman of Sweet Cheeks Winery.

A few phone calls for final verification of gift certificates and a game plan for Wednesday's trip and I am done.

Look for the article in Thursday's register Guard with a picture of Bob Sogge.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Eugene to Roseburg and Back

Our semi annual pick up of Girardet Baco Noir was on Saturday. I left around 9:45 and got to the winery in time to miss the tour bus full of wine tasters traveling around the Umpqua Valley. The crew at GiradetWine Cellars had warned me not to show during the tour. Philippe greeted me and Offered a bottle of his fine Pinot Noir but I ask if instead, we could have the Baco. With a smile, he said" This is my baby" and gave me a bottle of his 2007 Baco Noir Reserve.
Philippe, and now his son Marc, have been making wine in Tenmile, near Winston, since 1971 and their Baco has been peoples choice in at least 4 competitions around the Northwest.
As I was leaving, after visiting with Philippe and tasting all the wines (and buying a lot of his sale wines plus our club wines) I set of for Eugene and my 1:30 haircut appointment. I had rather let it grow and stayed for more time at the winery.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Almost Done...

This whole adventure has been more about process than about product. It has given me a chance to learn about the Oregon Wine industry and about the people who live and work around it. I have met people who just travel around pruning, planting, weeding, and generally helping out for little pay, people who have invested their entire savings on a few acres and only grow grapes for others to use, and others who have created small kingdoms that employ hundreds of people in the various tasks related to wine.
I have tasted acidic, harsh, and unpleasant wines that were made from the very same grape that produced a wine so lush and full that drinking it seemed a sin.
But the quest continues.
South and east to Cave Junction and up the road towards Oregon caves leads us to Bridgeview Winery and a chance meeting with a rancher from Idaho, Holly Flowers, who owns and operated the Alpha Omega Ranch where she raises grass fed animals. Her dream is to raise yaks but the other ranchers nixed that idea, so horses, goats, cows and pigs it is. She was hauling a cow she came all the way to Cane Junction to buy, and on the way back she loaded up with wines.
The winery is famous for its second line wines sold in stores all over the world as Blue Moon. Yes, the ones in the blue bottle you see EVERYWHERE. They make a lot of wine and their reserve wines really are good. Tim Woodhead gave me a bottle of their Viognier 2007. I tasted through the whites and reds and ended up buying a couple of bottles.
I headed out the gate, past the swans, and turned down the road to the most remote winery in western Oregon: Foris. Holly was close behind hauling her trailer, with a cow that was getting lots of scenic views. We tasted the reds and whites and Jennifer (on the right) presented me with a bottle of Maple Ranch Pinot Noir. This is a delicious wine with great character and depth. Described by them as "Wonderful purity of fruit in the nose, red and black fruits layered with spice, cocoa and cedar aromas. Beguiling aromas, complex and ever changing in the glass. A hint of forest floor, a little touch of fine herbs, clove and allspice all add depth and complexity. While rich and full in texture, the fine tannins add structure and the wine finishes with a silky flourish of flavor". This wine shows the true meaning of terroir. As you stand and look around and see all the things that effect the wine and taste the forest and fresh clean air you begin to understand how much the "where" matters with wine.
Long drive back to the Applegate Valley and Troon, where I picked up a bottle of their Old Vine Meratage, Wooldridge, where Kara gave me a bottle of 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon,and Schmidt where the Judy presented a bottle of their wonderful Perennial White 2007.
The last stop was for a bottle of Velocity 2005 Red Wine, from grapes in the Rogue Valley, at RoxeyAnn, where I ate very good cheese, bread, and drank a glass of their wonderful Claret.
Next week is the very last road trip for wine.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Tuesday Afternoon

The collection has grown larger than I ever imagined and it is still growing. Sokol Blosser gave a bottle of 2006 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. I taste black cherry up front and lighter fruit in the back andthe taste lasted longer than a lot of the 06 Pinots. I am always impressed with the level of giving from some of the wineries! I love the new Willamette Valley Wine map! The old one had numbers where the wineries were and you had to look them up. The paper the map was printed on tore very easely and was very frustrating. Now:beter paper, and names on the map!
Using this new tool, I found my way to ArborBrook and met Mary, and the winery cat, to collect a bottle of 2007 Heritage Cuve'e and give some pets.
I stopped by another winery in Dundee to pick up a bottle of Barron-Wahl 2007 Pinot Noir Estate. There is a nice article on them in the local paper.
I drove in to Carlton and Met with my friend Rebecca who works at the Abby where they ship wine. Boyd Teegarden was there from Natalie's Estate and gave me a bottle of his 2007 Red Hills Cabernet Sauvignon. (on the left). Many of the wine people I had met and who gave wine were there Cliff Anderson, Dean from ADEA, who got in to the wine biz as a steel fabricator, had great stories about a de-stemming machine.
The Gladharts were ther from Winter's Hill and were excited about the new landscaping at the vineyard.
I tatsed the 2006 Vista Hills Pinot Noir and faded out the door and for home. Long drive to Medford and Cave Junction in the morning.