I roused myself from bed about 7:00 and took off to make copies of my auction form at the Safeway. Thanks to their Starbucks, I was soon awake and ready to go. My usual spot for breakfast when I am up here is Farm to Fork and today it was just the right place to start a busy day. Almond Battered Brioche French Toast with
Honey-Orange Poached Quince, Marcona Almonds, Chantilly Cream, a side of crisp bacon, OJ, and I was ready to go.
First stop was at Eyrie to pick up a bottle of Jason Lett's '07 Pinot Gris. Last year they gave the '06 Pinot Gris because I ask for a wine that represented the daring spirit of David Lett, a pioneer in Oregon's wine industry.Eyrie was the first producer of Pinot Gris in the United States!
Here is his son, Jason, excepting a degree for Davis. Here is part two.
This is one of the best and most important speeches I have heard about the history of Oregon Pinot Noir.
Jacques (right) presented me with the bottle and I listened to him educate a couple about the complexity of Pinot Noir.
Panther Creek to ask for a bottle and met the wine maker, Michael Stevenson, who was dealing with a wounded dog. Another dog had went after his and she was still shook up when they came in. He was still gracious enough to spend a little time and present me with their new wine, Verde Vineyards Pinot Noir.
( from their tasting notes)
Bright, ruby red color and striking clarity are immediately noticeable on this first-ever bottling of Pinot from three sustainably farmed vineyards in the Willamette Valley: Momtazi Vineyard (bio dynamic), Temperance Hill Vineyard (Organic), and Elton Vineyard (L.I.V.E. Certified*). The nose is highly aromatic and shows spiced cherry, vanilla, lavender and rose hips. The mouth is velvety with fine tannins, flavors of wild raspberry, cinnamon,clove, touches of earth and Christmas spices.
Viognier. Great tasting wine! They have a really nice tasting room in Carlton, and along with a couple of other wineries from Southern Oregon, have introduced some new flavors to the mix. I don't yet know what, or if they will donate this year but I can hope.
After a quick bite I went up to visit Domaine Drouhin and meet with
Jack Hastings, Assistant Cellar Master, and Chris Burrough DDO.
They led me on an amazing tour of the entire facility from the tasting room and back.
The whole visit was a little overwhelming! They were so generous with their time and knowledge that I wish I had taped the conversation.
(from StarChefs.com, by Jim Clarke) A French invasion sent ripples through the Oregon wine making community in 1988. They didn’t come en masse, the way Champagne producers came to California. Only one producer made the journey, but in the close, neighborly fraternity of Oregonian wine making, they made a splash - like a Peugeot in a pond. more
They presented me with a bottle of '06 Laurène Pinot Noir
In recent years, Laurène has been named one of the Great Wines of America by Paul Lukacs in his book of the same name and perennially one of Oregon's best wines by Portland Monthly Magazine (Sept. 2009).
Jack (right) and Chris (left) in the bottle room.
Last stop for the day was Vista Hills. Well named indeed! The view from the tasting room is breathtaking as are the wines. Here Dave Paterson, the general manager, holds their donation, the '07 Marylhurst Estate Pinot Noir.
Dr. Jay Miller's score in Wine Spectator: 89 Points.
"This intriguing Pinot Noir mixes spices with tart cranberry fruit, then shows some barrel time with toast and vanilla layers taking over through the finish."