Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Close to Home

Today I decided to stay close to home and do a little catch up with the Lane County Wineries.
As I drove out to Territorial Road from Hwy99, past  Fern Ridge Reservoir and the horse ranches, past the Alvadore Market, the open fields of grass, and the old farm houses, I thought of how much things had changed since I was a boy driving my old '51 Vicky around here, picking up farm girls for a swim out at the falls west of Monroe, or a swim in the lake. Man, I am old! Now I feeble along in my fancy Subaru and visit wineries. I guess that is not too bad. Great car, great wines, great people! Yeah, I can live with this.
First stop was at Shadow Mountain. I came in unannounced and handed them the print I had made of their tree and fence. I had to lay down and shoot the photograph to get the effect I wanted, and I think they liked it!
We talked about the blog entry I had made about their amazing '08 Pinot Noir (click here) and about their vineyards. The print, along with the others I am doing of all the wineries in Lane County, will be up at The Jordan Schnitzer Museum for a dinner in August promoting wine and culture.
After our brief visit I took off south down Territorial Road through Elmira and Venita to King Estate. On the way up the long drive I passed the sheep grazing in the vineyards and watched as a hawk made his rounds looking for something small and furry to have for lunch.
  I found the boss, Ed King, at his desk and handed him his print, chatted for a bit about this land use issue some folks are stirring up about his having a full service restaurant at the winery. Here are the details about what Ed is doing to help change Oregon's laws to help us compete with California and Washington as a tourism draw.
I have yet to understand what their problem with it is but I am sure money or ego is somehow involved.
To lend a little support I had the Mesclun Salad with salmon, a glass of Acrobat Pinot Noir, and a Chocolate Marquise.
They lose money on the resturant but it is a draw for wine sales and the food is spectacular. All local and organic.
I tasted some of the wonderful Pinot Gris they are famous for and even got to taste a special one, the '09 Tower Club Limited Edition Pinot Gris from blocks 12 and 15, made from clone 152. Wow! This is one of the best. Lots of flowery fruit and spice with a warm smooth mouthfeel.Josh and Quinten were there running the tasting room and were busy with lots of customers.
I love to see people enjoying great wines in such a classic environment
They will probably really freak out when we put up Territorial Wine Trail signs on the Freeway and start directing the thousands of people that travel through Oregon off the freeway and up to the wineries to spend money and boost the local economy. They seem to be very concerned about the future and about oil, climate, and all the other things effecting us and I applaud them for that. However, the NOW consists of a viable economic platform that supports the local farmers, grape growers, and all the businesses that depend on them.

When I left I made a stop at Silvan Ridge for a taste of the new '09 Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a huge wine made from Del Rio fruit and has all the hot weather characteristics that come with the Rouge Valley Cabs. However, it is some full of hot August blackberry that you can almost close your eyes and feel the heat! This is a great Cab and should last for years but is very drinkable right now.Marisa let me taste a bit of the Ruby Port that they make and it was the perfect lid to put on the tasting.
Up the hill to Sweet Cheeks for a quick hello as I watched them get ready for an event. They do so many things for our community and make a big difference. I always enjoy supporting them in any way I can. That goes for all of our wineries. Each has a roll in boosting the economy and creating jobs for local and regional people.
Here is Lorrie with her usual smile and grace.
On last stop to drop off a print at Noble. No one around so I put the print on the counter with a note and headed for home.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Half a Lucky Day

This morning I drank my diet shake (XYNGULAR), washed my new Subaru Legacy, grabbed a Latte', and drove north through Monroe, Corvallis, and Rickreal to my first stop, Van Duzer Vineyards. I always enjoy the trip out to this winery, past the Basket Slough where birds from all over congregate during migration. Today as I headed east down the long graveled road I passed thousands of geese laying low in the grasses just above the ponds and a red tail Hawk circling above. As I turned up the drive I saw a great blue Heron standing still near the edge of the water, waiting for breakfast.
In the upper drive I stopped to take a shot of their huge oak, perhaps for future use in an etching.
In the tasting room I met with Brianne Bridges, the Marketing and Hospitality Manager and ask her for "One Bottle", and as they have for the last three years, she gave me one of their fine wines, the '08 Estate Pinot Noir. This is a smokey, rich, and earthy smelling wine with a hint of roasted meats and anise, then a deep, full taste of cloves, fruit cake, nutmeg and ceder spices with a long soft finish of  black cherry. I love this one deep red looks. Here is Danielle with the bottle in the tasting room. This is a beautiful winery and is a wonderful place to visit and enjoy an afternoon with friends.
The other wines I tasted were equally as interesting, starting with a'09 Pinot Gris. This is one of the wines on the list at "Proof" restaurant in Washington, DC (see last entry). Fresh baked apple pie and baked pear in the nose with hints of Asian spices and tart green apple dancing around a balanced acid taste followed by a long complex finish. This one has layers and layers of tastes that keep developing and changing as the tasting glass begins to empty.
The next wine was a very interesting combination of clonal varieties from the Dijon Block and the most intriguing part of this one was the addition of a 828 clone that is used in hotter climates such as Sonoma and Naps. This is a very structured and full bodied wines with a noose of 677 and the long finish of the 114. Really interesting and very drinkable now, but in a few years this one will be outstanding.
The hot climate here along with the cool, fogged night, produce some amazing wines but I have always thought that they should plant some Tempranillo and Gamay here also. I am sure that a Syrah would do very well here also.
Just before I left I had a chance to speak with Rebecca Sweet who manages the vineyards. She told me about the different blocks and what was planted, and she predicted bud break on Sunday. I say Monday late afternoon. We will see...She also informed me of her role as singer and washboardist in the Zydeco band, Bon Ton Roulet. I LOVE THEIR MUSIC!!! Listen to Baby Please Don't Go!  I am listening to them as I write this.
As I left I took a shot down the valley across the slough and it's many ponds. What a beautiful day.

Just down the road, going north of highway 99 is Left Coast Cellars. They sit directly on the 45th parallel and take full advantage of the sun with arrays of solar panels. They are one of the few wineries in Oregon competing to become carbon neutral and the have a good start. This is a subject dear to my heart as Linda and I have a 3KW system on my studio installed by Solar Assist and we have been reaping the benefits for a number of years now.

I wandered in to the tasting room where the new restaurant is located but being on my diet, well, next time I will partake fully!
The lovely Devon greeted me and, after giving over a bottle of the '05 Latitude Pinot Noir, allowed me to sample few of the wines. The '05 Latitude 45 is a delicious wine with such a soft and gentle mouth feel and complex back that I had to take many small tastes to glean the flavors.They are laid in like the bits of color in a Seurat painting, hard to see close up, but when you add them all together they create a beautiful picture. This is a must try for lovers of complex Pinot Noir.
This wine got an 87 from Wine Enthusiast back in '08! Now it has reached what may be close to the first peak and is tasting like it is made to be loved.
I left happy, and look forward to coming back soon when I am off my diet and can sample more than just a sip of wine.
Up the road I dropped off paperwork at Cohelo, Domain Drouhin, Stoller, and Sokol Blosser before driving up to Carlton to pick up a gift certificate from Julie at Horse Radish for the auction. This is my frequent stopping place in Carlton because of its fine selection of wines, great food, and they have things I can eat while on my diet, like Willamette Valley Cheese Company's Cheddar and dry aged beef.
I had one last planned stop and a chance to pick up another prized bottle from a friend.
I drove out to 240 then over to Calkins Lane and up to Paul de Lancellotti's place,
de Lancellotti Family Vineyards where he greeted me with a signed and un-numbered bottle of his fantastic '07 Estate Pinot Noir in one hand and freshly opened Coors in the other. As is said, "It takes a lot of beer to make good wine". I got the wine. The beer was well deserved, as he had just replanted 25 vines and was preparing small blocks for young family members so they can work them when the grow older and hopefully get in to the wine making way of life. Though he had been working hard, his ready smile shown through and he seemed about 2 inches taller than when last I saw him, as if a weight had been lifted.
Let me quote some of the things said about this wine:
De Lancellotti Pinot noir 07 - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 92 Points
The 2007 Pinot Noir Estate is medium ruby-colored with an expressive bouquet of smoke, minerals, damp earth, spice box, cherry, and raspberry. Moderately structured on the palate with excellent depth and savory fruit, this lengthy, substantial Pinot will evolve for 2-3 years and drink well from 2011 to 2019. - Jay Miller 

The 2007 de Lancellotti Family Vineyard Pinot Noir has massive and vibrant aromas of red cherry, ripe black raspberry, red cherry candies, licorice and an intense spice component with undertones of cinnamon, vanilla, white pepper and although the fruit expression at this point is super intense, there is a slight hint of mushroom and forest floor in the background – this wine is medium in body yet full throttle in intensity and promise showing off lovely high-toned red fruit and candy flavors in the mouth with mouthwatering acidity. Great spice flavors and fine-grained dusty tannins. 

The 2007 deLancellotti Pinot Noir shows promise that will not only drink well young but will age gracefully for the next 15 years into a stunning wine of great complexity.
This wine is one of the items is the auction that will draw lots of attention from collectors.
Paul and his family are among the dedicated vintners here in Oregon who strive to follow Holistic Demeter Certified Biodynamic practices and the wine tells the tales.

Last stop of the day was one I did not want to leave. Arbor Brook Vineyards is located just back down the road below Bergstom and just before you get to Adelshiem.
They have a cat I love to pet, and though he was absent today, I still got plenty of warm fuzzy feelings.
I was presented with a bottle of their '09 Heritage Cuvee!  I also got to taste the open wines, got to hang around a couple of beautiful women, and got a really good surprise: a taste of the not yet released Vintner's Select '09 Pinot Noir. This is a killer wine and you should get in line NOW for a case of this one.
I tasted the Croft Vineyard '10 Pinot Gris and the 
Guadalupe Vineyards '09 Pinot Gris back to back and liked both, but for very different reasons. The Croft Vineyards are over in the coast range just west of Monmouth and because of their location near the Van Duzer Corridor, have a hot day/ cool night balance most of the more northern vineyards don't get. Ripe fruit with lots of lemon and tropical fruits, flowers, and spice in a clean, un-oaked wine. Very tasty and a great hot weather sipper.
The Guadalupe Vineyards produce a richer grape with more spice and darker notes. The vineyards are in the Dundee Hills AVA and consist of 40-acres owned by Jim Stonebridge and Kathleen Boeve. The soils are silty and sandy marine sedimentary soils instead of the clay Jory soil. Very different than those associated with this AVA.   This version is oaked a bit more than I usually like but it is finished on the lees, is warm and smooth with lots of Oregon pear and vanilla, and all these flavors dance over a velvety smooth mouth feel. Very good wines.
I think I was a little surprised by the '09 Estate 777 Block Pinot Noir. I am used to a big fruity nose and earthy tones from 777 but this one has so much more going for it. All the usual suspects are there but added on top are cola and anise in a long lasting finish. I love this one.
But the ending taste was by far the best. I have a rule that I DO NOT DRINK while tasting. Today I broke it. I could not let this one go.
I will not elaborate on the taste or the glorious nose, or the unusual finish, I will let you come and taste it when it is released. It is worth the trip.
Next trip will be to catch up with all the wineries I have left paperwork at so look for Cubanisimo, and Orchard Heights and all their neighbors.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Oregon Wines in Washington, DC

Linda and I had the chance to spend a week in DC to help celebrate the Holt International 55th year and we took it! The first night there we had dinner at Sonoma on Capital Hill a few blocks from the Liaison and Hyatt Regency hotels. The only Oregon wine on the menu was Soter's '08 "North Valley" Pinot Noir ($19 a glass, $78 a bottle) in the medium bodied reds. Great big nose full of spice and roses, dark berry, black fruit, and pepper in the mouth with a soft, long finish of spice and sweet berry. It went perfectly with the Duck breast!
Nice to have a glass of Oregon wine in a restaurant that prides itself on California wines.
The food was fantastic and so was the service and we had a nice walk back across the Capital with cherry blossoms floating in the breeze around us.
The next day we started out at the Smithsonian Craft Show and ran in to many old arts and crafts freinds I knew from OPUS6IX and my travels. Peggy Loudon, Martha Fieber, Michael Bauermeister, Akiko Sugiyama, Christina Goodman (I wore the cuff links she made for me at the Black tie dinner on Saturday),and Devin Burgess. This was a great show and we did our best to support as many artists as we could afford to. visited
We took our bounty back to the hotel and headed for museums. For lunch we  found, with the help of my trusted companion Open Table, a place called Proof that is right out the door at the National Portrait Gallery where we worked up an appetite looking at Calder's show, along with so much more! Wow!
The wine list was fun to sort out and look though for Oregon gems.
Chehalem, Inox, Willamette Valley 2008 (that is the wine they gave us the last two years)
Pinot Gris, Van Duzer, Willamette Valley, Oregon 2009
Belle Pente, Estate, 2007 75
J. Christopher, Dundee Hills, 2007
Dusky Goose, Willamette Valley 2006
EIEIO, Cuvée I, Willamette Valley 2006 80
EIEIO, Stermer, Willamette Valley 2006 90
EIEIO, Wind Hill, Willamette Valley 2006 90
Et Fille, Kalita, Willamette Valley 2007 80
Et Fille, Maresh, Willamette Valley 2007 80
Et Fille, Willamette Valley 2007 60
Patricia Green, Balcombe Block 1B, Willamette Valley 2009 100
Lemelson, Jerome Reserve, Willamette Valley 2008 95 Lemelson, Stermer, Willamette Valley, 2008 75
Penner Ash, Willamette Valley 2008 95
Shea Wine Cellars, Shea Vineyards, Willamette Valley 2008 110
Shea Wine Cellars, Shea Vineyard, Willamette Valley 2007 110
Sinnean, Willamette Valley 2008 70
St. Innocent, Freedom Hill, Willamette Valley 2008 75
St. Innocent, White Rose, Willamette Valley 2008 85
Ken Wright, Abbott Claim, Willamette Valley 2008 90
Ken Wright, Savoya, Willamette Valley 2008 90
(The ones that are linked have given us a bottle in the past.)
That night we had dinner at the Korean Ambassador's house with the Holt delegates and a few noted pols. No Oregon wines were served but the food was out of this world!
We had lunch at Oyamel and it became our go-to place for a quick lunch and a little cocktail! Small plates of interesting combination and lots for Linda to graze on (vegetarian). No Oregon wines but they had a great drink menu!
After seeing so many galleries, museums, walking the mall from the Lincoln Memorial, to the Viet Nam Memorial, to the White House to the Capital, and beyond, we were about worn out and I considered renting a Segway! We spent the last two days seeing the American Indian Museum, the Botanical Gardens, and the Newseum. All these are must see places.
I got a nice surprise at the American Indian Museum. As I walked up on the second floor there was a table with a sheet of paper hung from it that said Bartow and had a big arrow pointing in to a side room. Sure enough, Rick was giving a drawing workshop! Great to see an Oregonian there. His work holds prominent places throughout the Museum.

The Newseum is too much to try to explain, just go and enjoy. It takes at least two days to see everything but you will not regret the time spent.
Last stop before going out to the Reagan was the Capital Grille. It felt a little odd being in such a storied place with lots of interesting people but bless Open Table for finding us a reservation right at noon! The food was good and the service was impeccable. The wine list was carefully selected and included some very good Oregon wines among there 5000 bottle collection.
Great flight home to happy cats, a nice soft bed, and back on the diet, though with all the walking I only gained one pound!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Visit to Shadow Mountain

Today, after a few chores and a visit to Lane Forest Byproducts, I drove my freshly washed Legacy out past the Fern Ridge Reservoir to Territorial Road and turned right to Shadow Mountain Vineyards. Mel and Jo Cooper were working with their crew trying to shape the place up in time for the Barrel Tour and for visitors wanting to sample their wares. Mel said he is already getting calls to find out when they will open for visitors.
The setting is beautiful. You drive up past the pond on the left and past the vineyards to the house. They have set up a tasting room in the large garage and there is ample parking.
I quipped that all they needed was a view! From the yard you can see the Coburg Hills and the valley floor.
We got around to tasting some wine after I took what I think will be the perfect starting point for one of my solar plate etchings. The etchings are now on display at Travel Lane County's Adventure Center at Gateway. This tree is home to their owl, and for the occasional Bobcat.
They stared out doing tree farming and had many acres in Christmas trees. Then their son, Jonathon, suggested trying wine. Smart kid!

Their wines are in high demand and they seem to have a good distributor in Lemma. They sell at Market of Choice at the Delta Oaks store, where my friend Dan oversees the wine department and has turned it in to one of the finest wine shops around. If you get a chance, pick up a bottle of the '07 Pinot Noir. It is one of the finest around and is selling for $26! Dan still has some on the shelves due to the idiots who bad mouthed ALL '07 Pinot Noir.
As I wrapped up the photo shoot, they gathered a table and chairs for a little outside tasting. A chill was in the air but the sun made a random appearance to keep us fairly comfortable. Because of the chill the wine took a while to open, but what better way to spend time. They had been spreading hemlock bark so we laughed that all the wine would have a faint hemlock nose. This proved not to be the case.
The first wine we tried was the '09 Pinot Gris made from grapes grown on site. The vines were started from cuttings so Mel mentioned the slight fear of phylloxera, but the vines are doing well and are on a low slope near the road with good soil and water. I did not ask if the dry farmed but the site looks like they could.
The '09 Pinot Gris has been described as  having a tropical nose and a pear and apple taste with hints of green melon and a long spicy finish. I think that is has mellowed a little in the bottle and while I did taste the apple and pear, I was more impressed by the softness and sweetly tangy tastes that were present. The finish was velvety and danced through with spice and green apple. Lovely wine. They won a Silver at the '10 State Fair and this wine has been the top selling Pinot Noir for Lemma.
Next came a duel between the '07 and '08 Pinot Noir. There was no clear winner but that '07 Reserve Pinot Noir is just amazing! The nose brings a hint of warm mocha, with dark ripe cherry, and a soft sweet plum. The mouth feel is soft and full of ripe fruits like blackberry and plum. and the finish is long with chocolate and spice. I was impressed at how much it had matured in bottle in such a short time. It won Gold at the Oregon State Fair in '10 and I can see why.
Now to the '08 Pinot Noir. This wine had me stumped for a long time. The nose was full of black berry, Marion berry, hints of chocolate, warm earth, oak, and spices, but the primary taste, surrounded by a slight tartness on the sides of the tongue and followed by a long slow finish of dark chocolate, eluded me.
It was fun letting it sit mid palette and then letting the warm soft liquid run down the back of my throat and caching a fleeting taste of ...what indeed. Then I found it. Later that night, as I sipped it and tried various nibbles of soft cheese, vegetables, etc. it hit me. Prune compote! That warm, soft cooked prune taste with tiny hints of dark berry and a slight tartness on the edges. This is such a good wine!
And again, $26 at Market of Choice.
They gave me a bottle of the '07 Pinot Noir Reserve and a bottle of the '09 Pinot Gris for the auction in June. These will be in a case of newer wineries' wines and will be more than worth bidding on!
As we visited, Denise Vendley, from South Willamette Valley Winery Assoc., came by to join us and taste. She was dropping off the new maps.
I must say that I am impressed by what she and the others involved have done to raise the awareness of the Lane County wineries. As a member of the Board of Travel Lane County, and as a fan of Oregon wines, I have harped endlessly for the last few years about how we needed to wake up and get a wine trail going. Now they are doing just that and it is very exciting. I can't wait to see freeway signage, a few tasting rooms in Junction City and Elmira, and lots of tourists!
She and I are working with the Schnitzer Museum of Art

Friday, April 8, 2011

Great Meal, Great Night at the Opera

Thursday  night Linda and I went to Portland for our usual foray in to the world of culture. We checked in to Modera to drop off our bags and head to dinner. What a pleasant surprise awaited us in the room.  They gave us a very nice bottle of wine and some Oregon hazelnuts with a sweet card, and they even comped the parking.
I very much like this hotel for a number of reasons. The restaurant, Nel Centro, is very good, and they make a terrific latte' in the morning. The location is perfect for the opera as it is only two blocks from Keller Auditorium, and for Nordstrom shopping . It is very affordable, friendly, and has great art (many works by my friend Bill Park).
The location has a storied past so a little history is in order.
I used to stay in what was the Portland Inn/Day’s Inn built in 1962, back when I was first back from Germany in the late 70's and trying to decide whether to live in Portland or Eugene. The last night I stayed their I was awoken by a pounding, screaming hooker, naked in the hallway, demanding her money from the old salesman across the hall. I chose Eugene and  I did not return to that building until Modera appeared.
Last night I again was awoken at 2:30am, this time by a screaming engine, likely one of those nitrous oxide enhanced racers, as it revved up, up, and up and...WHAM! No more noise. Ah, bliss.
But first, back to great food. We had tried Urban Farmer a few weeks ago and decided it was worth another try.
We were an odd couple, me with my meat only diet for that night and Linda, with her veggies only diet. The waiter was nonplussed but took us in stride. Linda had the roasted beets, truffled chestnut purée, orange, endive ,and Brussels sprouts, shallot jam, marcona almonds and a glass of Youngberg Hill '07 Pinot Noir. When a I ask "Which vineyard?", the waiter was a bit taken aback, but found out it was from the Natasha Block. Wonderful!
I allowed myself a Sapphire Martini and it was perfect with a grass-fed, grain finished 8oz sirloin.
The Opera was at the Newmark Theater as opposed to the Keller Auditorium, where we THOUGHT it was, so we went to the Keller and saw a sign that said "Billy Madison" and with 7 minutes left before curtain, we walked very fast up to Broadway and down to Main, in the door and to our seats with a minute to spare! Seven blocks in 6 minutes after a heavy meal and my heart did not stop! A good sign.
Both Operas, "The Spanish Hour", or "L'Heure Espagnole" and "The Bewitched Child" or "L'Enfant et les Sortileges", were each well presented and the staging was inventive and quite effective. I thought the end of "The Spanish Hour" was weak and it almost is as if the composer just ran out of ideas so he made it "clever". The other work was much more accomplished and very well done. The story is of a brat who destroys his room and in a dream is punished by all the items he has abused plus the forest beings that he has harmed in the past. he learns a much needed lesson.
This morning we drove out of Portland south in to a beautiful Spring day of sunshine and low traffic volume, went to Dundee for a latte' at Red Hills Market ,and then to Carlton Cellars to watch the end of the bottling run. Ghost Hill Cellars and Carlton Cellars were each hard at it and Rebecca, the winemaker for Ghost Hill, gave us a bottle of the new Pinot Blanc, which is absolutely perfect! I tasted some out of the tanks a few months ago and it was great then. Can't wait to crack it open.
One last stop to pick up an auction item from Republic of Jam in Carlton, a one year subscription to their Jam of the Moth Club, then home.
The perfect little vacation and a treat for the soul.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Good News in Oregon Wine Press!

All of these wineries have given "One Bottle" either last year or this year. We are proud to have their wines for our auction!

Monday, April 4, 2011

In the Land of Baco Noir and Tempranillo

The road to Roseburg was longer than usual this morning.  A few quick stops to talk about auction items, first at Territorial Seed Company where Julie is putting together a summer basket for the auction, and then at Wildlife Safari, where they are letting us auction off a close up experience with the painting elephant. I had stopped at most of the wineries that were donating bottles this year but had not made it south past Winston to visit an old friend, Philip, at Girardet Winery. We have been members of their wine club since the year we got married and receive a 6 pack of the Baco Noir Reserve every year so I saved shipping, picked up our wine, and was given a spectacular '08 Barrel Select Pinot Noir. This wine is full of brown spices with notes of vanilla over a base of dark cherry. I recommend you wait for a few more years before diving in to this deep pool.
Coming back down the road on the way to Abacela I stopped for a taste at HV Winery. They have already given a bottle so I wanted to do a little sample of the wines. The sweet girl who was helping out that day was a bit of a novice so I got to show her how to get the foil off a bottle. The Baco Noir wine was great! Heady wine with leather and spice over lots of dark berry and a little mocha latte' to finish.When I dropped off my paperwork at Abacela with Duke and while there I tasted a really choice Viognier, their '09. It has mellowed and has this big full mouthfeel with rich fruit and soft spices. It was good when I tasted it last year but now it is absolutely a must have. It garnered 91 points from Wine Enthusiast.
As I left I took a shot of the vineyards and of an old oak that I may have to turn in to a etching.
I had time for one more stop so I turned left out of Southerlin and headed up the hill to Misty Oaks. People think that it is a long way to drive for some reason but it is .5 miles from the sign. The view from up there is inspiring and they call it Misty Oaks for a reason. The vineyards are high up and get cooled in the hot climate of summer and therefore produce a Pinot Noir with complexity and depth. Read on their site how they name the blocks. Christy tasted me through the whites (Gewurztraminer was my favorite but they are all just amazing) and the reds. There Gobblers Knob Red Blend is a great table wine with all sorts of over laying flavors. It is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Malbec, and has a warmth that you will enjoy with any roasted meats and vegetables. Last year we had it at one of our barbecues and it was a big hit.
The dogs were there to great me and make sure everything was OK. 
A great day for a quick trip.
The evening was spent at the Hult Center enjoying the Eugene Ballet. Another reason to love Oregon.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Quiet April Fool's Day

Stretched out of bed around 10:00, wandered up to the studio and prepped a couple of prints for the show in August, then headed down town for a quick lunch at Marche'. The bartender in training, Jordan, poured me a really good French Chardonnay and paired it with a chilled asparagus and chopped egg salad. I went outside to take a shot of the building and found a couple of pianists enjoying the Spring weather. Dean , who is performing with all of our conductor candidates next season and Claire were done with lunch and headed out when I captured them. ( look for Dean next year on our programs),

I took a picture of my favorite chef, Stephanie Pearl Kimmel
working in the back of the house, then one of the lovely outside as I wandered aimlessly around 5th Street Market looking for something to do. Before I left I ask Stephanie if we could have some sort of interesting auction item from her for the event on June 5th. She suggested a lunch for two out in the wonderful patio. So we have a very wonderful auction item for you to bid on and I expect you will be treated very well if you win this one!
I found myself in a room with a bunch of important people who were gathered to see the progress of the new hotel going in at 5th Street market. Got glass of LaVelle Riesling and an inside look at what is going on with the hotel. VERY exciting! Custom rooms, perfect service, and a commitment to a "perfect stay". If I did not live here I would check in when the rooms come available in November!
The auction items I picked up today were 5 hour use of a LTD BUS!!! Tour the local wineries with all your friends, and all their friends!
I picked up a few items for the auction:
Dinner at Red Agave for two, two tickets to a show at the McDonald Theater, Overnight stay and dinner at Three Rivers casino, One years membership in the Jam of the month club from Republic of Jam, and a bunch more. Iwill keep you posted!