Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Blackberry Wine and a Missing Tree

A few days ago I was ask by my studio assistant if she could have some of the Omera wine I am storing for her after our bottling adventure last month. I told her that it would be a waste of good wine to drink it now befor it had gotten over the barre to bottle shock. I offered her a couple of alternative and gave her a bottle of '10 LaVelle Pinot Noir, a bottle of '09 Brandborg Gamay, a bottle of '09 Luminous Hills Crawford Beck Pinot Noir and a bottle of '07 Blackberry Wine from Saginaw.
This morning she informed me that her friend had enjoyed all the wines but that she had fallen in love with the Blackberry Wine.
After we delivered a project that I have been working on for some time to Sacred Heart Hospital's Neo-Natal Unit we headed south for a quick visit to the tasting room at Saginaw.
I was quite taken aback when we entered the driveway to the tasting room! My favorite tree, the tree that launched three years of etchings, was GONE!
I was sad and also glad that I had captured the tree in its glory a few years ago. 
We went in and tasted through all the wines Cheryl had open starting with an un-oaked Chardonnay that was delicate and smooth with a very compelling finish. Apples, white pears and a bit of spice make this a wine for sipping on the deck or paired with a light meal. Very tasty!
Next came the Pinot Noir; a soft and semi-sweet wine with soft black fruit, 7 spice, clove and anise lurking on the pallet and with a long pleasant aftertaste of rich spices.
 The stand out wine for me was the Marechal Foch. Soft and light in the nose with long sweet notes in the mouth. This wine is one of the best Foch's I have had in Oregon. Paired with chocolate it peals away layers of tastes and is just exquisitely supple and light in the mouth. I can see this wine with rich cheese and sweet meats.
The Riesling is recommended as is the killer Late Harvest Riesling! Must buy wine for the summer!
Now we come to the Blackberry Wine: I must say the I am NOT a fan of fruit wines as I cut my 16 year old teeth of fruit wines from a not to be named winery in the vicinity of the capital of Oregon and I still feel ill when I think of the first episode... However, this wine is outstanding! The taste  of the blackberries come through but it feels like WINE not juice!. The last taste was of the Port Style Blackberry Wine. At 20% it is so soft and drinkable that I would advise keeping it on a short leash. Treat  it like a special reward for a great meal. As with other good Ports, this will last so savor it over time.
I plan on making cards from the etching I did for my show at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum a few years  ago and having them for sale at the tasting room. 
Stop by on your way up or down  I-5 and enjoy a breath of good country air, a sip of great wine, and a smile from Cheryl.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

RELEASE! 2012 Stanton Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

As the weather warms the vines awaken, buds swell and the new shoots push out. Tiny flower clusters that will become the 2014 vintage are already visible. May brings healthy growth in the vineyard with vines that appear to have survived the December deep freeze with minimal damage. Nice evenings with friends and family, good food and wine are just around the corner. May is also Oregon Wine Month, and brings the release of our new wines as well as several events that we want to let folks know about.
The 2012 vintage is everything that the industry and wine media claims and our 2012 Stanton Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is the best wine we have made so far with Boedecker Cellars. Loaded with red and blue/black pinot fruits, spice and earth, we think it will make everyone very happy (the unhappy part is that there are only 75 cases). To celebrate we will be holding our first release party at Capitello Wines, 540 Charnelton Ave. on Sunday, June 8 from 3-6pm. We will showcase the 2012, but also the 2011 and a library vintage Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, our 2013 Pinot Noir Rose’ and the 2012 and 2013 Pinot Gris. There will be some tasty nibbles and a fine logo Riedel Oregon Pinot Noir XL glass, all for $15 ($20 at the door, but we expect to sell out in advance). We will be doing case/half case discounts on all the wines. We have space and glasses for 50 people so please let me know if you will make it and go to Eventbrite to purchase tickets. Julie and I hope to see you there!

If you would like to pre-reserve the 2012 Pinot Noir, 2013 Pinot Noir Rose’ or 2013 Pinot Gris (case or half case only) I have attached an invoice/price list. The 2011 Pinot Noir and 2012 Pinot Gris are on special case discounts as well.
Upcoming tastings:
Sundance Wine Cellars on Saturday, May 17 from 5-7pm.
Capella Market on Saturday, June 7 from 4-6pm.
Urban Wine Circuit #2 at Capitello Wines Tasting Room on Sunday, May 25 from 2-6pm.
    Like in December, there will be 10 wineries at five urban winery venues each pouring three wines.

Friday, May 16, 2014

In the Mood for Food?

Sarver Winery invites you to eat and enjoy some great music! 
 Luchoneros! and Live Music from Kenny Luker, Tonight!

    What a beautiful week it has been! The grape vines are stretching high, and the views from the patio are the clearest of the year. Lots of progress on the new winery, and plenty of new and engaging wines, there's lots to be excited about.
    To help celebrate this wonderful spring,(and do we really even need a reason to celebrate?) we've invited the Luchoneros up to roast us a pig, Filipino style. Pancit, Lumpia, and Rice accompany a slow charcoal spit roasted pig.
    Food will be ready to serve between 4:30 and 5pm, Live Music from Kenny Luker will start at 6pm. So join us for another unforgettable evening up on the hill. 

The Sarver Crew

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Chamber Music Amici in Concert at MarshAnne Landing

We hope you can join us for a unique evening of music!
Is proud to present
Chamber Music Amici in Concert
7:00 PM Tuesday May 20th
Chamber Music Amici, one of the Northwest’s premier chamber ensembles, will be joined by an all-star team of guest performers for a fabulous evening of music at MarshAnne Landing WineryYou do not want to miss this concert if you love chamber music!
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Canadian trumpeter Guy Few is considered as one of the most brilliant brass players of his generation.  Brazilian Julia Brown, one of the top organists in the world, will perform on harpsichord and harmonium where she is considered a virtuoso.  Cellist Jed Barahal from Portugal performs throughout Europe and the US and has wowed audiences at MarshAnne Landing on two prior occasions.  Brazilian born pianist Alexandre Dossin (UO School of Music) skills are considered extraordinary and phenomenal.  Oregon native bass player Tyler Abbott (UO School of Music) is an orchestral and jazz bassist regionally and nationally.  This all-star team will join Chamber Music Amici core musicians Pilar Bradshaw and Sharon Schuman on violin and Holland Phillips on viola.

The program will feature:      Baldassare’s    Piccolo Trumpet Concerto in F
                                                Persichetti’s    Hollow Men with Guy Few reading TS Eliot’s poem
                                                Dvorak’s          Bagatelles for Two Violins, Cello and Harmonium
                                                Saint-Saens      Septet for Trumpet, Piano and Strings

Due to limited seating, advanced reservations are required (541-459-7998).   Admission $30 includes abundant appetizers.  Guests should plan on arriving by 6:30 for sampling wine, food, and visiting with other guests.
MarshAnne Landing, 175 Hogan Rd, Oakland OR, 97462, just 3 miles off I-5 Exit 142.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Month long creative arts event seeks artists

Month long creative arts event seeks artists to lead one or multi-day workshops during August

Artists and art organizations are invited to lead workshops for the second annual, month-long Create! Eugene event set for August 1 - 31, 2014. The event encourages creative arts exploration and learning through hands-on workshops and related activities in and around Eugene.

Desired workshops may include painting, sculpting, dance, theater, set designing, jewelry making, creative writing, music, ceramics, pottery, mix media, photography, fiber arts, glass and more. Wine and beer making, as well as other culinary workshops are also desired. Workshops can be one day or multiple days.

Listing a workshop with Create! Eugene is free. Artists design and post their own workshops and determine their own registration fees. Additional marketing support is available through feature stories, blog posts and video promotions.

Workshops will be promoted to artists of all abilities, ages and to the public at large. Create! Eugene will also be marketed to potential summer travelers to bring visitors to Eugene to participate in local arts offerings.

Register your workshop: http://createeugene.com/list-an-arts-workshop

Contact: Mary Duke, Create! Eugene Coordinator, at (541) 953-6604 or info@createeugene.com.

Create! Eugene is a program of the Arts & Business Alliance of Eugene with the objective of branding Eugene and the surrounding area as a cultural and creative tourism destination. Create! Eugene is targeting creative patrons within a 300-mile drive radius. Hotel packages will incentivize participation in multiple workshops throughout the month.

Mary Duke, Create! Eugene Coordinator
(541) 953-6604; info@createeugene.com

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Winemakers and Their Labels

Behind the Wine Label by Tamara Belgard in 1859 Magazine

Wonderful article about winemakers and their labels!

Rebecca Pittock-Shouldis | Ghost Hill Cellars, á La Main Wines

As is the case with many winemakers I’ve interviewed, Rebecca Pittock-Shouldis describes her entrance into the world of wine making as “serendipitous.” She also phrased it as “a crazy series of events.” Her career life began as an Oregon National Guard Aviation Technician. How she came to make wines of grace and beauty is a whole different story. Pittock-Shouldis is able to utilize many of the skills that made her a great aviation technician in her wine making—such as reverse engineering and the ability to learn from experience. But it’s in wine making that she seems to have honed her artistic skills. “Wine is a catalyst. It creates a spark that creates the memories and experiences of our lives. Wine seems to tie it all together,” she says. In wine she found her passion. Making wines that become an integral part of people’s lives is what she most enjoys about what she does.
Pittock-Shouldis still serves in the Guard once a month. She’s also a mother of two and is busy creating her own brand, á La Main Wines (translation: To be done by hand), a selection of Rhône-style wines that will launch later this spring. Pittock-Shouldis has also been on a quest to revive the old Gypsy Dancer wines, a brand that disappeared after the untimely death of the Gypsy Dancer winemaker Gary Andrus. This revival is more of a stretch for Pittock-Shouldis—not only her own personality into the wines, but to create a different style of wine, like Andrus would have made.
Though Pittock-Shouldis loves Pinot noir (and in my humble opinion, her Ghost Hill Cellars Pinots are some of the best in the Willamette Valley), what truly inspires her are Rhône-style wines, including syrah and viognier—wines she’s now making with fruit from Dukes Family Vineyard. The new á La Main label showcases a piece of art by Robert Canaga featuring her two childrens’ hands with grape juice flowing between them. One look at her label and it’s easy to appreciate not only the strength, but the passion, dedication, love and allure.
Here is the entire piece. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Bottling at Omera

Turning 65 this month made me a little nervous about some of my abilities and stamina so when my friend Destiny Dudley ask, after my Studio assistant and I had missed Ghost Hill's bottling, if we would like to come help them the next Friday we said yes. Heather had never been around the industry and is a novice to great Oregon wines so we went for it. 
Destiny inspecting corks

Early Friday morning I picked her up from campus and we made it to Carlton Winemakers Studio at 9:00. Destiny put us to work, Heather putting the labels on the cases and me pulling filled bottles. 9:00 to 12:30 then 1:00 to 2:30. I stayed in the same spot pulling bottles the entire time. Sounds like hard work and boring but it is anything but. Fast, and at times a bit overwhelming; when you stop the wine does not, so keeping up is important.It also gives you a chance to clear your mind.

I had had shoulder surgery  14 weeks past and was still a bit sore so this was good therapy. We worked hard and were rewarded with a great meal at Barrel 47  in Carlton where the old bank used to be. I had my first Pelican Tsunami Stout and saw the largest  hamburger EVER and watched two of our companions EAT THEM!
We came home with two mixed cases of  four '12 Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir, four '12 Willamette Vally Pinot Noir, and four '12 Ribbon Ridge Pinot Noir each. Hard work excellently rewarded.
Now waiting the 6 months (Willamette Vally) and 2 years (Eola-Amity Hills and Ribbon Ridge) will be the hard part. Good thing I have LOTS of great Oregon wines.
When you have the chance, please visit Carlton (This is a wonderfully done web site for visitors) and enjoy a taste both at Omero and at all the other fine wineries withing a short walk. Stop and by some Republic of Jam and eat at one of the many great spots. Great way to spend a day!

Join Carlton Hill Wines for a Tasting in the Barn

"Is the spring coming?" he said. "What is it like?"...
"It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine..." 
     Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden    
Dear Friends,   
Does this quote describe our Oregon springs, or what? And, no doubt, if history is any gauge, our day together will produce rain-on-sun or vice versa. The important thing is, winter is behind us and it's time to celebrate its departure!
Join Us for a Memorial Weekend Wine Tasting in the Barn

On Sunday, May 25th, between noon and 5:00, the barn door will open to all aficionados of great Oregon wines. From Carlton Hill you will be treated to a vertical consisting of the 2009, 2010 and 2011 Estate Pinot Noirs as well as the 2011 Estate Reserve.
Chris Berg, the talented producer of both Roots and Racine Wines, will be joining us to pour some of his latest offerings, including his release of the 2011 Roots Pinot Noir from the Carlton Hill Vineyard. Chris & Hilary always have a nice assortment of white wines available, as does John Zelco, who will be pouring his Z'IVO wines. Finally, Travis Cook, owner and winemaker of Copper
Belt Winery, will join us again, pouring his unique Merlot and Syrah blends from his eastern Oregon vineyard.

As for food, count on tastebud delights from Alcyone Cafe & Catering in Salem. Karo Thom has surprises up her chef sleeves this year that are sure to be as hearty and delightful as in previous years. 

There is a $20 tasting fee per person (two people can share 1 glass for $30; Reserve Club members admitted free) and, unless the turnout is ridiculous, a Carlton Hill Vineyard wine glass will be yours for the keeping.

Hope to see you all at the Barn.
For directions, please go to www.carltonhillwines.com. Note that MapQuest, GPS navigators and Google Maps direct people to the nether regions of Carlton. Avoid the navigating mishap by using our online driving directions.

Best regards,

David C. Polite
Carlton Hill Wine Co
PS: If you can't make it out to the farm on Sunday, I will also be pouring my wines at Walnut City WineWorks in McMinnville on Saturday, May 24 between 11:00 AM and 4:00PM.

Celebrate Oregon Wine Month!

"May is Oregon Wine Month and there has never been a better time to discover your perfect Oregon wine. Oregon Wine Month was established by decree of Gov. John Kitzhaber in 2012 to celebrate and highlight Oregon's growing community. Throughout May, wineries from all over the state will be pouring special selections, offering unique food and wine pairings and holding fun activities. Be sure to celebrate Oregon Wine Month by visiting your favorite winery, and purchasing Oregon wine at participating restaurants and retail locations. "  
Oregon Wine Board
J. Scott Cellars Eugene Tasting Room
520 Commercial St., Eugene
Fridays:  4-9 pm and Saturdays:  1-9 pm
Please note:  Food Truck onsite Friday & Saturday nights!

Friday, May 9, 1-9 pm:  Friday Wine Down at Eugene Winery.  We welcome John Baumann  (alias Satori Bob) as our musician for a first time visit (5:30-8:30 pm).  John has a unique vocal style that will draw you in with its blues sound.

Saturday, May 10, 1-9 pm:  Mother's Day is on Sunday, May 11, and if you haven't purchased your gift yet, it's not too late to please her with a bottle of wine!  This evening (4-7 pm), in celebration of Moms, we will host a pre-release party for our Grenache Rose' with a free glass for Moms, tastings and special pricing on pre-sales!  This is a lovely dry Rose' with tropical notes and a lush, creamy body.  It is a wonderfully versatile wine that pairs well with fish and chicken (anyone grilling this summer?).

Friday, May 16, 4-9 pm:  Friday Wine Down at Eugene Winery.  Local favorite entertainer, the young Bailee Jordyn  will be here to awe you with her beautiful voice and style (5:30-8:30 pm)!  There is no better way to Wine Down on a Friday than here at J. Scott Cellars. (As a side note, if all goes as planned, we will release our 2013 Sauvignon Blanc tonight!)

Saturday, May 17, 1-9 pm:  Stop on in and enjoy some great wine at J. Scott Cellars!  Remember food truck onsite Saturday evenings too!

 If you're at the Oregon Coast, remember to visit......
J. Scott Cellars Yachats Tasting Room
Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays:  1-5 pm (or later!)
504 Hwy. 101, Yachats

Jonathan Oberlander
J. Scott Cellars hosts its first.......
 Saturday, May 31
6 - 8 pm
 Jonathan Oberlander, Winemaker & Owner of J. Scott Cellars, will talk about his winemaking philosophy, the winemaking process and equipment used here in the winery.......and, of course, he will share some of his wonderful award winning wines with you!  Prizes will be raffled throughout the event. Spend a fun, informative evening learning more about the extraordinary Oregon wines produced here at J. Scott Cellars. Light bites and seasonal delights included!

TICKETS: $20 pp
Available at winery or online at EVENTBRITE

TICKETS:  $10 pp for Club Members!
Available at winery or call Vicki at 541-232-4225 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Catching Up on Oregon Wines

Though it has been some time since I wrote so much has happened. My show at Coos Art Museum is up and runs through the 28th of June. They have sold work and I am happy.

Now back to wine.
My studio assistant Heather was convinced she did not like wine so one the way back from Coos Bay I took her through Elkton and stopped at Brandborg Winery and let her taste some of Oregon's finest whites. 
The first taste prompted a surprised look and a smile. The white Pinot Noir (first free run, little skin contact) was a joy. Complex, as a good Pinot Noir should be, but with white peach and citrus swirled around in both mouth and nose. She got a bottle of this one.Here is her reaction to real Oregon wines:
   Until I tasted several wines at Brandborg in Elkton, I had never liked wine. I had tried heavy red wines that I disliked, so I thought that all wine was too strong, heavy and bitter for me. When I told Robert that I didn't like wine, he suggested that I try the 2012 Fleur de Lis White Pinot Noir and suspected that I
would enjoy it despite the fact that I have always avoided wine. We went to Brandborg to taste it, and I was surprised at the light, fresh taste. It defied all of my preconceived notions about wine--it was not the least bit heavy or bitter and didn’t taste strongly of alcohol.
    I was interested to try a few other wines after discovering how much I enjoyed the Fleur de Lis. I found that I liked a few other whites at Brandborg including the 2012 Pinot Gris and 2009 Riesling. I even tried some red wines and liked the 2007 Love Puppets Pinot Noir. I enjoyed experiencing the different character of each wine, and I was surprised at the unique mixture of fruity and floral tastes in each wine. I found that not all wine is strong and bitter after all.

There you have it. Even a novice can grow to like Oregon wine!