Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

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Geoff F.
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Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#1 Post by Geoff F. » May 16th, 2019, 10:07 pm

I'm looking to do a long Memorial Day weekend in the Willamette Valley area, and visit a handful of wineries while I'm there. Walter Scott is partnering with Bethel Heights Vineyard, Cristom Vineyards, Failla Wines, Lingua Franca & Evening Land Vineyards for an "Eola-Amity Block Party", with each winery hosting something at their own facility, which sounds pretty neat. Are there any other events that weekend I should be aware of?
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Re: Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#2 Post by James Lyon » May 17th, 2019, 6:06 am

Sure, most folks that are appointment only or that are never open are open Memorial Day (and Thanksgiving Day) weekend(s). As a mailing list/club member, I know that Goodfellow will be open next Saturday, 11 - 4, and Patricia Green will be open next Saturday and Sunday, 10 - 3. There also appears to be a big tasting at Vincent's facility in Eola Amity with Vincent, Grochau and Red Electric wines next Saturday and Sunday 12 - 5. I don't know the details about the "Eola-Amity Block Party," but you can easily make a day of it in Eola-Amity with those wineries and include Evesham Wood. Don't miss Walter Scott. Based on Erica's email last week, they are down to the last handful of 2017 cases.

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Re: Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#3 Post by Rick Allen » May 17th, 2019, 10:27 am

We're having our 12th Anniversary Celebration on Monday. We'll be pouring all our beers, tapping a hoppy (massively dry-hopped) lager, and selling a limited edition 12th Anniversary clay stein. We also will have Goodfellow Chardonnay and Cameron Spritz on tap.

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Re: Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#4 Post by James Lyon » May 17th, 2019, 10:36 am

Rick Allen wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 10:27 am
We're having our 12th Anniversary Celebration on Monday. We'll be pouring all our beers, tapping a hoppy (massively dry-hopped) lager, and selling a limited edition 12th Anniversary clay stein. We also will have Goodfellow Chardonnay and Cameron Spritz on tap.
That's awesome. I should have included Heater Allen in my first post. That's a definite visit if you are in the area and like beers. Hopefully, I'll be able to visit with Rick the last week of June.

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Re: Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#5 Post by Vincent Fritzsche » May 18th, 2019, 12:05 pm

Yeah definitely come by if you’re out tasting Memorial Day Saturday or Sunday noon-5pm. I can’t be there Sunday but the wines will be. Address is 9360 SE Eola Hills Road. Not sure what’s going on with the block party but definitely come to the Eola Hills!
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Re: Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#6 Post by Dav1d S@wyer » May 18th, 2019, 12:47 pm

I’ve done Memorial Day weekend there the last two years. It’s a blast. The official website is super useful: https://willamettewines.com/

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Re: Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#7 Post by jon leifer » May 18th, 2019, 5:44 pm

My wife and I will be in the area early June following Memorial Day..Anything going on? Any Berserker winemakers gonna be around?
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Re: Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#8 Post by Vincent Fritzsche » May 19th, 2019, 8:31 am

I’ll be on the road then but I’m sure you’ll find some Berserkers to visit.
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Re: Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#9 Post by Todd Hamina » May 20th, 2019, 9:06 pm

Biggio Hamina has Denison, J. Craw, SchöneTal and Hill Road (maybe, I have to double check) all pouring. Two of them are offering their first wines ever (I make them). Saturday only 12 to 5.
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Re: Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#10 Post by Geoff F. » May 20th, 2019, 11:20 pm

Thanks for the recommendations everyone. I think I'll focus on Dundee/McMinville on Saturday, and Eola/Salem on Sunday.

Rick - I may stop in around lunchtime on Saturday. I've heard good things about your beer.
Todd - looking forward to trying your wines late Saturday afternoon.
Vincent - sorry to miss you, but I'll swing by on Sunday to try the wines.
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Re: Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#11 Post by Geoff F. » May 20th, 2019, 11:44 pm

Oh - this will be my first holiday weekend going through Oregon wine country. How slammed do all the wineries actually get? Is it buzzing/comfortably busy, or does it get slammed like the bigger wineries in Napa?

I've only been to Oregon wine country once (for the eclipse in 2017) and everywhere was reasonably quiet and wonderfully laid back.
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Re: Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#12 Post by Jim Anderson » May 21st, 2019, 6:53 am

Geoff F. wrote:
May 20th, 2019, 11:44 pm
Oh - this will be my first holiday weekend going through Oregon wine country. How slammed do all the wineries actually get? Is it buzzing/comfortably busy, or does it get slammed like the bigger wineries in Napa?

I've only been to Oregon wine country once (for the eclipse in 2017) and everywhere was reasonably quiet and wonderfully laid back.
I think where you are focusing you probably won’t have too much of a problem. Dundee can be very traffic heavy and unless something changes Highway 18 between Dundee and McMinnville is closed making the Lafayette 99W area super problematic. Maybe they will have it re-opened this week. Saturday is assuredly the busier of the two days but most times if you find a winery to be busy it’s because it is small and doesn’t have room for many people. Sunday, especially in the morning, will be quiet almost everywhere.
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Re: Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#13 Post by Andy Steinman » May 21st, 2019, 7:20 am

Jim Anderson wrote:
May 21st, 2019, 6:53 am
Highway 18 between Dundee and McMinnville is closed making the Lafayette 99W area super problematic. Maybe they will have it re-opened this week.
Highway 18 work is supposed to be complete by Friday and regardless it is open for the weekend. Hope you make it down to Eola-Amity!
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Re: Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#14 Post by Rick Allen » May 21st, 2019, 7:26 am

Andy Steinman wrote:
May 21st, 2019, 7:20 am
Jim Anderson wrote:
May 21st, 2019, 6:53 am
Highway 18 between Dundee and McMinnville is closed making the Lafayette 99W area super problematic. Maybe they will have it re-opened this week.
Highway 18 work is supposed to be complete by Friday and regardless it is open for the weekend. Hope you make it down to Eola-Amity!
You beat me to it!

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Re: Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#15 Post by Jim Anderson » May 21st, 2019, 8:40 am

Jim Anderson wrote:
May 21st, 2019, 6:53 am
Geoff F. wrote:
May 20th, 2019, 11:44 pm
Oh - this will be my first holiday weekend going through Oregon wine country. How slammed do all the wineries actually get? Is it buzzing/comfortably busy, or does it get slammed like the bigger wineries in Napa?

I've only been to Oregon wine country once (for the eclipse in 2017) and everywhere was reasonably quiet and wonderfully laid back.
I think where you are focusing you probably won’t have too much of a problem. Dundee can be very traffic heavy and unless something changes Highway 18 between Dundee and McMinnville is closed making the Lafayette 99W area super problematic. Maybe they will have it re-opened this week. Saturday is assuredly the busier of the two days but most times if you find a winery to be busy it’s because it is small and doesn’t have room for many people. Sunday, especially in the morning, will be quiet almost everywhere.
Good news. That has been a thorn in some employees’ sides as of late. Once one thing gets shut down/re-routed in this part of the world everything else sees the impact in spades.
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Re: Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#16 Post by Todd Hamina » May 21st, 2019, 9:52 am

And don't expect anything fancy or contrived here at BHC. It's just principals slinging their juice.
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Re: Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#17 Post by Todd Hamina » May 21st, 2019, 2:38 pm

And Hill Road is not pouring with us this Saturday.
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Re: Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#18 Post by Brian Glas » May 21st, 2019, 9:19 pm

Damm you guys are making it difficult for me. I don't know if I should visit, Vincent, Todd, David, Marcus, or Jim on Saturday. They better have spit buckets for me otherwise I'll never make it back to I-5 without driving into the ditch.

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Re: Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#19 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » May 21st, 2019, 10:03 pm

jon leifer wrote:
May 18th, 2019, 5:44 pm
My wife and I will be in the area early June following Memorial Day..Anything going on? Any Berserker winemakers gonna be around?
We bottle the 5-7th, but if you’re in before that give me a shout.
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Re: Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#20 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » May 21st, 2019, 10:05 pm

Brian Glas wrote:
May 21st, 2019, 9:19 pm
Damm you guys are making it difficult for me. I don't know if I should visit, Vincent, Todd, David, Marcus, or Jim on Saturday. They better have spit buckets for me otherwise I'll never make it back to I-5 without driving into the ditch.
Spit buckets are plentiful(and if you prefer a cup, we have those too). We will have about 12-13 wines open and I am guessing that’s half of Jim will be pouring.

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Re: Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#21 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » May 21st, 2019, 10:12 pm

Geoff F. wrote:
May 20th, 2019, 11:20 pm
Thanks for the recommendations everyone. I think I'll focus on Dundee/McMinville on Saturday, and Eola/Salem on Sunday.

Rick - I may stop in around lunchtime on Saturday. I've heard good things about your beer.
Todd - looking forward to trying your wines late Saturday afternoon.
Vincent - sorry to miss you, but I'll swing by on Sunday to try the wines.
Rick’s beers are a treat and we’re lucky to have him in McMinnville.

If you can make it by our place, please make sure to say hello. Also, directly next door is Brittan/Winderlea, and they make some excellent wines as well.

I recommend lunch at Valley Commissary, but Bistro Maison, Community Plate, and Pizza Capo are also very good.
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Re: Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#22 Post by Todd Hamina » May 21st, 2019, 10:20 pm

Red Hills Kitchen in the Atticus Hotel is quite tasty too.
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Re: Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#23 Post by Geoff F. » May 21st, 2019, 11:28 pm

Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
May 21st, 2019, 10:12 pm
Geoff F. wrote:
May 20th, 2019, 11:20 pm
Thanks for the recommendations everyone. I think I'll focus on Dundee/McMinville on Saturday, and Eola/Salem on Sunday.

Rick - I may stop in around lunchtime on Saturday. I've heard good things about your beer.
Todd - looking forward to trying your wines late Saturday afternoon.
Vincent - sorry to miss you, but I'll swing by on Sunday to try the wines.
Rick’s beers are a treat and we’re lucky to have him in McMinnville.

If you can make it by our place, please make sure to say hello. Also, directly next door is Brittan/Winderlea, and they make some excellent wines as well.

I recommend lunch at Valley Commissary, but Bistro Maison, Community Plate, and Pizza Capo are also very good.
Would love to stop by. Looking forward to it!
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Re: Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#24 Post by jon leifer » May 24th, 2019, 5:45 pm

Marcus: Will arrive in Portland around 2 Pm 6/4, hope to be in McMinnville sometime after 4, factoring in time to get luggage, pickup rental car and then drive to McM. What time will you be open to?
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Re: Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#25 Post by Michael Sterling » May 24th, 2019, 8:25 pm

We’ll be pouring at our tasting room in Amity all weekend and at Bill Holloran’s winery in Dundee on Sunday w/ seven other small producers who source fruit from Bill. Should be fun, good chance to introduce yourself to some micro producers (Art+Science, Et Fille, Holloran, Trathen Hall, Western Front and White Walnut)
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Re: Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#26 Post by Brian Glas » May 25th, 2019, 8:25 am

I stopped by a few wineries yesterday (Friday). I didn't take detailed notes, mostly was chatting with the tasting room staff. Stopped off first at Longplay. Always a fun experience. Todd Hansen record collection is as good as his wines. He graciously replaced a corked bottle I had recently. I liked the 2014 Lia's Vineyard. Todd Hamina was eating lunch next door so my son and i said hi to him.

Stopped at Willakenzie. Still waiting to see how the style of wines evolve with new owner and wine maker. Their 2017 Chardonnay was much better than previous versions of the wine.

Next we went to Seven of Hearts to pick up some wine that I had purchased online with their May sale. Mac was there and was fun as always to chat with. My son Paul calls him "Mate". Their 2013 Willakia Chard was drinking very nicely. It had some great minerality to balance the fruit flavors.

I hadn't been to the Carlton Wine Maker's Studio in several years. I have always liked Andrew Rich and David Hammacher's wines. I don't remember which of Andrew's pinots they were pouring but it was very nice. David's entry level H pinot was very nice too.

Last stop was Brittan in McMinniville. It was fun chatting with Juan. I tried 4 of the Winderlea wines. They were excellent across the board. My favorite was the Murto Pinot.

Looking forward to stopping by some more places today.

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Re: Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#27 Post by Geoff F. » May 25th, 2019, 5:28 pm

Day 1:
Evening Land. Didn't love the Gamay. The Pinot was good but maybe trending towards California ripeness. The Chardonnay was reductive and stunning.

Antica Terra: they paired their wine with food that was too bold. Everything was great but $110 for an entry level rosé? Really?

Eyrie Vineyards: historic but blah. Wasn't a fan. Nothing was bad but nothing was great either.

Goodfellow: good Pinot, great Chardonnay, stunning Syrah. Plus, Marcus was fun to talk to.

Biggio Hamina: Todd was pouring a 2009 Pinot which was a real treat. All the other winemakers were good too. Would come back.

Looking forward to day 2!
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Re: Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#28 Post by Todd Hamina » May 25th, 2019, 7:38 pm

Nice to meet you Geoff. Enjoy the rest of your adventure.
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Re: Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#29 Post by Brian Glas » May 25th, 2019, 9:57 pm

Geoff F. wrote:
May 25th, 2019, 5:28 pm
Everything was great but $110 for an entry level rosé? Really?
So how many cases on the Rose did you buy? [swoon.gif] Even Serene isn't charging that much.

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Re: Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#30 Post by Brian Glas » May 25th, 2019, 10:16 pm

On Saturday I stopped by Belle Pente. Was always a pleasure to visit with Brian, Jill, and their daughter. I always enjoy his Pinots. My favorite was the Murto.

Next we stopped by to visit with Marcus Goodfellow. Some really nice wines here. Hard to pick a favorite. I liked the Whistling Ridge Chard, Pinot, and the Durant Pinot. I ended up getting some Whistling Ridge Pinot based on past experience.

We were then helping my daughter who is a student at Linfield pack her stuff and help move back to Seattle for the Summer.

We stopped at Marias is Amity for lunch before heading to Vincent. They had four wineries pouring at Grochau. Enjoyed Vincent's wines the best. I liked his Tardive Chard and his Bjornson Pinot. Very nice.

Some excellent wines this weekend.

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Re: Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#31 Post by Geoff F. » May 25th, 2019, 11:49 pm

Todd Hamina wrote:
May 25th, 2019, 7:38 pm
Nice to meet you Geoff. Enjoy the rest of your adventure.
Thanks for the tip on the Rioja. I managed to call the restaurant and they recommended opening when we arrived instead of decanting ahead of time. Stunning wine.
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#32 Post by Todd Hamina » May 26th, 2019, 7:20 am

Right on. Glad it showed well.
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#33 Post by Vincent Fritzsche » May 27th, 2019, 2:35 pm

Brian, thanks for stopping by and tasting. Glad your daughter was able to taste too. And nice to meet your son too!
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Re: Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#34 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » May 27th, 2019, 9:53 pm

jon leifer wrote:
May 24th, 2019, 5:45 pm
Marcus: Will arrive in Portland around 2 Pm 6/4, hope to be in McMinnville sometime after 4, factoring in time to get luggage, pickup rental car and then drive to McM. What time will you be open to?
We’re by appointment, so no hours. But if you’re just getting into town at 4:00(ish), we can meet you after you check in and get settled. Either my partner, Megan Joy, or I can meet you before you head to dinner.
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Re: Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#35 Post by jon leifer » May 28th, 2019, 6:42 pm

Thank you Marcus, appreciate it..Look forward to meeting you and/or Megan
Jon

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Re: Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#36 Post by Geoff F. » May 28th, 2019, 9:52 pm

Post-trip report:
tl;dr - Spending Memorial Day weekend in Willamette Valley is a great idea and you should do it.

Saturday
Evening Land (Dundee Tasting Room) - I really enjoyed the whole lineup except for the Gamay which wasn't my style. As a Seattlite who faces 10% sales tax, it was great to be able to pick up wines and a couple extra Zalto glasses.
Antica Terra - Man, does Maggie put on a show. String jazz band, decked out tasting room, fresh oysters, generous pours of everything, and... what's that? $110 for a bottle of rosé? And everything goes up from there? No wonder there wasn't a spittoon in sight. The sausage that was served overpowered all the wines. What I could still taste through the garlic was good but waaaayyy overpriced (especially the "Barrel Room" selections - current release Clos Cibonne for $65???). I'd do this again next year, but I'd make it the last stop instead of the second, and I'd uber/lyft and really enjoy all they had to offer.
Eyrie Vineyards - A return to normalcy after Antica Terra. The tasting room is a bit dated (historic?) but in good shape, and closed right after the weekend for a remodel. I had high hopes for Eyrie given the history, but wasn't impressed with any of their offerings. Nothing was bad, but nothing was great either.
Goodfellow - It was a pleasure meeting Marcus and tasting his wines. The event was just right - wines were spread out and there was a small spread of cheese and nibbles. Everything was good-to-great, and then the Reserve Syrah Deux Vert came out of nowhere (served last) and was stunning.
Biggio Hamina - It was great meeting Todd and tasting his wines, and those of his tenants. I really liked that he put a library offering up on the tasting bar - it's a treat to try a 2009 and see how his wines are evolving. Pretty good quality across the rest of the tenants too.
The Painted Lady (restaurant) - Great wine list, and the somm (Mark) was a wonderful host. I have great respect for any restaurant that finds a 1920 Rioja, puts it on the list, and only marks it up $40 - barely more than their corkage fee.

Sunday
Lingua Franca - Stunning facility. Larry looks to be gearing up to do something big with that operation. The food bites were great (fresh kabobs), and the wines were good but unmemorable. I love his 2015 Joshua, Junichi, and Siri; but didn't try anything this weekend that measured up to it.
Cristom - Their site is really pretty, and I liked how they had a food bite paired with each wine. I only really enjoyed the Estate Pinot Noir - everything else was unmemorable.
Walter Scott - It was great meeting Andy here, and it's always a pleasure talking to Ken. We followed a bus of ~25 Stanford MBA students, and while they were pleasant, it was much quieter and nicer once they left. Great spread of finger food that complemented the wines nicely too. We love pretty much everything he puts out.
Evesham Wood - Really enjoyed the facility, and both the winemaker (whose name I forget) and host were enjoyable to interact with. A few cheeses were laid out which was nice. What was nice in theory but painful in practice was trying to get through the gamut of 12 wines they had open. I wonder if their Blanc du Puits Sec was flawed, because it wasn't reductive - it just smelled like baby poop. I also don't think their entry-level Pinot Noir is a good representation of what they do, because it's an unbalanced acid bomb. You pay an extra $5-10 and you start getting some pretty good, well-balanced single vineyard stuff from them.
Evening Land (Seven Springs Vineyard Party) - This was the highlight of the weekend (after the ancient Rioja). The weather was a perfect sunny upper 70s, and they had a tent set up in the middle of Seven Springs Vineyard, pouring four wines (two of which had some bottle age) and cooking up s'mores. Nothing beats drinking a wine in the vineyard it came from on a perfect spring day. We didn't want to leave. It would have been a lot less fun in Saturday's weather.
Grochau/Vincent/Red Electric - Grochau hosted a really nice event and was kinda like Todd's setup - nibbles and four producers. The layout worked reasonably well, but we had to keep walking back and forth to the limited spittoons. We enjoyed the wines from Grochau and Vincent (sorry to have missed you!), and Red Electric shows promise for future years (though we found his first effort in 2015 to be his best). At this point we were pretty wiped so we skipped Upper Five and headed back to the hotel.
Newbergundian Bistro (restaurant) - We heard good things about this spot from just about everyone, and we blew our budget the night before, so we camped out here for a burger and roast chicken. Both were overcooked, as was the lamb at the table next to us. Probably an off night for them. We'd go back, but we'd try other places first.

Monday
Didn't plan on tasting on Monday, but heard good things about the following two places which were open on Monday, so we went on our way out of town.
Le Cadeau - Bog standard modern-and-pretty tasting room serving good-but-not-great Oregon wine. In the same breath, the co-owner said he likes to let the land speak for itself, but also claimed to be a clone junky who planted at least a dozen clones in the vineyard. He also seemed really proud to have planted in land that was so rocky you couldn't really see the dirt.
Domaine Roy - Gorgeous view from the tasting room. Felt like mini-Napa in Oregon which I'm not sure I liked (so much money moving into town). Our host spent an hour with us (far longer than we had really planned on) and showed us the facility and grounds. The wines were good but their high end stuff wasn't worth nearly what they were asking.
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Re: Willamette Valley Memorial Day weekend events?

#37 Post by Todd Hamina » May 28th, 2019, 10:48 pm

You were busy.
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