Monday, December 1, 2008

Washington County Thanksgiving Wine Tour

It's become quite the tradition at the Rebecca Lane household.....a tour of some of our favorite Washington County Wineries the day after Thanksgiving. Typically, Friday is a quieter day at the vineyards and each year there are more and more to fit into our schedule.

Brian drove down early on Friday from Seattle so we headed off about noon to the North end of the Willamette valley.
First Stop: Apolloni - Brian loves any place that starts us off with a large cheese platter! They had quite the spread, including a dessert tray. Very well organized tasting room with three separate stations - which keep things flowing. Italian-style wines, very clean and crisp. In addition, a nice "iced" style Viognier that we all really enjoyed. A $5 refundable tasting fee, if you buy a bottle which we found very enticing. We took a bottle of the Viognier home, thank you!

Second stop: Purple Cow - We discovered this little winery back in October with the Seymour's. I love the "down home feel" and exciting wine varieties. Tell many places have a fantastic Tempranillo and a dry "everyday" Muscat? Plus winemaker, Jose Galindez, "Galo" is a hoot and I enjoy his passion for wines. $5 tasting fee - well worth the visit.

Third Stop: Tualatin Estate Vineyard - They had a three dog greeting committee (you gotta love that). One of the reasons I keep coming back here is the wines......they are really good. I love their Chardonnay Pinot and Merlot. Great variety! A tasting fee. Thanks to the staff - your passion, energy and friendliness keeps us coming back (at least 3 times a year). We left with two bottles of Chardonnay and a Pinot. Fourth Stop: I really wanted us all to try a place that we have never been too - Plum Hill - in fact, they just opened for business. So since they just opened I am going to give them a little bit of a break. Their wines are young - very young and not well developed. We loved the charm of their tasting room. I only hope the wine-making develops.

"Tables by Brian" - he loved the sign (although he didn't design the table)

Fifth Stop: Cooper Mountain - We are on the home stretch and a place right out our back door, but why am I never impressed with their wines? They offered several "flights" and Chick and I chose "EARTH" for $10 (glass included). The Pinot Gris was sweet and spicy and the Chardonnay was very clean, with little or no oak. The 2007 Pinot Noir Reserve was okay for an 07; however, I most enjoyed the deep, rich Malbec (2006).

Last Stop: Ponzi: Always one of the gems of the day - but a little steep on the sampling price, $15. In addition, they only offered 4 wines and one of them was a Vino Gelato (dessert variety). We left with a 2006 reserve Chardonnay for $30 - which I believe was way to steep especially for a Chardonnay. A bit disappointed, but the Ponzi name sells itself.

Thanks to Brian for being the semi-DD (he did taste a few)! We had a great memorable day!