Tuesday, December 3, 2013

2013 Day-After-Thanksgiving Wine Tour

Every year, the day after Thanksgiving we enjoy exploring Washington and sometimes, Yamhill county wineries.

This year, as in years past, I try and find a couple of new wineries as well as a few of our old favorites.  Last year, we had to rent a bigger car to get the 6 of us around, but this year it was a smaller group of wine enthusiasts.

Once again this year, Brian was our designated driver and we headed out with a bold list of 5 wineries (all to be squeeze in by 4PM so we could be home in time for the Civil War).

Our first winery was Blakeslee Vineyards.  Check out their beautiful infinity pool!

Formerly know as Quail Hill Vineyards, this highly regarded estate was purchased by Bill and Sheila Blakeslee in 2005.

The estate has been producing top quality Pinot Noir grapes for over 13 years.  Historically, the estate produced filberts and Christmas tress through the 1970's and 80's.  During the late 1990's the property was converted to grapes and in 1998, winemaker Patricia Green of Torii Mor Winery was recognized by Wine Spectator for producing Oregon's first bottle of $100 Pinot Noir.

The Blakeslee's acquired the 20 acre estate in 2005 and didn't start producing their own sines until 2010.  The Estate Tasting Room opened Memorial Day Weekend 2013 and it is outstanding.

Next, we headed towards Dundee, OR to Erath Winery.

It's been many years since we've been to Erath and I respect and love their wines.

This winery, set in the slopes of the Dundee Hills has been making wines for more then 40 years.  As one of Oregon's wine pioneers, Dick Erath, an engineer-turned-viticulturist was first inspired to pursue wine making in 1968.  He relocated his family from California to Dundee (lived in an unheated logger's cabin on 49 acres) and began planting wine grapes. The rest they say, is history!

Stop #3, was Lange Estates which is also located in Dundee.  Named as 2013 Wine and Spirits Winery of the year, this tasting room did not disappoint, plus they had the best appetizers of the day and a fireplace in the tasting room!

It was a great place to experience Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir wines with surrounding views of the Dundee Hills.

Our next to the last stop was Torri Mor, a vineyard that Chick and I discovered with my friend, Pat many years ago (we still remember the friendly cat who greeted guests at the front door).

The setting is quiet, spiritual, natural and elegant.  They specialize in Pinot Noir, but also branch out into Pinot Gris and Viognier.  Friday's tasting included port and chocolate.

Our last stop was Argyle Vineyards right in the heart of Dundee, our day was drawing to a close and we knew that Argyle would have some sparkling wine and bold and buttery Chardonnay.

The evening ended with a knuckle biting Civil War game, a sampling of some of our favorite wines of the day and plenty of Christmas music.