After a seven year stint in Portland, OR, we have now moved back to Atlanta. As a tribute to the great NW, I thought I would list my favorite wineries that I carried back across the country to enjoy on the east coast:
Owen Roe - Great variety of WS reds and OR pinots. I prefer the WS reds (especially the Dubrul offerings), but the pinots hold their own. My wife worked briefly for David, so I may be a bit biased.
Shea - Dick is a great guy and his wines are fantastic. His wines represent the ultimate Oregon pinots. I consider The Homer the best Oregon pinot across several vintages.
Lemelson - Eric was doing sustainable when sustainable wasn't cool. The high end Stermer and Jerome's are on the top tier most years. They also make some of the best value pinots around.
Waters - Nice variety of offerings. The Interlude is one of the best value blends in WS. The single varietal Syrahs are excellent. Don't miss the Cab Franc blends.
Le Cadeau - Tom produces great quality with each vintage and has done some fun stuff with the red label and Aubichon second label.
Abeja - Another great value blend. The viogner may be the best in the NW. The reserve cabs are worth the wait.
JK Carrier - Solid range of pinots, especially at the high end. However, they are starting to get pricey.
Leonetti - Not a lot needs to be said here. However, they do make a fantastic Sangiovese that doesn't make it out of the NW very often.
Sheridan - Excellent Cab Franc. The L'Orage is good most every year.
Gramercy Cellars- The best Tempranillo in the NW.
Sleight of Hand - Good, fun wines at decent prices.
Archery Summit - High quality pinots. Great single vineyards. High prices.
Patty Green - A dizzying variety of pinot offerings. Great to try them during open houses. Always a fan of the Balcombe.
And last, but nowhere near least:
Thomas - You've got to know somebody to get this stuff. It's worth the effort.
I'm going to miss the Northwest! What are your favorites?This message has been edited. Last edited by: DrinkumAll,
My wife and I are planning a trip to the NW for 2 weeks (flying in and out of Seattle). We live in Nova Scotia and therefore our exposure to Oregon and Washington wines is quite limited. We would like to spend a week of our trip visiting wineries, would you be able to make any suggestions?
Thanks in advance
mgs, will you be exploring both the Willamette Valley as well as areas in WA? I highly reccommend hitting Walla Walla. Not much else to do there but taste/drink wine and eat good food, but high quality of both is abundant. You can search for my name in the Tasting Notes section from last fall.
Thanks billhike. While my wife and I have done a lot of wine related travels in the past, I must admit I have a pretty limited - almost nil - knowledge of Washington and Oregon wines and the related regions. I am just starting to do my research now. All I know for certain at the moment is that we fly into Seattle on June 30 and fly out on July 13. Everything in between we still have to figure out. Any guidance on the merits of both Washington and Oregon are most welcome. Walla Walla sounds like our kind of place - food and wine! What could go wrong... Thanks for the suggestion
mgs, loved the region. Spent time there last summer. Most impressive winery is Rasa, but also loved Leonetti and Gramercy. Corliss was also worth a visit. I'd skip K Vintners and Woodward Canyon.
Just one more sip.
I'm not sure how I missed this thread initially. In partial response to DrinkumAll's question, my favorite Oregon wineries are:
Arterberry-Maresh - Jim Maresh is a second generation Willamette Valley wine maker who is producing some great Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Brick House - I've always enjoyed Doug's style of wine. Classic Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Cameron - John Paul is one of the grey beards in the valley and continues to impress. If you have not had a Clos Electrique (Blanc or Rouge), you need to search one out.
Crowley - Tyson is another young turk. He used to be John Paul's assistant and learned well. His Chardonnay is killer.
Evesham Wood - The torch has been passed from Russ Raney to Erin Nuccio and Erin hasn't missed a beat.
Le Cadeau - Tom and Deb are great people and are making world class Pinot Noir.
Matello - Marcus Goodfellow is another new kid on the block. If you like complex, restrained, well balanced wines, you need to give these a try.
Thomas - Definately one to search out, as DrinkumAll says.
Westrey - David and Amy produce some of the best value Pinot Noirs on a consistent basis.
Witness Tree - My sentimental favorite. The 2000 Vintage Select got me hooked on Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.
These all produce great Pinot Noir and the top 4 are some of my favorite Chardonnay producers.
Unfortunately, I don't know enough about Washington wineries to really comment.
mgs - RE:Walla Walla. I agree with the other suggestions and would add Rotie Cellars and Garrison Creek Cellars. Garrison Creek is open by appointment and is second only to Corliss for how long they hold their wine before release, we just bought the '08's. Both the facility and the wine are worth a visit.
If you head out to Waters, plan to stop at their neighbors Va Piano, Sleight of Hand and Saviah. They're all in spitting distance and worth the stop.
For restaurants try Brasserie Four for lunch and Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen for dinner. Make your reservation 2 months in advance for Saffron and while they're militant about being on time they've earned the right- it's that good!
For favorite NW wineries these are the ones we buy/drink most often, otherwise the list would be too long:
Ken Wright Cellars
Sleight of Hand
WatersThis message has been edited. Last edited by: WhineWhineWine,
Very limited experience with Oregon wines but I thoroughly enjoyed a Beaux Freres Pinot Noir a while back. Not sure if the winery is worth a visit but their Pinot is definitely worth a try.
Beaux Freres is by appointment but absolutely worth a visit. It's close to several other wineries. The wines aren't cheap but they are fantastic. Pinot Noir is all they do and the tasting room is about as simple as it gets - they are all about the juice.
Thanks to all for your comments. I think at this point, for logistics reasons, we will likely take the train from Seattle to Portland, pick up a car there and spend our time in Williamette. I am quite interested in broadening my knowledge of Oregon PN. I have had the Beaux Freres previously and thought it was excellent, (price is $100 here in Nova Scotia!), therefore would like to spend my time with the smaller wineries that will certainly never appear locally in NS. Again, thanks for all assistance and recommendations, they are very much appreciated.
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