Thursday was PACKED with activity: a visit to Montinore Vineyard in the morning with some BEAUTIFUL wines. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED is their Borealis white blend: 38% Riesling, 24% Müller-Thurgau, 23% Pinot Gris, 15% Gewürztraminer. This wine was INTENSELY aromatic and equally flavorful with floral and green apple. At 11.5% and $13 or so, it is my new house white.
Next was the journey to the top of a mountain, complete with ear-popping and the group silently wondering if the bus would be able to make it to the top. I’m sure we were all
meditating, “I think I can.”
After a lunch and espresso, we visited Hawks View winery. We sampled several wines
including a white Pinot Noir (very interesting), which was pressed with skins for just two hours; Syrah, Cab, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and a huge Pinot Gris that was intensely fruity and aromatic with 13.5% ABV.
Then back to the hotel for check-in, then the 7:30 opening reception. Oregon winemakers are known for Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, but are experimenting successfully with Riesling. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED is the Argyle 2010 Medium-Dry Riesling ($18, 13%), which promised green apple and delivered that as well as lychee and spice. Just delicious and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, as is Anam Cara’s version.
Another HIGHLY RECOMMENDED selection from the reception: Amity Vineyards, 2009 Pinot Blanc (91% Pinot Bland, 9% Auxerrois, an Alsace variety), all stainless, no malo,
Visited the Blakeslee Vineyard Estate table; we might be related, as we both have relatives who hail from Pennsylvania. Great wines, too.
At 10:00, a few of us were picked up by the sommelier and social media manager of Watershed Communications, and taken to the basement/cellar/tasting room of Portland Wine Storage, where we tasted vertical flights of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from 2002-2008. Details to follow.
Back to the hotel at 12:30, talked with roommate, discussed sleeping anomalies and temperature/white-sound preferences, and hit the sack.
On the schedule Friday: Argentine wine tasting, brunch, tango demonstrations in the morning; winemaker Randall Grahm (Bonny Doon) gave a keynote speech at 12:30; live wine blogging (whites and rosés) early afternoon; 2:30 boarded a “mystery bus” to a winery including a magical dinner and tasting; back to the hotel for the “Night of Many Bottles” featuring wines provided and shared by the 350 bloggers who are here. To be truthful I was so full of food, wine, and contentment (as well as still being on East Coast time) that when we arrived back at the hotel at 11, I went to bed rather than the “Night of Many Bottles.”
Details and photos to follow. Cheers!