Domaine Drouhin 2006 Pinot Noir

The whirlwind trip to Oregon would not have been complete without a stopover in the wine country south of Portland. It’s hard not to enjoy an afternoon in and around the Dundee hills tasting wines. I’d been up there a couple times before and this particular visit didn’t disappoint. On top of the weather being outstanding it was my birthday the day we were visiting – both good reasons to raise a glass.

We just had an afternoon to sample the area so we opted to essentially stay pretty close to just one area around Dundee. First stop was to Lange winery. Lange is a pretty drive out into the hills off the main road and down several miles of gravel road. It’s a fairly small winery and tasting room but has a nice deck and view out the back. It would have been a nice place to picnic but we hadn’t seen an obvious place to stop for food on the way through Dundee. But we asked our very helpful server and she gave us some great suggestions. In fact, she suggested several other great wineries in the area not to be missed as well as great dinner places. She didn’t steer us wrong.

The wines at Lange were excellent. We were particularly wowed by the 2006 “Freedom Hill Vineyard” Pinot Noir. Kem got a bottle of that.

From Lange it was off to pick up some sandwiches and then we headed over to Domaine Drouhin. More excellent wines. In particular we had an excellent 2006 Pinot Noir. We didn’t get a bottle there but Kem has since found it here in Austin. The views from the deck were great at Domaine Drouhin and many of the pictures in the slideshow are from there. We hung out a bit, enjoyed lunch and some of the excellent wine.

Our pace was relaxed and there wasn’t actually a lot of time to take in too many other wineries. We’d heard good things about Panther Creek and it was only a few blocks from where we were going to be staying so we headed that direction. Panther Creek is located in the former power plant in McMinnville. Once again, we were impressed with the wines and found their 2006 wine from Freedom Hills was our favorite. We’ve since found it here in Austin too.

The place we stayed in McMinnville was called A’ Tuscan Estate. I’d highly recommend it. It seems perhaps a little oddly named considering the location, decor and the fact that neither of the innkeepers is from Italy. But it’s a beautiful home and the food was excellent! You can read a bit more about the innkeepers here. They had a very interesting history. Jacques, the chef, is from France and has written culinary books and won awards. Kem bought one of his books and had him sign it. On top of that the two of them were very friendly and helpful. Breakfast on the porch that morning could not have been much better. Fresh made croissants, home made preserves and quiche. Their little pooch, Pololo, shown in the picture at the link above was definitely around the B&B too but he seemed to be tired and resting most of the time.

The visit to the Willamette Valley was too short. Would have been fun to be around another day or two. There are a lot of wineries in the area. We just scratched the surface. No doubt another trip will need to be planned.

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