Day 3 of tasting in the Willamette Valley were all wineries I’d never been to. All based on recommendations though.
Winderlea had been recommended but based on reading in advance I realized they were not going to be open to the public over Memorial Day weekend and instead were doing a sit-down tasting event by appointment only. So I emailed and got us an appointment. I think they chose wisely. While new and modern looking the tasting room at Winderlea is pretty small and there’s very little parking. I imagine leaving it to chance might have been a pain for all concerned. As it was, it was leisurely and enjoyable.
As you can see, the weather was great and the tasting room opened up to a deck that overlooked the vineyards below.
Two of the wines had already been poured. On the left was the 2012 Winderlea Chardonnay. On the right, the 2013 Winderlea Rosé of Pinot Noir. The bigger glass were for the Pinot Noir to come.
They did a nice job of pairing the plate of snack with the wines. From left to right: a lemon parmesan tulle crisp, a wrapped grilled asparagus, some sautéed cremini mushrooms and then a rhubarb macaron. We were told the chef for the event was Tan Huynh though he wasn’t at the event that morning.
This was probably my favorite tasting event of the trip. The spot was great, the wines were good and the food and its presentation were done well.
My favorite wine here was the 2012 Winderlea Crawford Beck Pinot noir. From the tasting notes: “nose of savory dried herbs, lavender and fresh earth”. For me, definitely a lot of cherry and cranberry on the taste.
A couple of people that morning – one at breakfast and the other a person at our table at Winderlea – had recommended we give antica terra a try. It was the sort of place that you could easily just drive by. The tasting was done in more of a warehouse type of building. The recommendations didn’t steer us wrong though. Very nice wines. Here, I think my favorite was the 2012 Antica Terra Aurata Chardonnay. At $75 a bottle probably not one I’d get on any kind of routine basis though.
I only took a few notes at Alexan. Yet another Rosé of Pinot Noir here as you can see and there really wasn’t one of those from anyone I didn’t like. Favorite from there though was the 2012 ‘Single Clone Pommard’ Pinot Noir.
I snagged no photos at Lemelson. My notes tell me I liked the 2012 Chestnut Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir the best of their offerings though Lemelson was a little frustrating. While other wineries had planned things in a way that the holiday weekend crowd moved along well, things were a little chaotic at Lemelson.
By contrast, Soter had set up stations throughout the winery and had set up tables out in back for the crowd to flow out to. As you can see in the photo, a pretty good crowd at Soter. Sadly I didn’t take any notes here that I could find but I remember they had some of the best snacks of anyone that afternoon!