A Wonderful Day In the Willamette Valley


Elk Cove Vineyards

Saturday was a wonderful day in the Portland Metro Area – weather included, which is so often iffy at best. But I was happy to report the temperature were in the high 80s. Keeping mindful we have officially reached Autumn, (And where did the summer go?) there was a slight crispness to the air. In a few short weeks the lush greenery will transform into amorous shades of gold, crimson, and rust. The light breeze felt refreshing.

Lloyd and I took advantage of the nice day and drove out to wine country, before the weather decided to change. At the drop of a dime Oregon weather changes. Not one to really complain about  largely because I chose to live in Portland despite rumors it rains  all of the time. I believe people are confused with Seattle, where it seriously does rain all of the time.  So off to wine country. And not to Napa baby, right in our own back yard – the Willamette Valley. Within an easy 30 minutes or so from our house in the Burbs, we have at our disposal at least 300 wineries. Not bad right? Some are excellent, while others are very good to why do people even bother. But to each his own. When we arrived to our first destination, Elk Cove Winery– not a car in sight except for this hot little number. Here’s a clue.

Hot wheels, hot on the floor. Need I say more?

 

 

Hot on the floor – enough said.

Need I say more?

 

 

Seriously, need I say more?

 

Okay only because some of my readers may not be car people, but really even non interested car people should have some idea what this amazing ride is. Think Tom Selleck – Magnum PI?

Okay, here she is and what a beautiful car. We decided that who ever drove it had to have rented it for the weekend. As no one around the winery looked as though they could afford to own this little number. Cute isn’t she?

Hot Red Ferarri

Our day at Elk Cove began with a bang. The car plus the fact we were pleasantly surprised by the wines and the recent, as within a couple of months, had gone through a major renovation – both inside and out due to water leaks and faulty construction the first time around. Sound familiar?

To me the inside of the winery looked the same as when I had been out there last year. The only noticeable improvement was the beautiful deck constructed which surrounds the entire front of the tasting room front and back, and provides for spectacular views of their vineyards and valley;

‘Light Through the Leaves’ was situated at the base of the deck in the front of the newly constructed deck, which I seem to have misplaced the picture. Sorry. You will have to trust me when I say the addition is fantastic providing exquisite views of the Valley.

Light Through the Leaves

Mr. Bumble and a Sprig of Lavender

I highly recommend taking a trip out to Elk Cove if you are in the area. They have a nice selection of wines which are all fantastic. The ones which stood out this time was a wonderful Pinot Noir, La Boheme 2009 vintage.

 

 

The Pinots each had wonderful bouquets, with nice mixes of spices and hints of chocolate and black cherry, and not over the top finishes.The several wines we sampled were all worthy of a visit and purchase either at the winery or in Hillsboro at Renaissance Wines.

 

 

 

Elk Cove Vineyards

 

As we bid Elk Cove farewell, we decided to take a drive down the road to Carlton the home of a variety of winemakers and the Carlton Wine Studio utilized for a number of winemakers.

The community also contains around ten or so different vintners who have tasting rooms along the main street and a few down a couple of the side roads. Typically there is a small tasting few usually returnable with a purchase of a bottle of wine.

Blinds

 

 

 

 

The town is very quaint and has grow over the last several years into a nice area to spend an afternoon walking from wine shop to wine shop. My only complaint is there are only two reliable places in the immediate area to grab a bite to eat- one a sandwich shop and the other a French restaurant, Cuvee, which is only open for dinner. My other complaint is that I personally would like to see more boutique shops in the town as many wine tasters like to take home with them little gifts of where they have been. Just a thought.
While in Carlton, Lloyd and I stopped by our favorite boutique winery called Terra Vina, owned by friends of ours Carl and Carole Dinger.

Terra Vina Wines

Carl is the wine maker and he never disappoints with his wide selection of wines. Whether its a white Chardonnay or one of his big jammy Sangiovese, or a light and refreshing Pinot Noir, his wines are always elegant, flavorful, with lovely bouquets and well balanced tannins. With that said, I had to taste his 2009 Pinot, which I absolutely loved. It was amazing! For a Pinot, the wine was very complex with a nice hint of chocolate and spice on the palate and smooth yet jammy tannins on the finish. The wine easily will lay down for a few years and still be awesome. I also gave his Sangiovase a try and as I said, i was not disappointed. The wine was huge. Nice balance of tannins and fruit and very jammy which would go very nicely with a bowl of Pasta. It too could lay down for a few years to mature.

Terra Vina Grape Walkway to the Tasting Room.

I highly recommend any of Terra Vina’s wines or Elk Cove wines which can be purchased at the tasting rooms or at Renaissance Wines.

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