Many people still mispronounce Willamette. We are guilty also. It’s Willamette, Dammit! Great marketing by the Willamette Valley Vineyards. They even have a fun t-shirt.
The Willamette Valley is the première wine growing region in Oregon. It extends from Portland south to California. Surrounded by Cascade mountains to the east and the Coastal Range to the west. Our journey started at the Portland Airport. We picked up another wine blogger we never met before at the rental car company and jumped on hwy 5 and headed south. Luckily he was pretty cool and works in the Aerospace industry, so he and Dan had something to chat about. We stopped off at two wineries, Seufert in Dayton and Lange in Dundee.
Our first stop was at Seufert Winery in Dayton. There we met with their resident Pinot Noir expert Jim Fischer. We tasted through 4 of their single vineyards. We fished off our visit with the three Pinot Noirs I am familiar with. The 09′ Vine Idyl, 09′ Johan and the 09′ Zenith vineyard.
We then made our way over to Lange Winery and Vineyards. Our GPS took us the most direct route on winding uphill dirt roads which had spectacular views, but after having Pinot Noir for breakfast the journey made me wish I was in flat Florida. All was forgotten when we arrived to this beautiful vineyard. The wines blew me away. I was quite impressed with the 09′ Estate Pinot Noir and the 09′ Freedom Hill Block Pinot Noir.
We then made our journey south to Eugene, Oregon. This was our pre-conference excursion. We were greeted by Meg and Molly with the Eugene Travel Board. Our first venture was to Heidi Tunnell’s Catering Company where she hosts Barn Dinners. What a beautiful setting and I cannot say enough about the food, it was outstanding. The best BLT I have ever had.
Our final stop was King Estate Winery. Where we enjoyed a tour of the winery and dinner. Our Host was Elizabeth Allcott, very personable and accommodating to our group of Wine Bloggers.