The easiest way to tell we were tourists in Oregon would have been to count the number of times I said "Look at all these trees!" It's really a beautiful state. And the drive from Florence to the Umpqua Valley (conveniently located on the Umpqua River) is gorgeous and serene. To wit:
Of course we stopped for wine too. First was Brandborg Winery in Elkton. We had a great time tasting wines with Terry Brandborg himself. In fact, it was such a nice time we ending up tasting 12 wines. 12! Our favorites were the 2010 Fleur de Lys White Pinot Noir, the 2008 Reisling and 2007 Love Puppets Pinot Noir. (I also happen to love the name of the Pinot Noir--it's got a romantic story behind it having to do with a painting and Terry and his wife Sue's courtship; very sweet--the story, not the wine.)
|Chris with Terry Brandborg|
Eight wines were tasted with the 2007 Barrel Select Umpqua Pinot Noir as our favorite. It is hard to beat an Oregon Pinot Noir.
Our next stop was a doozy. We'd been visiting mostly smaller wineries--beautiful, rustic places with small productions. So we were not prepared for what Reustle Prayer Rock winery and vineyards looked like. The drive in was, in keeping with Oregon's custom, gorgeous. And then the winery appeared. And, well...wow. See for yourself:
But as beautiful as the winery was...the wines were even better. Steve Reustle joined us for what turned out to be a 3 hour tasting. Steve is passionate about his grapes, his wines and winemaking. Chris is, as we know, also very passionate about those things. There was wine. There was talking. There was more wine. More talking. Repeat. A fabulous afternoon! The 2010 Gruner Veltliner was the favorite (and the 2009 reserve was also excellent). I also must give a tip o' the glass to the kitchen at Reustle Prayer Rock. They serve small bites with each wine (okay, not each wine we tried...that would be two meals worth; but each wine in the "normal" tasting) and everything was delicious. Loved, loved, loved the rice cracker with goat cheese, avocado slices, a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper.