Oregon Wine Board Tour: Day 4
The tour is officially over, and I’m currently at Union Station in downtown Portland waiting for my 2:35 departure on Amtrak back to Eugene. Luckily, Wilf’s Restaurant and Bar is just outside the train station, where I’m writing this and enjoying a glass of Argyle 2010 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. Pretty nice on the nose, this Pinot has all the Willamette Valley characteristics; like, blackberries, spices and forest floor. Fruit forward with spice on the finish – Oregon Pinot all the way around.
Day four, the final day of the tour, has been simply relaxing. Waking up after a nights sleep at the Allison Inn and Spa is, well, let’s just say it was tough to wake up and get out of bed. The ultra plush king size cloud-like bed was a little slice of heaven, and with black out shades, that cover the window at the push of a button, kept the room nice and dark. I’m pretty sure that if the alarm hadn’t been set for 6:30 am, I would have slept in until noon. Breakfast was served buffet style at the Chef’s Table, where only walls of windows separated us from the excitement of the Allison’s kitchen – it was pretty cool.
We checked into the Allison Inn and Spa in Newberg, Oregon, yesterday. With a small population of roughly 22,000 people, finding a hotel as exquisite as The Allison is a rare find in Oregon small-town wine country. The Allison Inn and Spa is the #12 resort in the US and the Allison Spa was recently voted as the #1 Spa in the Continental US by Travel+Leisure Magazine.
Well deserving of their prestigious awards, I’m looking forward to sharing a detailed post about my stay there. I’m also looking forward to writing in detail about yesterdays events which started with learning how to graft a rootstalk at King Estate Winery with vineyard manager Mel Martinez. We later had lunch and an instructional Chardonnay tasting at Willamette Valley Vineyards with Oregon chardonnay gurus Jim Bernau, Don Lange, Richard Brittan and Erik Kramer before heading north to Newberg and checking into the Allison. For dinner, we shared a dinner table at the outstanding Painted Lady retaurant in Newberg with Oregon wine industry legends and founding fathers of Oregon’s remarkable Pinot Noirs: Dick Erath of Erath Winery, Jason Lett, son of the late David Lett, of Eyrie Vineyards, Susan Sokol Blosser of Sokol Blosser and Adam Campbell of Elk Cove Winery. We sampled Pinot dating back to 1983, it was awesome. The stories behind these legends are truly amazing and inspiring.
LIVE FROM THE ROAD