J and I spent a long weekend recently in Oregon (the state, not the Wisconsin town outside Madison). One afternoon we visited a couple wineries in the Willamette Valley with friends.
The view at Soter Vineyards and their $109/bottle cab (!) were spectacular, but we had the best time and most consistently enjoyable wine at Sokol Blosser. Our server/wine-guru Jim was wonderfully informative in an enthusiastic wine-nerd way. Our tasting included a Pinot Gris, a blush, several varieties of Pinot Noir (for which the Willamette Valley is best known), and a dessert wine that ended up being my favorite, I think mostly because I was so pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. Despite its sugar content, it wasn’t overly sweet and the sugar was offset by a lovely acidity. There are scores of wineries in the area and hundreds in the state, but Sokol Blosser is one of the originals. When they opened in 1971, you could count on one hand the number of Oregon wineries. They’ve also made a name for themselves with their efforts toward sustainability, including USDA organic certification of the grapes grown on their estate vineyards. If you are in the area, don’t pass up the opportunity to stop by a vineyard or two and sample some of the fruits of the land.
P.S. Also check out this nice recent piece from NPR on what the future may hold for Oregon Pinot Noir in the face of global climate change. It even includes some quotes from one of the Sokol Blossers.