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Wine Blog

Give New Wines a Chance!

  There are thousands of wine grapes and  wines in production around the world. Each one is different and in a skilled winemaker’s hands the same grape from the same plot of land can be different from the vintage before and after. The lesson? Try every wine you can find to taste and judge to your own unique palate. Just because you don’t like an oaky buttery Chardonnay from Napa doesn’t mean you won’t like an amphora or stainless steel or acacia aged (yes acacia is now used for wine barrels) Chardonnay from the Willamette Valley. The same is true in the other direction of course:, maybe you are a fan of this typical California white wine (one of the most popular in the world), so would benefit from tryin a different version from another region.   Are Bold Reds…

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May 16, 2022

What Makes Willamette Valley Wineries So Special? The People!

  Some of our Triangle guests enjoying the views as Vidon Many of you have visited wineries in California and other locations around the world. How many times have you met the owners and/or winemakers while there? Or were you greeted by a tasting room host/hostess reading a script on the history of the winery…

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May 4, 2022

Unusual Red Wines of the Willamette Valley (Part 2)

Last week, based on a reader suggestion, I started researching oddball grapes grown in the Willamette Valley. I found too many to include in one post so I concentrated on white grapes. This week I am finishing up with red grapes. Read and be amazed at the variety of red grapes that local vintners can…

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April 20, 2022

Unusual White Wines of the Willamette Valley (Part 1)

Last week I wrote about the king of Willamette Valley grapes: Pinot Noir. This week, we’re discussing some lesser known grapes a few pioneering vineyards have embraced: Müller Thurgau and Grüner Veltliner, Auxerrois. *Geek warning!* You may never run across these grapes in your wine journey if you’re not looking for them but for us…

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April 13, 2022

What’s the big deal about Pinot Noir in the Willamette Valley?

If you’ve ever visited the Willamette Valley for a wine tastingone thing becomes apparent: Pinot Noir, the king of Oregon grapes, dominates the wine offerings here in the valley. Why? First, a little history and geography lesson. Don’t worry, the modern day Oregon wine industry only goes back to the 1960’s so it won’t be…

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April 6, 2022

Sherry, Port, Madeira, Marsala: Wine or Spirit?

Have you ever been confused about port wine? What exactly is it and how does it differ from “regular” wine? When do you serve it and how long does it last once opened? Let’s start in Portugal, namesake for Port and city of Oporto. Port wine is a separate category of wine called fortified wine…

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March 30, 2022

Wine Skins 101

By popular demand (aka my daughter, the millennial) this blog post will be about grapes and wine types. Talking to her, I realized not everyone knows what makes a wine a white, red, rosé, etc. I wrote this blog post to help people understand how the color of a wine is determined. More specifically, I…

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March 24, 2022

Wine & Fire in Willamette Valley

Climate change comes in many guises: floods, drought, monsoons, polar vortexes, atmospheric rivers, wildfires. Temperatures soar or drop way above their “normal” or average ranges since records have been kept over the last 100-200 years. Prior to modern record keeping scientists relied on archeological, or literary evidence to give us clues as to how long…

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March 17, 2022

To Cork or Not to Cork: Part 2

Who doesn’t love the pop of a cork at the beginning of a dinner with friends or a New Years Eve celebration? The history of cork usage for wine bottles goes back millenia. The natural cork is punched from the bark of the Quercus Suber or cork oak tree, grown primarily in Portugal (50%) and…

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March 9, 2022

The Story of Sulfites and “Natural” Winemaking

As I sit in my office/dining room on a typical rainy Portland day in March, I am clearly reminded that weather has a huge impact on wine making. As everyone knows, Portland has a reputation for rain, which I can confirm in my short time here. It seems 3 out of every 4 days has…

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March 2, 2022