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Wine Blog

Dundee: The Center of Northern Willamette Valley!

  Last week I wrote about McMinnville, the largest town in the northern Willamette Valley and the furthest from Portland. As we drive north from McMinnville back to Portland along Route 99, the next town with many amenities is Dundee, the town closest to Dundee Hills sub AVA (American Viticultural Area). Dundee is a great…

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December 1, 2022

The Heart of the Willamette Valley: McMinnville

You know you have arrived when the New York Times makes you the centerpiece of an article. McMinnville had this honor last week when the Frugal Traveler did just that. Entitled, “Sip Oregon Wine Country, No Driving Required”, McMinnville was highlighted as the rare wine region accessible by public transit from the city center and…

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November 19, 2022

Oregon’s Wine Reputation Continues to Grow!

The History Since I am relatively new to the Willamette Valley, I spend my down time researching the history of the Oregon wine industry so I can better educate our tour guests about this unique wine region. I just finished reading “Pinot Girl” by Anne Maria Ponzi, published in 2020. Upon reading, I was surprised…

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October 26, 2022

The Story of Regenerative Vineyard Farming in Oregon: Part II

In part I I discussed the history of Biodynamic farming in Oregon and its connection to regenerative farming. Here I am calling out several estate wineries who walk the walk on Biodynamic and regenerative farming in the Willamette Valley:   Montinore Estate, Forest Grove (5) is a vineyard keeping regenerative practices alive, and, with 200…

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September 26, 2022

The Story of Regenerative Vineyard Farming in Oregon, Part I

Even though Oregon only produces one percent of the wines made in the United States, this states accounts for 52% of total vineyard acres that have received biodynamic® certification from Demeter USA  Oregon has the highest percentage of biodynamic wineries of any state: 15 are officially Demeter Biodynamic certified, while another 30 wineries claim to…

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September 6, 2022

Winemakers Series Part II: Roots Wine Company

  What makes the Willamette Valley so special? Of course the wine has a lot to do with it, but who makes the wine? The people! More specifically, we can thank the pioneers who first came here in the 1960’s and planted the first vines. We can also look to today’s pioneers who continue to…

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August 19, 2022

Angry Birds: Raptors and The Willamette Valley

      I was reading the  New York Times magazine last Sunday (yes I am a Luddite, I get it delivered) and an article caught my eye. It was called “Angry Birds: The Art of Ancient Falconry at the Jersey Shore”. 1 Why? First, both John & I were raised in Jersey (no I…

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July 29, 2022

The Story of Supertasters, the PTC Gene, and Bold Reds

Did you ever wonder why some people prefer bitter tastes and some shy away? I’m talking about grapefruit, arugula, dark chocolate, black coffee, tea and of course tannic (young and thick skinned) red wines. Well, there is a scientific reason for this preference: it depends on a gene which detects Phenylthiocarbamide (PTC), a bitter, harmless…

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July 15, 2022

Winemakers Series Part I Natalie’s Estate Winery, Newberg, OR

  Winemaker Boyd Teegarden, examining early fruit at Natalie Estate Winery in the Willamette Valley, Oregon What makes the Willamette Valley so special? Of course the wine has a lot to do with it, but who makes the wine? The people! More specifically, we can thank the pioneers who first came here in the 1960’splanted…

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June 27, 2022

Weather and the Willamette Valley in 2022

  ** New Offer: Win $20 off your next wine tour! Suggest a Willamette Valley winemaker or winery you want to learn more about and if I choose them for a future blog post I will credit you $20 on a wine tour!**   On the heels of 2020 smoke issues and 2021 record heat…

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June 16, 2022