Myron Redford blazed his own trails while learning to create world-class wines from Willamette Valley-grown grapes. After purchasing a vineyard in 1974, he spent the next two decades adopting innovative methods and pioneering new varietals. In addition to exploring low-sulfite wines and organically grown grapes before many of his peers, Myron also replaced all of his chardonnay vines with pinot blanc and forging wines with gamay noir, a little-used grape among American winemakers. This combination of intuition and experimentation established the winery's reputation for forging distinctive, Old World-style wines with a deft balance of crisp acidity, fine tannins, and rich fruit flavors.
Every year, 15 acres of estate-grown pinot noir, riesling, and pinot blanc ripen on Amity Vineyards' vines, and the head winemaker, Darcy Pendergrass, secures the rest of the grapes from vineyards throughout the northern Willamette Valley. After the tiny fairy on staff juices each individual berry with magic, the staff then allows the concoction to ferment and mature before siphoning the wine into bottles. Visitors can then sample these bottles from the comfort of a tasting room that overlooks the Oregon Coast Range.
Eight vineyards coax fermentation from grapes under the Seufert Winery umbrella, including the certified organic and sustainable Bishop Creek Vineyard, which grows blended pinot noirs in its rich, volcanic soil. A short jaunt up into the Chehalem Mountains reveals the sun-drenched vistas of Hawk’s View Vineyard, where the thin, crisp air and colder soil imbue grapes with floral and berry flavors and the temper of a mountain goat. From their octet of properties, the discerning palates at Seufert Winery’s urban-inspired warehouse collect the best vintages for guests to sample at tastings.
All 12 of the current-release wines—save a single vintage of dolcetto in its final year of production—derive their flavor and essence from the pinot grapes that thrive on the West Coast. The diverse soils of the region imbue distinct idiosyncrasies into the fruit’s ultimate flavor, which can help samplers understand the regional personalities of wines, such as the sweeter profile of those produced in colder climates and the frequent counseling required by those grown in Hollywood.
Past a covered gate, a dusty road rambles through row after row of heavy vines at Yamhill Valley Vineyards, leading back to the winery and rustic tasting room that overlooks the rolling hills. At the 150-acre estate in the foothills of Oregon?s Coast Range Mountains, Yamhill's viticulturists grow, produce, and bottle all of their own grapes. The vineyard?s specialty pinots comprise the majority of tasting flights, which can be sipped in the sunny tasting room or on the outdoor picnic area, complete with a deck.
Renowned for its artisan wines and pinot noir varietals, Willamette Valley Vineyards whips taste buds into flavorful frenzies with elegant quaffs that highlight the pure grapes of the region. Like the cycles of the moon and broken sundials, reserve tastings rotate monthly, featuring a different lineup of five distinct libations. Tasters can count on three Single Vineyard Designate pinot noirs in the sippable quintet, one of which is the 2008 Estate pinot noir. Blossoming sommeliers step up to their glasses and test their scent-sensors under the guidance of Willamette Valley's professional drink detectives, aiding their efforts to detect the notes of cherry, dark chocolate, and spice laced throughout their beverage. Following their consumption and discussion of their glasses, participants receive two "It's Willamette, Dammit" t-shirts, and are welcome to keep their Riedel logo stemware, ideal for future tastings or trapping fancy tarantulas.
For nearly 40 years, Dick Troon tried his hand at winemaking. The early years were filled with a whole lot of trial and error, and not every bottle was particularly successful. But his innovation and stubbornness eventually payed off, resulting in immensely robust and successful varietals. It was because if his spirit and undiscouraged sense of optimism that the winemakers at Troon Vineyard have such vast insight into the viticulture of the Southern Oregon land where their grapes grow fat on the vine?and probably one of the reasons they've amassed so many awards and accolades.
In 2003, Troon handed over the the winery to a friend and fishing companion, Larry Martin, who to this day oversees operations and who reinvented the vineyard and tasting rooms that stand today. The wines produced there range from the ripe, clean Zinfandel?crafted from grapes originally planted by Troon back in 1972?to the robust, smoky notes of dark cherry and caramelized oak of the Estate Syrah. These wines can be sampled and purchased at both of the two tasting rooms, where the wine-savvy staff educates visitors on varietals, good pairings, and the best wine to drink before a first date.
Greenlands' staff crafts a compost blend for vineyards, nurseries, yards, and gardens that the dedicated gardening experts make by carefully balancing temperature, moisture, and microbial activity for a finished product approved by the Organic Materials Review Institute. This is no small feat—six months to one year after it’s created, compost must to prove its quality by passing a screening and spontaneously producing a single red rose. Customers can choose from Greenlands’ variety of compost blends, including fine garden compost made with 100% plant matter, or potting soil, which contains pumice, peat moss, and NutriBoost. Sandy loam breaks up stubborn clay and fills in holes. Greenlands’ staff can also whip up custom compost blends for gardeners that are tailored to the specific qualities of their soil.