Wine tasting tickles the senses of both smell and taste, making ears jealous enough to feed brains outrageous stories heard through the grapevine. Reward truthful faculties with today’s Groupon: for $15, you get a wine-tasting outing for two at A Blooming Hill Vineyard in Cornelius (a $31 value), which includes the following:
- Admission for two to a wine-tasting flight (a $3 value each)
- One bottle of 2009 pinot gris (a $12 value)
- Two cake balls (a $1.50 value each)
- Two commemorative glasses (a $5 value each)<p>
On weekends from noon to 5 p.m., the vino maestros at A Blooming Hill Vineyard introduce palates to award-winning wines crafted from grapes grown in the Chehalem Mountains’s volcanic soil, including the 2009 riesling that took a silver medal in the 2011 NorthWest Wine Summit. Wine tasters feast on scenic views of Mount Hood, assorted cheese and crackers, and cake balls harvested from nearby cake plants as taste buds discern fruity or earthy notes in vineyard varietals. The winemaker tends each vine by hand from the first pruning in January, selecting choice clusters to ferment in oak barrels and turn into pours such as their signature Mingle, a blend of pinot gris, chardonnay, and riesling with tropical fruit overtones. Two commemorative glasses allow tasting partners to toast to winery memories or victory over the town snake. Tastings also include a bottle of 2009 pinot gris, a mild, fruity wine with hints of pear, melon, and peach.
Though not included in today’s deal, Blooming Hill guests can purchase wine onsite and take home a douglas or noble fir for $10–$15 to adorn holiday festivities. Trouble and Gemini, the vineyard’s friendly canines, escort tasters to the winery, where wood-paneled walls, abundant natural light, and fervent belly rubs await well-behaved entrants.
A Blooming Hill Vineyard
Much like the wines they produce, Jim and Holly Witte gave their romance ample time to develop—40 years time. Though they met in New York City when Holly was Jim's secretary, it wasn't until a mutual friend reintroduced them decades later that they fell in love. They exchanged vows in the teahouse overlooking their vineyard in the Willamette Valley, an area flush with wine grapes. They opened their tasting room at A Blooming Hill Vineyard two years later. Their vineyard sits in the hills of the Chehalem Mountains on a basalt range strewn with windblown volcanic soil, protected on three sides by still taller hills and taller yet older brothers. Jim personally walks the vineyards, tending to each vine by hand to create the best conditions for full clusters to grow.
Visitors can sample the award-winning blends in the onsite tasting room, which plays host to different events each month. To sate people's curiosity, the Wittes share their fermentation process online, and to sate people's appetites, they also share the recipe for the wine-infused cake they served at the vineyard for their wedding-anniversary party.