Visiting wineries is a treat in itself any time of year, but there’s something special about a making a stop in the summer, when the scenic backdrops seem to truly come alive. So with the warmer months on their way, we spoke with five Oregon and SW Washington wineries about what makes their tasting rooms unique for visitors, and their favorite winter wine.
16800 NE Calkins Ln, Newberg
Look for: Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
With the Chehalem Mountains as a backdrop, a visit to Adelsheim Vineyard is a feast for the senses, especially when enjoyed on the upper terrace overlooking the vineyard. The equally scenic tasting room boasts options to suit every palette, but with a recent addition of their 2014 single vineyard Pinot Noirs, which can only be found at the tasting room itself. When it comes to sips for the summer months, the 2015 Willamette Chardonnay, with intense aromas of apple, kefir lime, and white flowers, pairs especially well with grilled seafood, enjoyed outside of course.
21101 SE Cherry Blossom Ln, Amity
Look for: Rieslings and Muscats
It would be easy to wile away the afternoon, wandering the vineyards, but Brooks’ wine selection is not to be missed, especially since it can be enjoyed with their tableside service outside in the gardens. Back in the tasting room, flight choices change regularly, but the monthly pairing is a particular favorite, a featured wine that pairs perfectly with a dish from the chef. For more of a summer staple, their 2015 Ara Riesling, named for the Alter constellation, has crisp, refreshing notes, and was even poured for President Obama’s first State Dinner back in 2009.
DOBBES FAMILY ESTATE
240 SE 5th St, Dundee
Look for: Rosé and Grenache Blanc
It’s easy to see why owner Joe Dobbes’ motto is “let the grapes speak”. With an eye for the Burgundian style (as in Burgundy, France) of winemaking, the wines truly speak for themselves. Visitors to the tasting room will find themselves spoiled for choice; from Rosés to Cuvées, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The recently released and unique 2016 Grenache Blanc (Joe Dobbes was the first in Oregon to produce Grenache Blanc in 2009) makes for the perfect summer refresher, with notes of white peach, ripe pear and honeysuckle.
RAIN DANCE VINEYARDS
26355 NE Bell Rd, Newberg
Look for: Riesling and Chardonnay
Located at the base of the Chehalem Mountains AVA, Rain Dance Vineyards takes pride in embracing all that the Pacific Northwest has to offer, and it shows. Aside from the scenic backdrop, the rustic, cabin-like tasting room, (and of course the nearby patio) is the perfect locale for sampling crisp, refreshing summer whites, including their 2015 Estate Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer and Riesling. The latter features hints of melon and lime, and green apple, and is best paired with a picnic enjoyed out in the vineyards with the estate llamas Oscar and Bonzi.
9774 SR 14 West, Goldendale, WA
Look for: Rosé and Rieslings
With sweeping views of the Columbia River Gorge as its backdrop, a visit to Maryhill makes for the perfect summer day getaway. The Tuscan-style, vine-covered terrace is a popular spot in the warmer months, with bocce courts, live music, and more and also serves as the perfect location to enjoy selections from the well-stocked tasting room. Their assortment of summer whites are always a good bet for the season, and their 2016 Rosé of Sangiovese, with notes of fresh strawberry, peach, watermelon and honeycrisp apple, is a particular favorite with visitors this year.
SUMMER WINE COCKTAILS
Recipes by The Liquor Store
12 | Rosé Wine Cubes*
1 cup | Berries
2 oz | Vodka
1 tbs | Sugar
Garnish | Berries, Lavender, or Mint
In blender combine berries, sugar, and vodka. Blend until smooth.
Garnish with fresh berries, lavender, or mint sprig
*To make Rosé cubes, fill ice cube trays with Rosé wine and freeze to solid.
The Portland Peach
5 oz | Dry Oregon White Wine
1 oz | Peach Shrub*
Garnish | Peach Slices, Raspberries, Mint
Combine ingredients in a glass filled with ice and stir to combine.
Garnish with peach slices, fresh raspberries, and a single mint leaf.
*To make shrub combine 3 chopped and smashed fresh peaches, 1 cup of sugar and 2 cups of white balsamic vinegar. Shake vigorously and refrigerate overnight or until sugar has dissolved. Strain into an airtight bottle or vessel. Your shrub should keep in the refrigerator for three weeks.