Willamette Valley Wine

We are now on the second leg of our Oregon adventure.  We’re staying at Youngberg Hill Vineyard & Inn, a great B&B in the middle of Oregon wine country.  The Inn is absolutely beautiful.  We’re at the top of a hill and have a fabulous view of the vineyards and forests below.  It feels very peaceful here.  Yesterday we spent some time relaxing on a hammock in the afternoon and then played a game out on the deck in the evening.   We woke up this morning and had a delicious breakfast of homemade scones, spiced apples, puffed pancakes with strawberries, herb-seasoned eggs and bacon.  It was wonderful!  We headed out to the deck to read (We’re both reading the latest Harry Potter), and then went out the afternoon for a tour of a local winery.

We wanted to learn how wine is made, so we headed to Domaine Serene, an estate winery that specializes in Pinot Noir.  A vineyard is an estate winery if the grapes are grown there AND the wine is made there.  Youngberg Hill makes wine as well, but their wine is made someplace other than where we’re staying (so it isn’t an estate winery).  We had fun on our tour of Domaine Serene.  The tour guide explained the process of making wine and showed us where the grapes are sorted, fermented, and sealed in barrels.  In the distance, we could see a machine bottling wine.  I really wanted to see it up close, but that didn’t seem to be an option for us.  The tour was interesting, and it ended with a wine tasting!  We tried several varieties of Pinot Noir made by that winery.  It was fun to taste them and observe how different they are.  Even though all of them are made with the same type of grape, the wines taste different because the grapes are grown in different types of soil and because they are fermented and stored for different periods of time.  Wine is so interesting!

The wine at Domaine Serene was very good.  I say that not because I know the difference between good and bad wine, but because they’ve won so many awards.  Their wine was even served at a big party in the White House recently (I know because they displayed a letter from the White House in their office).  Domaine Serene is also expensive, but we decided to buy a couple of half-bottles to bring home.  We figure that they will be nice mementos of our time here in the Willamette Valley.

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