Wine harvest is the most exciting time to be in the Willamette Valley. That’s when the action happens, and you can just feel the energy out there. It’s also one of the most beautiful times, as the grapes are still plump on the vine. I was lucky enough to visit on two occasions last week — prompted by the openings of new additions to the food and wine scene.
The Allison Inn, a luxury hotel and spa, just opened for business this month, and it is gorgeous! Eventually the vines on the property will produce wine for the hotel. It’s also going for gold LEED certification (I was happy to park in the “hybrid only” parking spot out front).
Speaking of “green” wine country — the vineyard workers are harvesting grapes as we speak at Sokol Blosser. That’s what I was told when I toured the winery on Thursday. Get out there and check out of the valley’s most sustainable wineries — the view is amazing.
On Saturday, I attended a winery luncheon and vineyard tour at the north end of the Willamette Valley, in Forest Grove. Winemaker Jerry Murray of Patton Valley explained to us in detail how he cares for his vines, and why he’ll be waiting until about October to pluck his fruit. That’s the wonderful thing about wine tasting here — you really get to see how different the styles can be from one winery to the next. We followed our walk in the vineyard with a delicious lunch in the winery, catered by Farm to Fork, one of the area’s newest restaurants, located at Dundee’s Inn at Red Hills.
What’s next for this harvest-obsessed foodie? A wine tour this week with Grape Escape. The best part? They pick you up in downtown Portland and do all the driving and planning. What better way to experience autumn in wine country?