So here we were at the tail end of an amazing weekend on the Oregon coast that included A LOT of wine consumption. The three varietals of Pinot were the stars and yes, my head hurt. However, being a trooper, I knew we had made plans to stop back in the Willamette Valley on our way to the airport so, twisted arm and all, I drove us back to the belly of the wine beast.
A quick hour drive winding through the beautiful eastern Oregon landscape and we arrived at The Red Hills Market in Dundee. This spot is right across the street from the Dundee Bistro and offers a more casual vibe. We ordered at the counter, received our number stand and found a great picnic table outside in between the covered patio dining area and the sand bocce ball court. This bocce ball area proved to be Krish’s favorite place as he is a bourgeoning aficionado at the fine art of dumping dirt/sand/rocks all over himself. About 10-15 minutes later our food arrived. I had the Cobb salad with chicken and Shivani had the Market salad. Krish had a PB&J but who cares…he didn’t touch it. At what age does food switch over from “WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?!” to an enjoyable experience ? I’d like to pin this point down.
We were still a little weary from the weekend, thus opted for water with our salads. But, then we headed up to Erath. This fantastic winery is located just about 2 miles up the hill from Dundee and affords, like Torii Mor, some excellent outdoor seating areas to enjoy the vineyard views along with your vino. Krish decided to make himself at home in the, you guessed it, gravel pile behind the tasting room. The staff was kind enough to allow us to move our tasting experience back there next to the A/C unit. I have to thank Krish for allowing us the opportunity to see some parts of wineries that we, in most other situations, would never have the chance to experience. Such as the employee dirt parking lot.
Now some of you may have heard of or even tasted Erath before. They are widely distributed around the world and most can recognize that orange label of the Oregon Pinot Noir. This bottle is decent and always a sure bet if you don’t know anything else in the store/on the list, but the goal of our trip to Erath was to sample some of their lesser known, non-distributed wines.
Erath did not disappoint! They have several amazing single-vineyard wines inclusive of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. We drank our way through the reserve tasting ($15/person) which was awesome. The highlights for us were the 2013/14 Leland Pinot Noir comparison tasting. It was a great way to taste how the two vintages were different due to weather, etc. For me, the 2014 was the winner as it was a little more vibrant and had less of that alcohol burn. Both are killer and highly recommended. Make sure you check them out on your next visit.
Unfortunately, we only had enough time for the quick Erath stop, but it was well worth it and we cannot wait to get back to the WV. Keep boozing folks and let me know if you come across any gems I should check out!