Last week around this time, we were visiting the Montinore Estate Vineyard in Forest Grove, Oregon. It is biodynamic, which is one of the most sustainable forms of agriculture. Absolutely no synthetic fertilizers are used on their grapes and no cultured yeast or bacteria is used in the winemaking process.
We carry some of Montinore’s wines by the glass, so it was neat to see where it’s made!
As soon as we arrived, Rudy, the owner, greeted us and took us on a tour of the vineyard.
The grounds were absolutely breathtaking. We even saw a bald eagle, but unfortunately couldn’t capture a photo of it.
It felt so surreal to be in such a beautiful place. It made me wonder why I am living in New Jersey!
Rudy pointed out what grapes were being grown where.
I can’t even imagine working on a vineyard everyday! I’m sure there are parts of the job that are tedious, but being around such beauty has to relax any anxiety.
Joe was running around taking photos from every angle!
He even captured some roses growing aside the vines.
We were saying how awesome it would be to wake up and run all around the vineyard everyday!
After viewing the grounds, Rudy showed us where the crushing and fermenting takes place.
Next, we went down to the basement to see where they store the aging wine. I had no idea what to expect!
I couldn’t believe how many rooms of barrels there were! Ben, the red wine maker, let us do some barrel tasting of the new vintages.
Clearly, Joe was loving it.
Rudy mentioned that he makes cheese as well and we saw the rack of aging cheeses.
How cool is that!?
Next up was Lunch. Ben took us over to the guest area where Rudy was waiting for us with a delicious spread.
Along with tasting 8 different red and white wines, we feasted on a fresh and healthy lunch!
The Alaskan salmon was ridiculous! I wish I could eat that every day. Also on my plate was green beans, beets, potatoes, hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, anchovies with capers, and the most delicious bread that was extremely fresh and soft! I went back for seconds, obviously.
Rudy also brought up one of his homemade cheeses for us to try. It was amazing! Similar to an asiago. We all asked him why he doesn’t sell it, but he said it’s just a hobby. We probably ate about half the wheel between the 8 of us. For dessert, we enjoyed vanilla bean panna cotta with berries, which was absolutely delicious!
We emptied every last drop of wine with lunch. Montinore makes some pretty awesome wines! The Cataclysm Pinot Noir was a favorite of all, as well as the new Borealis vintage (far right). It’s a blend of Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Riesling, and Muller Thurgau.
Eventually, Rudy had to head out
taking his cheese like a linebacker.
It was so nice of him to let us visit the vineyard, give us a tour, and offer us delicious lunch and a variety of wine pairings. Thanks Rudy! He told us that we could stay as long as we liked. So, we did!
Apparently, we thought of the idea to make “Oregon grass angels”.
It was so peaceful there. Carrie and I both said we could have slept outside on the grass! Maybe that was the wine talking though. Maybe.
When we finally decided it was time to get off the grass, we went to the tasting room.
There were a few wines that we wanted to try that weren’t on the table at lunch. They also had some things for sale, which I couldn’t resist.
Of course I bought (local) hazlenut chocolate and kombucha! But one thing that I knew was coming home with me was the Verjus. It’s basically grapes that are picked before ripeness, so it’s sort of tart. It’s great for cocktails and cooking!
Joe and I enjoyed our kombucha and chocolate out on the patio.
What I would give to re-live that entire experience over again…
Or I can just move to Oregon.