The Gran Moraine Tasting Room in Yamhill, Oregon has a spectacular view and a lovely patio to enjoy while sipping on their amazing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Rosé wine.
Hazelfern Cellars tasting room in Newberg, Oregon is my happy place…
Not only does Hazelfern make all my favorite wine varietals – Rosé, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – but the winemaker/owners, Bryan & Laura Laing, are two of the nicest people you will ever meet. Their story is amazing – Bryan didn’t go to school for winemaking. Instead, he taught himself starting in 2006 by learning from his family and watching YouTube videos. Today, he’s producing some of the most elegant and expressive Pinot Noirs in Oregon. Also, he takes some seriously stellar photographs and I understand he’s a pretty amazing cook too. All the photographs of their wines are taken by him… I’m kind of in awe. I mean, they’re amazing!
And then there’s Laura. She became the mastermind behind the Rosés at Hazelfern. And yes, that’s rosés plural – At Hazelfern, they make a winter Rosé in addition to their traditional Rosé. Unfortunately, I’ve not had the pleasure of tasting their winter version because it sold out extremely quickly after being picked up by the press. I can personally vouch for their traditional Rosé, but I can also tell you that it’s already sold out as well. I mean, their wines are just that good!
Laura is so dedicated to their winery… I had the pleasure of spending some time with her at the FEAST Grand Tasting and I honestly don’t know how she was standing. Not only were they presenting their wines at both Grand Tastings during FEAST, but they also just began harvest that morning, in the wee hours.. So, after being in the vineyards that morning, she worked all day pouring their amazing wines for hundreds of people, and then she went home and worked with the grapes some more… with a smile on her face and a wine cooler in hand… (Be sure to follow along with Bryan & Laura on their Instagram Stories and check out their Mix Tape Mondays too!)
She’s also into interior design, and you can see all those details in the gorgeous Hazelfern Cellars tasting room:
The Hazelfern Cellars tasting room is stunning – It’s housed in a beautiful horse barn that was actually never used for horses. The prior owner’s never got around to it, and Bryan & Laura were able to scoop up the property. A large farm table under beautiful pendant lighting stands in the center of the room and their beautiful logo (which they also hand drew!) hangs over the tasting bar. It’s a lovely space in the summer with the barn doors drawn open, but it’s also a nice place to hanker down in the fall and winter rainy season too.
Be sure to put Hazelfern Cellars tasting room on your radar and get there fast to stock up on any of their amazing wines that you can get your hands on! Currently, they’re open by appointment only but are generally very flexible.
Lange Estate is located high in the Dundee Hills with an amazing view of Mount Hood on a clear day. It’s one of my favorite spots to have a picnic and enjoy the views in wine country.
I recently had the opportunity to try some lovely wines from Raptor Ridge Winery and was pulled in immediately by their Pinot Gris. Located in Newberg, Oregon, and just a quick drive from Portland, I decided that a visit to the winery was in order. I rounded up some girlfriends on a Saturday, we hopped in the car, and we were greeted at one of the most lovely vineyards in the area.
Although it was foggy, rainy, cloudy – all things Oregon – on this particular day, we did have a couple dry spots where we were able to step outside and enjoy the lovely views. Scott Shull, founder and winemaker, tells us that on sunny, clear days, there is a fabulous view of Mount Hood.
It was a good day to come – A local musician was playing guitar, Scott was pouring barrel tastings, and the tasting room was quite full. In speaking with Scott, you can easily get a grasp of his true passion for the winemaking process. Up with the sun, and spending hours on the tractor. It’s a job of passion, creativity, and down and dirty hard work. That enthusiasm really comes through in the wines being poured.
We all had our favorites – My friend Meghan and I leaned towards the 2014 Raptor Ridge Pinot Gris ($20), a medium-bodied wine with aromas of orange, apricot and lemon. It was a good vintage for the winery, the ideal weather led to their largest production to date.
Another favorite of mine, and my friend Laura, was the 2013 Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir ($45). I’m a fan of light pinots, and especially lean towards the 2011 and 2013 vintages. This pinot gives us flavors of cherry, pomegranate, and plum with a backbone of baking spices and chestnut, and bright acidity.
Deann leaned towards the bigger pinot – The 2012 Reserve Pinot Noir ($45) has a nose of ripe fruits – blackberry, dark cherries, plum, with a bit of licorice and black tea to round it out. (92 points Wine Spectator)
Also, not to be missed is the 2013 Folin Vineyards Tempranillo ($35). While the pinots tend to lean towards the more feminine side, this tempranillo carries the more masculine aromas of tobacco, pine sap, and charcoal, but it’s rounded out with hints of strawberry and cherry as well. Be sure to pair this one with your Mexican food!