pinot noir

Folktale Winery Wine Tasting #WineWednesday

It felt like a fairytale when we walked into Folktale Winery & Vineyards in Carmel, California – And that is just the way it was meant to be.

Wine Tasting at Folktale Winery & Vineyards in Carmel, California - The only grape to glass tasting room in the Carmel Valley | platingsandpairings.com

Wine Tasting at Folktale Winery & Vineyards in Carmel, California - The only grape to glass tasting room in the Carmel Valley | platingsandpairings.com

Just a quick 5 minute drive from the Pacific Ocean in Carmel, California, you’ll find Folktale Winery & Vineyards. Originally founded in the early-80’s as Chateau Julien, Bob and Patty Brower were inspired by their journeys to the Bordeaux region of France, to bring that experience of wine and good cheer to Carmel.

Wine Tasting at Folktale Winery & Vineyards in Carmel, California - The only grape to glass tasting room in the Carmel Valley | platingsandpairings.com

In 2015, the property was acquired by local Carmel winemakers, Gregory Ahn and Jonathan White. They renamed the winery Folktale, inspired by fairytales, and the thought that inside every great bottle of wine should be a exciting, fun, story waiting to be told.

Wine Tasting at Folktale Winery & Vineyards in Carmel, California - The only grape to glass tasting room in the Carmel Valley | platingsandpairings.com

The property itself looks like a fairytale when you walk in – With the white castle-like buildings, the floor to ceiling fireplace, and nooks and crannies for exploring.

Wine Tasting at Folktale Winery & Vineyards in Carmel, California - The only grape to glass tasting room in the Carmel Valley | platingsandpairings.comLots of natural elements are used in the décor, and, on chilly nights, there are plenty of fire pits outside to huddle around while you enjoy your wine.

Wine Tasting at Folktale Winery & Vineyards in Carmel, California - The only grape to glass tasting room in the Carmel Valley | platingsandpairings.com

An oversized Connect Four, Jenga, and Cornhole will keep you occupied all afternoon long.

Wine Tasting at Folktale Winery & Vineyards in Carmel, California - The only grape to glass tasting room in the Carmel Valley | platingsandpairings.comWine Tasting at Folktale Winery & Vineyards in Carmel, California - The only grape to glass tasting room in the Carmel Valley | platingsandpairings.com

Folktale Winery and Vineyards is committed to sustainable farming practices throughout their vineyards and gardens.  Their onsite 5-acre vineyard, which grows Sangiovese, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay, is farmed 100% organic. The remainder of their wine-producing grapes are growing at their 150 acres of estate vineyards in the Arroyo Seco AVA of Monterey County.

Wine Tasting at Folktale Winery & Vineyards in Carmel, California - The only grape to glass tasting room in the Carmel Valley | platingsandpairings.com

It’s impressive to note that Folktale Winery & Vineyards is the only glass to grape tasting room in Carmel Valley. Equally impressive: They were recently named by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the top 10 reasons to visit Monterey County.

Wine Tasting at Folktale Winery & Vineyards in Carmel, California - The only grape to glass tasting room in the Carmel Valley | platingsandpairings.com

We were extra lucky in that we had the personal experience of meeting with John Fitzgerald, Director of Hospitality at Folktale, for a personal tour of the entire property. He greeted us with a glass of their Sparkling Brut (perfect for this bubblehead), and then led us on a tour of the barrel room. Some of the barrels have even been personally signed by the musicians who have visited on the property. Continue Reading “Folktale Winery Wine Tasting #WineWednesday”

The Best Wineries to Visit in the Willamette Valley - Eugene, Oregon | platingsandpairings.com

Wine Tasting in Eugene, Oregon

Wine Tasting in Eugene, Oregon in the heart of the Willamette Valley. King Estate, Sweet Cheeks, Sarver, and Oregon Wine LAB are just a handful of wineries not to be missed in the area.

The Best Wineries to Visit in the Willamette Valley - Eugene, Oregon | platingsandpairings.com

The Best Wineries to Visit in the Willamette Valley - Eugene, Oregon | platingsandpairings.com

Rick and I recently had the opportunity to head back to our old stomping grounds, in Eugene, Oregon. We both went to college at the University of Oregon. I lived there for 15 years, moving up here to Portland just a couple years ago. Rick actually grew up there. We both love it and couldn’t wait to head back and do a little bit of re-exploring.

We love this town and talk frequently about moving back some day. I especially think about it when it takes 40-mintutes to drive into downtown Portland for work in the morning! I miss the Eugene traffic – It takes 15 minutes max to get anywhere within the city limits. I also miss the people, the small locally-owned restaurants, and the looping paths along the river. And let’s not forget the wineries. There are only a handful of them, but they are definitely wonderful spots to visit.

On this visit, we were able to check out several of our old favorites, and one new spot that I’d not yet been to.

The Best Wineries to Visit in the Willamette Valley - Eugene, Oregon | platingsandpairings.com

We started with my long-time favorite, as it is the furthest outside of town – King Estate. You’ve probably heard of them, and perhaps even spotted their Signature Pinot Noir or Pinot Gris on grocery store shelves. Two things you may not know about King Estate: (1) The Estate (Domaine) wines are all made from organic grapes; (2) It has hands-down the best food to be found in Lane County (IMO). On our drive down from Portland, I let my dad in on what we’d be checking out on our visit, as he used to live there as well. When I mentioned King Estate, and asked if he remembered it. He said “Yeah, that’s some of the best food I’ve had in my life!” A statement which means a lot. But, it may mean even more to you when I let you on the fact that my dad travels internationally at least once a month. King Estate – You’ve got a big testament there!

The Best Wineries to Visit in the Willamette Valley - Eugene, Oregon | platingsandpairings.com

Bob greeted us in the tasting room and immediately won me over by pouring us some bubbles. Yep! King Estate makes sparkling wine. Their Blanc de Gris dances on your tongue with flavors of light citrus and a backbone of biscuit notes. With glasses in hand, he led us through a tour of their spectacular wine production area.

The Best Wineries to Visit in the Willamette Valley - Eugene, Oregon | platingsandpairings.comThe Best Wineries to Visit in the Willamette Valley - Eugene, Oregon | platingsandpairings.comThe Best Wineries to Visit in the Willamette Valley - Eugene, Oregon | platingsandpairings.com

After our tour – We were treated to a tasting of some of their lovely wines. Starting with their Pinot Gris (I particularly loved the 2014 Backbone Pinot Gris – $24), Pinot Noirs (huge fan of the 2013 Signature Pinot Noir – $28 & available in stores!), and heavier reds produced under the NxNW label – Walla Walla Syrah and Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Best Wineries to Visit in the Willamette Valley - Eugene, Oregon | platingsandpairings.com

The Best Wineries to Visit in the Willamette Valley - Eugene, Oregon | platingsandpairings.comAs if this tasting tour wasn’t amazing enough, the magic was yet to come – Lunch! Continue Reading “Wine Tasting in Eugene, Oregon”