It’s harvest time in the Willamette Valley and we are blessed with more than perfect weather. Most grapes reached optimum ripeness last week but were left on the vine for increased flavor development. This was possible because there was no rain in sight.
The 2009 vintage is shaping up to be very, very promising. I can’t wait to taste the amazing wines these grapes will make.
My weekend started a bit early this week due to the fact my boys did not have school on Thursday or Friday.
So, Wednesday night the hubby and I went out to dinner with our friends Wayne and Nicolette. We went to what is shaping up to be one of the hottest new restaurants in our town, Thistle. They have been featured in Sunset magazine, Food & Wine and many other local publications. We feasted on heirloom tomatoes with Green Goddess dressing, homemade gnocci with chard and chanterelles, freshly caught local Sturgeon and rabbit loin wrapped in bacon. It was all amazing as always. Thanks to owners Emily and Eric who always make our visit so special.
Our friend’s Wayne and Nicolette also own Youngberg Hill Vineyards and Inn where my kids spent the better part of their Thursday afternoon. All our kids ran through the vineyards together, farm dogs and farm cats in tow. They had a blast. Youngberg Hill is one of the most beautiful Inns here, perched high atop the valley. It is an exquisite place to stay or to stop by for some wine tasting if you find yourself in town.
This weekend also included stopping at this place….
For some of this. I just can’t resist diner pie. Of any kind.
Walks in the forest are always exciting.
We also worked in on our own vineyard property…can you see the sticks are becoming more and more scarce. Do you also think that out of three pictures everyone could have their eyes open or not be making a weird face? Apparently not.
Oh finally, eyes are open!
Rock pickin’ goes along with stick picking when you have boys.
This is our new John Deere Skid Steer we are using for land development. It was important for us to buy a piece of equipment that was tracked instead of on wheels so we can utilize it through the rainy winter. So far we are very happy with it and it has proven to be quite the Swiss army knife, in other words, it can do anything. Perfect.
The highlight of our weekend was spent at our friend’s winery, Coleman Vineyard, helping them process their grapes for harvest. It is an honor to be helping at their winery as they make some of the best Pinot Noir in town.
Our friend’s John and Jody, are making their first vintage wine at the Coleman’s winery. We are so excited for them, we know what it takes to get to this point and it was very exciting to be there with them sharing this moment. Here Jody is sorting the Pinot Noir, pulling out any MOG (matter other than grapes), things like leaves, bugs and sticks you don’t want in the fermentation tank.
In small family wineries, all the kids help out with the winemaking process. Here is my oldest on the sorting line as well.
The sorting continues…
Ryan Coleman and Ben working hard…
Sorting until your hands are so cold you can no longer stand it. Pretty brave of me to be wearing white wouldn’t you say?
The bin full of grape stems was getting pretty full so we threw some kids in to stomp them down. They loved it.
I have to say, just when we think it can’t get any better here, it does. We love it here and feel so very lucky to be surrounded by so many great people.
Also, the FoodBuzz award nominations were released. Thank you to everyone who nominated me in the category, “What blogger you would most want to be your personal sommelier?” Well, I would love to be your personal sommelier, so go and vote! Thanks again.
How was your weekend?
One Year Ago: The Log of the Land