Sunday, September 2, 2012

Wine Blogger's Conference - Portland, OR

I just attended my 2nd Wine Blogger's Conference, this year in Portland, OR.  It was a wonderful, whirlwind experience.  Here are some of the highlights:

Beautiful vineyards at Stoller Family Estate
Stoller Family Estate - I headed down to Oregon the day before the conference in order to attend an event I was invited to at Stoller Family Estate Winery in Dayton. Stoller has 185 acres of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, Tempranillo, and Syrah planted in their vineyards. Sebastien, our tour guide for the day, started us out with some crisp, refreshing Pinot Noir Rose.  This was much appreciated, since it was now about 95 degrees outside. Next we trekked out towards the vineyard to a lovely spot shaded by large Douglas Fir trees and enjoyed a box lunch and some Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.  Then it was back to the winery to tour the fermentation room and the nice, cool barrel room. Thanks so much to Stoller Family Estate for a wonderful and educational experience.  It was the perfect way to kick off my WBC weekend!

On Thursday evening, the Oregon Wine Board rolled out the red carpet with a welcome reception.  It was a really great introduction to Oregon wines.  I was pleased to discover that along with fabulous Pinot Noir, Oregon wineries are producing some world class Chardonnay, Riesling and Rhone varietals.

Syrah & Grenache from Cowhorn Winery
For our winery excursion on Friday, I was fortunate enough to land on the bus going to Rex Hill Vineyards. Joining us there as well, was Ponzi VineyardsLe Cadeau Vineyard, & Raptor Ridge Winery. Upon arrival, we were greeted with a nicely chilled glass of Pinot Noir Rose (I like this developing trend!).  Despite the heat, we headed out on a vineyard tour that was split into 3 different stations and conducted by the winemakers of each of the wineries. After the tour we gladly gathered down in the barrel room for a comparative tasting of Pinot Noir by each of the producers.  This was very informative and I was amazed by the difference between the different clones.

After the tasting we went back outside where an lovely dinner area was set up and the temperature had cooler off, so it was the perfect setting. Wildwood Restaurant from Portland provided us with a delicious dinner, my favorite was the sweet corn soup.  It was so fresh and yummy!

Probably the highlight of the evening was when Public Relations Manager, Mike Willison, broke out the 9 liter of 1992 Rex Hill Pinot Noir. What a treat! It was drinking beautifully and I am so honored that they shared it with us.

The grand finale of the conference was dinner Saturday. King Estate Winery went above and beyond by providing us with a stellar multi-course dinner paired with their line up of wines. The dinner started off with a well produced, very informative presentation about the people, the estate, and the philosophy of King Estate Winery.  They have a really nice blog post on their website with the video and lots of pics of dinner - WBC Blog Post

I am truly grateful and humbled by the hospitality of all of the sponsors, wineries, hotel staff who made WBC possible.  Thank you so much!  I am already planning to make it to WBC 2013 in Penticton B.C.!

1 comment:

Dano Qualls said...

The trip to the Chehalem Mountains was great! They really did treat us bloggers well!