As luck would have it, we headed out in need of repairs, with Eugene, OR and Oregon Motorcoach Center as our destination. More on this later. After checking in and getting lined up for work to start in a week, we checked out the Willamette Valley area.
This is where the good karma kicked in and we found Emerson Vineyards in Monmouth, OR in our Harvest Hosts online guide. I called Tom, the owner, and we were more than welcomed. The online map provided "door to door" directions and the drive north along 99W was an easy two-lane, scenic hour or so.
|Elliott, the winemaker, working the vineyards|
|Around the property|
|Surrounded by a field of orchard grass|
|Old oaks & wildflowers|
Tom greeted us outside and pointed us to our parking place in a nice, secluded location surrounded by a field of orchard grass, then met us in the tasting room after we got set up.
|Tom educates us about the Emerson wines|
|Horizontal barrels are a good thing!|
Emerson's winemaking philosophy is vineyard-centered. They believe that the key to world-class wines is beautiful, carefully farmed grapes grown in the best possible conditions. If successful the wines almost make themselves; they just take care of them. The wines we tasted were excellent, though the pinots, both gris and noir, were our favorites. The Reisling and Brother Red (named after Emerson's brother, Red!) also got rave reviews from our fellow tasters!
Tom told us that last year was their worse in terms of growing and environmental conditions. The shortage of rain coupled with some very aggressive migratory birds and a crop disease which blew in from property to their east caused their production to fall from 50 tons to 10! This year, if the healthy thriving vines we saw are any indication, will be a very good year.
To top off this very enjoyable experience and these beautiful surroundings, we were just in time for Friday night music at the vineyard. This night featured music by folk singer Larry Kenneth Potts who, coincidentally, is from Petaluma. A good crowd gathered bringing along their picnic goodies with Emerson's wine (of course) and beer available for purchase.
|Entertainer, Larry Kenneth Potts|
|Howard has us all set up!|
|Having a great time!|