Today I hosted a LOOONG meeting at the Avalon Hotel and Spa. As a reward after we were finally done, we hired a driver take us to Carlton to taste Williamette Valley wines…Our very own Pinot tour! The driver cost about $75 each way, which seems pretty reasonable given it took about an hour to get there and we were in a comfortable van that fit our whole crew.
We had flights at the Carlton Winemaker Studio (the best was the 2008 Wahle – pronounced ‘wall’) and Cana’s Feast Winery, which are right next to each other. Cana’s steward, Jason, was very knowledgeable as well as the most friendly person we encountered. They also have a restaurant that overlooks a mountainous landscape that I imagine is wonderous during any season other than winter. 750 W Lincoln St, http://www.canasfeastwinery.com, 503-852-0002
891 N Scott St, http://www.winemakers studio.com, 503-862-6100
We had one wine that stood out at Ken Wright Cellars, which required a bit of a walk to Main Street, downtown. I am no sommelier, but the 2009 Pinot Blanc was wonderful – fruit forward, creamy, finished dry. It would have been great with Thai food (my next post is all about Thai, so stay tuned!). It was so good I bought a case and had it shipped home. http://www.kenwrightcellars.com
By now, we had quite a bit to drink and not much food so we stopped at The Horseradish. I hope to get back here one day…The atmosphere was warm, cozy, sophisticated but not pretentious, and simply a spot you know you’ll have fun. They also had an impressive array of cheeses. We opted for the large cheese plate and another flight of wine (lushes that we are). The best of the wine was a syrah…I wish I had a bottle of it! The cheese plate was served with a balsamic and fig sauce that was amazing as well as horseradish. For cheese, we opted for:
-Camembert, Mt. Townsend Creamery, Washington
-Humboldt Fog (always good)
-Ossau Iraty, France
-Snow Goat Triple Cream Brie, Quebec (Goat and Cow and my fav)
-Charcuterie – Sweet Coppa
-Our favorite wine here was the Dominio IV 2006 Syrah – SUPERB!
211 N Main St, http://www.thehorseradish.com, 503-852-6656
All in all, I can’t wait to come back to the valley sometime when the weather is a bit warmer, the fog clears so you can see mountains from clear to the coast, and all the tasting rooms are open (some close during the off season).