No stop to the Willamette Valley in Oregon would be complete without a little wine tasting! On the recommendations of everyone we talked to, Holly and I made two stops – Emerson Vineyards and Airlie Winery. Both places were amazing and their wines were delicious! Best of all though, the people running them were exceptionally welcoming and passionate about making wine.
Our tour at Emerson Vineyards was exceptional. We stopped by in the middle of harvest and were able to see the process first hand. Emerson is a small operation with just five employees – headed by the owner Tom and his son, their winemaker, Nina. Nina actually went to school to study winemaking and knows more about the process than everyone I have ever met. Her passion and excitement for the process was amazing! We learned about “taints” or the smells or tastes that ruin wine and got to see how they mix the grapes by hand during the fermenting process. She also talked about being a supertaster – she can taste compounds in wine that can spoil a batch almost before they are detectable by a lab and can name the varietals in different wine blends to the percent.We also got to try this amazing fizzy bright yellow pre-wine drink that is higher in alcohol and tastes heavenly. I wish I remember what it is called. I also wish I had a jug of it right now. Or maybe a bathtub. Glug, glug, glug.
Emerson Winery also does boxed wine! I love boxed wine. Not the Franzia kind from college toga parties, but high end wine that is boxed. It lasts for about a month and I love not having the pressure to finish an entire bottle. Instead I can have a glass here and there at the end of the day. And it’s better for the environment!
Airlie winery is a place that is just meant for relaxation. There’s a beautiful patio overlooking a little lake where you can do a tasting or enjoy a bottle. We also took a walk on the gorgeous property and may have snacked on a grapes right off the vine. Holy moly – almost as good as the wine itself! Airlie is run by two women, Mary and Liz. It’s also dog-friendly with two huge pups that greet all guests.
We finished our time in Oregon Wine Country with a hearty meal of pizza at the Bread Board.
I realize I look less than thrilled in this photo, but the pizza was incredible! The pizzas were humongous and Holly and I stuffed ourselves silly. It was the perfect finish to an amazing day!
As always, an outtake! This is what my face looks like the majority of the time. Good thing I only need to be photogenic for a handful of shots. Holly definitely had her work cut out for her.
Outfit Deets :: Dress – Talulah // Whirl Ring + Crescent Ring – Batsu Maru c/o // Nails – Deborah Lippman // Bracelets – By Invite Only (similar), Madewell (similar) // Key Necklace – Dogeared // Watch – Anthropologie (similar) // Earrings – Kate Spade // Scarf – Tilo //
Thanks to Holly for the photos!
Oregon Wine Country Guide
11665 Airlie Road
Monmouth, OR 97361
15305 Dunn Forest Road
Monmouth, OR 97361
The Bread Board
404 North Main Street
Falls City, OR 97344
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