Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Oregon's Star - Eyrie Vineyards - Goes Organic - PHOTOS

I've just returned from a whistle stop winery tour in Oregon, arriving in the heart of what's a raining-cat-and-dogs harvest season up north.

Out of nostalgia for my last trip up north (2010) to Eyrie and environs, I decided to drop in and see what was new at Eyrie. It was a delight to discover a sign on the way saying the vines are organically farmed - and now certified, according to the tasting room staff. Although the winery's farmed organically, it says, for 48 years, the vines were officially certified in 2013.

This covers all the wines from the Eyrie estate vineyard - all of which are located in the Dundee Hills AVA. Eyrie, famously, was the first Pinot Noir winery in the Willamette Valley and won against the French in an early days blind tasting.

Eyrie's known for its estate blend Pinot Noir. (I have three cases from 2008 aging in the cellar - acquired in the 2010 trip - that I am just starting to enjoy).

Tasting room treats - a Melon de Bourgogne and the reserve Chardonnay. The winery's 2012 Chardonnay is just being released; I took home the last 6 bottles of the 2011 (which were on sale for 30% off).

Enjoy this virtual visit in photos.

Eyrie Vineyards tasting room in downtown McMinnville
The humble entrance in downtown McMinnville (the building was once a turkey processing plant)
The founders - the Letts - were the first to plant Pinot Noir in the Willamette Valley
Lobby photo
A complete vertical - of empty bottles (alas) greet you in the lobby
area - but you can get tastes of some of them in the tasting room
Uniquely Eyrie offers library tastings of vintages from 10-20+ years ago
The extremely helpful and knowledgeable tasting room staff stand
in front of a vineyard map of the four estate vineyards
Eyrie's modern classic - its estate Pinot Noir - from vines planted in the 1980's

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