Presenting pinot in Vail
VAIL – Thirty-five miles south of Portland, Ore., stretches the Willamette Valley, a fertile growing region of some of this country’s best wines. Home to 200 wineries and 12,000 acres of grapevines, it is Oregon’s largest American Viticultural Area (AVA). Willamette Valley is known primarily for its pinot noir, which is no wonder since the area’s terroir closely resembles that of Burgundy in France.”Growing wine grapes defies all farming logic. Rocky terrain? Great. Low yielding soils? Wonderful. Steep hillsides? Even better. It appeared that our turkey farm might well be the ideal location for a world-class vineyard.” said Bill Stoller back in the 80’s. Today Stoller Vineyards is a premier Gold LEEDs certified winery, and the third generation of the family farm.On Thursday Larkspur Restaurant’s Wine University will hold their weekly seminar and tasting of the pinot noirs of Willamette Valley. Five of the six appellations will be represented: Chehalem Mountains, Ribbon Ridge, Dundee Hills, Eola-Amity, and McMinnville. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about these five growing regions and taste the wines produced.Cory Davis, from Stoller Vineyards, John House, from Chehalem and Michael Collins, from Eola Hills, will be on hand for the seminar. Rounding out the tasting will be Andrew Rich Wines, whose winemaker is known as the ‘Rhone Ranger’ and Patricia Green Cellars, one of the first highly recognized wineries from the region.”There is a unique synergy among the farmers, winemakers and other residents in Willamette Valley,” said Neil Barham, Vail distributor of the wines. “All are dedicated to the sustainability of the area. Farmers nurture the land to ensure the soil, the animals, the rivers and the fish will still be here for generations to come.” Many of Oregon’s wines carry certification seals including LIVE (Low Input Viticulture & Enology) and Salmon Safe – which awards winemakers’ respect for natural processes in the winery and Oregon Certified Sustainable Wine meaning responsible agriculture and winemaking certified by a third party. The mantra of Willamette Valley is ‘Sustainability is a movement, not a buzz word.’Wine University attendees will enjoy a winemaker reception at 6 p.m. on Thursday, preceding the seminar at 6:30 p.m. Price is $40 per person. Space is limited and reservations may be made by calling 970-754-8050.