At Tuesday’s Oregon Wine Trail in LA, it was remarkable how many comments we overheard from people talking about how great the event was! While some 330 people gathered in LA at the Line Hotel on Wilshire in Koreatown to get a taste of Portland and Oregon wine and culture, it never felt too crowded at the 50 wine tasting tables and there was plenty of amazing food to fuel us from Olympia Provisions, Salt & Straw Ice Cream, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, and the Oregon Cheese Guild.
With so many great choices, it was hard to know where to start!
Wineries were organized in alphabetical order, with lucky T for Trium and Troon all the way to Winderlea (BIODYNAMIC!) and Yamhill out on the sunny deck under umbrellas in the afternoon and lit with fun lights at night.
Inside in the ballroom where it was a bit noisy were wineries from A-Z and everything up to T to total 50 or more wineries plus information and an artist hard at work.
Another deck hosted afternoon seminars which we would have loved to attend but we were too busy interviewing wine makers!
While wineries were organized in alphabetical order around the room and outside, the booklet and cards on the table let us know which of the six “trails” each of the wineries belonged on: Bold Reds, Classic Pinots, Diverse Whites, Pioneers, Unexpected Oregon, and Sustainably Grown. Each winery could be on three trails.
Because April is Earth Month, we wanted to focus on sustainably grown wineries — and even more specifically, BIODYNAMIC wineries.
But we were hungry after our long drive, so we FIRST checked out the cheese from the Oregon Cheese Guild and charcuterie from Olympia Provisions. Fantastic. And what’s better? You can get Olympia Provisions at Whole Foods and online!
Once we got the lowdown on what we had loaded on our plates, we asked Olympia Provisions owner and chief salumnist Elias Cairo which winery we should head to first pair with his meats.
He directed us to COWHORN from Southern Oregon’s Applegate Valley which as the name might lead you to believe, is BIODYNAMIC. Southern Oregon is getting justly famous for Rhone varietals like this very peppery Grenache which I adored while Sue preferred their Syrah.
Also on our biodynamic Oregon Wine trail: Troon Vineyards which recently was certified by Demeter and is in the process of changing their labels:
What made people so happy?
The vibe was really casual and friendly, and it felt much more like a party than one of the more typical huge wine events.
And the food was simple yet extraordinary!
Like Salt and Straw LA’s sparkling wine float using Underwood Sparkling wine in a can topped with a generous dollop of orange bergamot sherbet! I admit I had my doubts but it was phenomenal and a great way to end the evening.
Stay tuned for more about Oregon when we feature more Oregon Wines for Oregon Wine Month in May including wines from biodynamic Montinore:
Left Coast Cellars
Raptor Ridge (CAN YOU SAY GRUNER???)
plus Iris, Pacific Crest Wine, and Oregon Trail Wine.
For Chardonnay Day, we plan to feature dry farmed Chardonnay from Oregon from a group of dry farming fanatics:
Below are some of the wines, wineries, and winemakers that caught our attention:
Thanks to the Oregon Wine Board for a great afternoon and evening! We learned so much about Oregon wine and we are looking forward to sharing!
PS IF you want to learn more about biodynamic wineries, ones from Oregon and around the world will be gathering in San Francisco next weekend! Check out this list. The following are JUST the wineries from Oregon that will be represented!
Columbia Gorge AVA
• Analemma Wines
Dundee Hills AVA
Eola-Amity Hills AVA
• Keeler Estate Vineyard
Ribbon Ridge AVA
• Brick House Vineyards
Willamette Valley AVA
• King Estate
• Montinore Estate
Applegate Valley AVA
Rogue Valley AVA
• Upper Five Vineyard
(Next year, add Troon to this list!)