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Monday, November 07, 2011

A Great Day in Southern Oregon

A Great day in Southern Oregon

It was a cold and stormy day…well not really stormy, but certainly cold, when Sandi and I headed out to the Cowhorn Vineyard and Garden wine pickup party. We'd been looking forward to getting out to Cowhorn all week to see what food they were pairing with which wines and restocking the cellar.

But before we got there we took a chance that Cricket Hill Winery was open so we went up Little Applegate Road and found Duane Bowman pouring wine. It is always special treat for us to listen to the owner and wine maker talk about wine making and wine. Cricket Hill is unique in that they only make right bank Bordeaux style wines…mostly. I say that because the blends were excellent, but he also had a Cabernet Franc that had been in the barrel five years, that I couldn't live without (formal tasting note here, it went 94 points). An excellent visit and I learned quite a bit from Duane in that short tasting. Cricket Hill wine is worth the effort to get out to this tasting room.

We were then off to Cowhorn where we found Josh Kimball, the sales manager of Cowhorn wines, with samples of the 2010 Viognier in hand and a fairly full house of club members and treats from Amuse. Barbara and Bill were also pouring and gave talks about this part of the wine making process which was very enlightening.

Barbara's thought that “In the summer nature's activity is outside, while the yeast is dormant. Then as the vines become dormant, the winery creates an environment where the yeast starts working and the activity moves inside. “The lesson that I got was that Cowhorn sets up the environment for the yeast to work and then they let the natural yeast “unlock the secrets” of the grapes that they built up during the summer. Bill talked about the process and their new experiment of completely whole cluster fermentation. This was a lot of fun; we had good wine, good food, and learned more about wine making. These are the wine club events that really make being in a wine club enjoyable, entertaining and educational.

Coming back from Cowhorn's we stopped at Valley View Winery for a tasting. The 2006 Tempranillo was very good as well as the Claret. At this point we had done all the wine tasting we needed for one day and started thinking about dinner.

We headed back to Jacksonville to try something new.

We had not been to Gogi's for dinner so we stopped by and managed to get a table without reservations. I highly recommend making reservations, we were lucky to get seated without them. The food was excellent, we picked a 2005 E. Guigal Châteauneuf-du-Pape that was sure to match any entre' we selected. It was a delightful wine and a meal to savor.

Sandi and I looked at each other and had to toast a great day roaming the Applegate. We got to visit interesting and fun people, find wonderful wine and outstanding food. A day like that serves to remind us how fortunate we are to live in such an environment.

Another day in Southern Oregon spent with Southern Oregon Wines!

Posted By: Tim Morton @ 7:42:49 PM


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