Willamette Valley Wines Shine in End-of-Year Lists

December 17, 2020

2020 may have been a challenge in many ways, but it’s also been another great year of hard-earned recognition for Willamette Valley wineries. Read full article.

Willamette Valley Wines Shine in End-of-Year Lists

Willamette Valley Wines Shine in End-of-Year Lists

2020 may have been a challenge in many ways, but it’s also been another great year of hard-earned recognition for Willamette Valley wineries. With seven spots on the Wine Spectator Top 100 list, seventeen spots on James Suckling’s Top Wines of 2020, four spots in the Wine Enthusiast Top 100, and seven spots in the Wine & Spirits Top 100, Willamette Valley wine punched above its weight once again. Congratulations to all the winners!


James Suckling Top 100 Wines of 2020 (USA)

Antica Terra (two wines recognized)

The Eyrie Vineyards (two wines recognized)

Soter Vineyards

Domaine Serene (two wines recognized)

Shea Wine Cellars (two wines recognized)

Bethel Heights Vineyard (two wines recognized)

Ponzi Vineyards

Sokol Blosser

Bergström Wines

Domaine Roy & fils

Beaux Frères

Domaine Drouhin Oregon

View List


Wine Enthusiast Top 100

Failla Wines #51

Patricia Green Cellars #39

Lingua Franca #17

Elk Cove Vineyards #10


Wine Spectator Top 100

Beaux Frères #9

Résonance #19

The Four Graces #29

Ken Wright Cellars #33

Bergström Wines #37 

La Crema #64

Stoller Family Estate #79

View List


Wine & Spirits Top 100

Bergström Wines

Big Table Farm

Cristom Vineyards

Domaine Drouhin Oregon

King Estate


Rose & Arrow Estate

Walter Scott

View List

Recipe: Roast Scallops, Pumpkin with Radicchio, Ricotta Salata, Chili and Lemon (Domaine Drouhin Oregon)

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Domaine Drouhin Oregon  |  “Roast Scallops, Pumpkin with Radicchio, Ricotta Salata, Chili and Lemon”

From Chef Dean Cambray. Serves 4.

Roast Scallops, Pumpkin with Radicchio, Ricotta Salata, Chili and Lemon


  • 16 large scallops
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 oz unsalted butter
  • 1/2 Butternut pumpkin (2 lb) quartered, seeds removed
  • olive oil
  • chili flakes
  • 1 Radicchio di Treviso leaves separated
  • 2/3 cup (loosely packed) watercress
  • 2 Endive trimmed into leaves
  • Finely grated ricotta salata
  • lemon wedges to serve


  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F. Place pumpkin in a roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and the chili flakes.

  2. Roast until tender and golden (45min-1hr).

  3. Season the scallops with a little salt. Lightly brush a frying pan with oil and and place over a low heat. Add the scallops, increase the heat and cook on the one side until nicely caramelized. Roll the scallops over, add the butter and baste for further 20 seconds, then remove.

  4. Coarsely chop the warm pumpkin and place in a bowl.

  5. Add radicchio, endive, watercress, squeeze lemon and a drizzle of olive oil, toss to combine.

  6. To serve, portion the salad into shallow bowls, place on the roasted scallops and finish with the grated ricotta salata.

Recipe: Wild Mushroom Pappardelle (Lange Estate Winery)

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Lange Estate Winery  |  “Wild Mushroom Pappardelle”

Pasta in a wild mushroom ragù is a rustic and soulful Italian dish that is blissfully versatile—don’t be afraid to experiment with a variety of wild mushrooms. We like to use a mix of fungi that’s locally available and in-season. If you want to remain true to the dish’s humble Tuscan origins, try to incorporate some porcini into your mix.

There are, too, countless regional variations that call for different kinds of pasta from tagliatelle to penne to rigatoni. For this rendition, we chose pappardelle, a flat, ribboned pasta that’s also Tuscan in origin. It cooks up quickly, in around three minutes, and it’s effortlessly elegant on the plate.

The dish has a natural affinity for full-bodied, oak-aged chardonnay. It’s a classic pairing where the interplay of the earthy umami savoriness of the fungi and parmesan can be exhilarating when paired next to a wine that’s round, rich, and opulently creamy. Our Chardonnays are generally leaner and more acid-driven; we’ve paired it with our 2016 Three Hills Cuvée Chardonnay, adding just a splash of cream and not too much cheese to match the brighter personality of the wine. The really interesting and non-traditional ingredient is the addition of just a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, borrowed from an old-school quiche au fromage recipe, that really pulls out the baking spice notes that are a hallmark of Lange Chardonnays.


Wild Mushroom Pappardelle


  • 1/4 cup pancetta cubed
  • 2 lbs mixed wild mushrooms (such as golden chanterelles, morels, porcini, cremini, oyster, shitake, maitake) stems removed and sliced 
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 lb pappardelle
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley stems removed and chopped    
  • Parmigiano Reggiano freshly grated, for serving
  • 1 pinch finely grated nutmeg
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. In a large sauté pan, cook the pancetta over medium heat until the fat begins to render. Add the mushrooms and cook until they begin to reduce and lose their moisture. Add the minced shallot and garlic and cook for another 2-5 minutes until the shallots are a light golden brown. 

  2. Meanwhile, bring six quarts of salted water to boil. Drop in the pasta and cook it until it is just al dente, around three minutes. 

  3. Reduce the heat to low, pour the heavy cream over the sautéed mushrooms, and stir. Add the pasta to the mushroom ragù and gently mix it until it is evenly coated. Grate nutmeg over the top, be sparing, you just need a little! 

  4. Evenly divide the pasta and mushrooms between four pasta bowls. Top with grated Parmigiano Reggiano, parsley, and coarsely ground black pepper. Serve immediately. 

Recipe: Gorgonzola Gnocchi with Winter Greens (Domaine Drouhin Oregon)

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Domaine Drouhin Oregon  |  “Gorgonzola Gnocchi with Winter Greens”

From Chef Dean Cambray. Serves 4.


Gorgonzola Gnocchi with Winter Greens


  • 9 oz rock salt
  • 1 1/4 lbs potatoes
  • 4 oz 00 Flour
  • 2 oz Parmesan finely grated
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 egg, plus one yolk
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1 pinch sea salt

Gorgonzola and Silverbeet cream

  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 golden shallot peeled and finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 1/2 oz Gorgonzola cheese crumbled
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch Silverbeet (Swiss chard) washed and dried


  1. For the gnocchi, preheat the oven to 360˚F. Spread the rock salt onto a baking sheet and sit the potatoes on it. Bake for 1-11/2 hours, until tender when pierced with a knife.

  2. Cut the potatoes in half lengthways, scoop out the flesh and pass through a mouli or potato ricer into a large bowl. While still warm add the flour, parmesan, olive oil, egg and egg yolk. Season with salt, nutmeg.

  3. Gently mix together, then gather into a dough and turn out onto a lightly floured bench.

  4. Divide the dough into 2 portions. Roll into logs 1 inch wide and cut each into 1 inch logs. Bring a large pot of water to the boil.

  5. Meanwhile, to make the Gorgonzola and silverbeet cream, combine the shallots, wine, bay leaf, peppercorns in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil and cook until reduced by two-thirds. Add the stock and boil until again reduced by two-thirds. Stir in the cream and cook until reduced by half. Pass through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan. Add the Gorgonzola  and whisk over a low heat until combined.

  6. Separate the silverbeet leaves from the stalks. Slice the stalks finely on an angle. Finely chop the leaves. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and sauté the stalks until just tender. Reduce the heat and add the Gorgonzola cream and the leaves. Cook until heated through and the leaves are tender.

  7. Cook the gnocchi in the pot of boiling water in batches for 2-3 minutes, or just until they start to float to the top. Lift out with a slotted spoon and add to the Gorgonzola mixture.

  8. Check the seasoning and the consistency of the sauce (thin with a little cream if too thick). Divide between serving plates and serve immediately.

Recipe: Prosciutto-Wrapped Figs with Blue Cheese and Honey (Sweet Cheeks Winery)

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SWEET CHEEKS Winery  |  “Prosciutto-Wrapped Figs with Blue Cheese and Honey

My husband and I were visiting Hood River, Oregon, and the special appetizer at Celilo Restaurant was fresh figs with blue cheese, wrapped in prosciutto and drizzled with honey. I fell in love at first bite. It reminded me of my in-laws who live in Sonoma and grow Zinfandel in the Rockpile AVA. They grow their own figs and make their own honey. This is an incredibly easy appetizer that I love to make if I am short on time. – Jessica Thomas, General Manager

Prosciutto-Wrapped Figs with Blue Cheese and Honey


  • 6 figs cut in half lengthwise 
  • 3-6 pieces prosciutto depending on size of figs 
  • 3 tbsp blue cheese (select a mild to moderate Blue Cheese such as Rogue Creamery Oregon Blue)
  • 3 tbsp honey (to taste)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350. 

  2. Place your figs on a non-stick baking sheet and place a small amount of blue cheese on each fig. Gently pick up each fig and wrap in prosciutto. 

  3. Bake for 5–7 minutes, just until the prosciutto begins to crisp and warm, and the figs begin to soften. 

  4. Remove from the oven and drizzle with your honey.

  5. This dish is best served warm, but is also great at room temperature. I pair this appetizer with Sauvignon Blanc, or a 2018 vintage of Pinot Noir.

Recipe: Pan-Fried Brie with Honey and Castelvetrano Olives (Sweet Cheeks Winery)

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SWEET CHEEKS Winery  |  “Pan-Fried Brie with Honey and Castelvetrano Olives”

I am obsessed with the blog Half Baked Harvest by Tieghan Gerard. We try out one of her recipes at least once a week. This recipe is one that I make regularly and then switch a few things up, depending on the wine that I want to pair with it. It’s a great base recipe that you can add your own spin to it. For example, the original recipe calls for mixed olives and creating a peppered honey, and I love using pitted Castelvetrano Olives and deciding at the end if I want to add pepper on top, or not. I also like to add things to the Panko bread crumb coating. – Jessica Thomas, General Manager


Pan-Fried Brie with Honey and Castelvetrano Olives


  • 1 8-10 oz Brie wheel I like to use a double cream brie so it stays together
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil I prefer Durant Olive Mill Tuscan Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 cups Castelvetrano olives pitted
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp capers drained
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup honey (to taste)
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • bread or crackers for serving


  1. Whisk the egg in a shallow bowl. Add the Panko to a separate shallow bowl - add a pinch of fresh cracked pepper and a pinch of the lemon zest. Dip the Brie in the egg, be sure to coat the entire wheel and allow any excess to drip off. Place the Brie in the Panko and coat all sides, you will need to press gently to help it stick. Place the Brie on a small plate and place in the freezer for 20 minutes. 

  2. While the Brie is in the freezer, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil with your olives and red pepper flakes in a skillet on medium heat. Let the olives gently fry for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining lemon zest, capers and thyme to cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour everything into a small bowl. 

  3. In the same skillet, add the remaining olive oil and let it heat up for about 1-2 minutes. Remove the Brie and place in the skillet. Cook on each side for 2-3 minutes - be sure to really watch it because it can burn quickly. I like to pick up the pan and tilt it around the Brie to ensure the sides get fried as well. 

  4. Place the Brie on a serving board or platter, top with your fried olives, drizzle your honey on top (to taste) and more cracked pepper (to taste). 

  5. It's served best with a rustic style bread - I usually pick mine up at Provisions or Noisette in Eugene. Crackers are also great! I enjoy this particular dish with a 2016 Pinot Noir or our 2018 Reserve Pinot Gris - Our Trio Sparkling wine would also be a great option. That's the great thing about this appetizer, you can make minor changes to pair with a variety of wines. 

Recipe: Cassoulet for Home Cooks and Armchair Travelers (Lange Estate Winery)

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Lange Estate Winery  |  “Cassoulet for Home Cooks and Armchair Travelers”

Anyone who has indulged in Cassoulet will tell you that between the layers of duck fat and Armagnac sausages—confit duck legs and bone white Coco Tarbais beans—that there is pure magic. It is easily Gascony’s most celebrated dish, named after the deep earthenware vessel it cooks in, the cassolle, Cassoulet inhabits a romantic place in our imaginations alongside the avant-garde posters of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, who hails from the region.

It has an enviable history, one that we will not attempt to reproduce here, but that can be read at leisure on Clifford A. Wright’s excellent blog post on the topic.

There is, of course, an origin story about the besieged village of Castelnaudary pooling its meager resources during wartime, and the region’s own reverence of the dish captured in a saying that translates as: “Cassoulet is the God of Occitan cuisine. A god in three persons: God, the father, is that of Castelnaudry. God the son is that of Carcassonne, and the Holy Spirit is that of Toulouse.”

Divine it is. The process—the complete process, involves preparing the confit of duck well in advance. The method involves cooking the legs at a low temperature for a long period of time, what we affectionately call “low and slow”, and then preserving the legs in the rendered fat. Prepared correctly, the legs will keep for weeks, or even over the winter. The method, as with many modes of food preservation, is one that allowed for long-term storage in a time before refrigeration. Fortunately, in the modern era, it’s possible to obtain confit duck legs from your local grocer or butcher, or from online retailers like D’Artagnan. Added bonus, D’Artagnan carries most of the specialty ingredients you’ll need.

Our goal, to faithfully reproduce the recipe, comes with the advice that one must check the cassoulet throughout the cooking process to ensure that it doesn’t dry out. Don’t be afraid to break through the crust to add more water if the beans are too dry. Preparing a proper bouquet garni is another step that’s worth the time and effort. One cannot help but feel a sense of reverence for the process, the assembly, and enjoyment of this dish. 

Typically, cassoulet is paired a sturdy, well-structured wine such as a Côtes-du-Rhône or a Languedoc red. We paired ours with an elegant and earthy Pinot Noir from our North Block. Our Freedom Hill Pinot Noir also has the structure, depth, and body to stand up to the rich flavors of this dish. Recipe adapted from Chef Ariane Daguin. 

Cassoulet for Home Cooks and Armchair Travelers


  • 3 lbs pounds French Coco Tarbais beans (cannellini are a fine substitute) rinsed and soaked in water overnight
  • 12 oz whole Ventrèche (French pancetta)
  • 1 medium-sized head of garlic peeled
  • 2 medium Spanish or yellow onions diced
  • 1 carrot chopped into 1′ pieces 
  • 1 Bouquet garni 5 parsley sprigs, 3 celery leaves, 2 thyme sprigs, 2 bay leaves, ten peppercorns, 3 cloves, and 3 juniper berries wrapped in cheesecloth and tied
  • 6 Duck legs confit
  • 1 lb pound Armagnac or Toulouse sausage cut into thirds
  • 1 lb French garlic sausage cut into 1/4″ pieces
  • 12 oz duck or veal demi-glace dissolved in 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup duck fat at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste


  1. Place beans in a large pot and cover them with water. Leave them to soak overnight at room temperature.

  2. Drain beans then add them to a large stock pot along with the ventrèche, garlic, carrots, and bouquet garni. Cover the mixture with 3 inches of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the beans are just tender, about 1 hour. 

  3. Drain the mixture and discard the bouquet garni. Remove ventrèche and cut it into 1/4-inch cubes and set it aside. Season beans with salt and pepper to taste. Set them aside.  

  4. Preheat oven to 325 °F. 

  5. In a medium skillet over high heat, sautée the Armagnac and French garlic sausages with a dollop of duck fat, until just browned. Remove from the pan, and set aside. 

  6. Use some of the duck fat to lightly grease a large dutch oven or casserole. Place half of the bean mixture in casserole. Add duck legs, browned sausages, and ventrèche, and rizzle with duck fat. Cover with the remaining bean mixture.  

  7. Stir tomato paste into demi-glace and water mixture, stir until its completely dissolved. Pour evenly over the beans, then add the remaining duck fat. 

  8. Bake until hot and bubbling, about 2 1/2 hours, checking occasionally, this step is critical, to make sure the beans don’t dry out. Add more water as needed.  

  9. Serve piping hot with a generous glass of wine!