Recipe Pairings Featuring Biodynamic Wines of the Willamette Valley (#WinePW)
Willamette Valley Biodynamic Wines Featured by Wine Bloggers
Thank you to Twitter’s active wine blogger community for featuring the Willamette Valley’s Biodynamic wineries this past weekend. Those who followed along with the hashtag #winepw were treated to some fabulous recipes paired with wines from our Biodynamic wineries. The recipes are listed below, along with the wine pairings.
Chef Henry Kibit's Lamb Meatballs with Harissa Sauce
Ingredients - Lamb Meatballs
½yellow onionsmall dice
1tablespoonvinegarsherry or red wine
3tablespoonsExtra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & pepper to taste
1cupGuajillos chiletoasted and seeded
½cupcarrotsmedium dice, cooked
½cupbeetsmedium dice, cooked
2tablespoonsExtra Virgin Olive Oil
Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Adjust seasonings as necessary.
Preheat oven to 300°. In a small pot saute the onion, carrot and garlic over medium-low heat about 6 minutes until tender. Cool completely.
In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix the lamb and remaining ingredients with your hands until the mixture starts to become a little sticky.
Take a small amount of the meatball mixture and saute on medium heat until cooked. About 2-3 minutes. This is just to taste for seasoning. Adjust salt/pepper/vinegar as necessary.
Portion into 16 equal sized balls. Over medium heat in a large saute pan, brown the balls evenly in two batches. Be gentle, the balls will be fragile, but will firm up after cooking.
Place the balls and all of the sauce in an oven proof pan (approximately 8"x10") and cover with foil.
Cook for about 40 minutes or until cooked through.
Serve with black rice or in a pita as a sandwich. Makes four servings.
December Events Preview
FEATURED DECEMBER EVENTS IN THE WILLAMETTE VALLEY
Willamette Valley wine country serves up an idyllic remedy for winter’s persistent chill. Wineries welcome guests with the warmest brand of hospitality, in the form of thawing fireplaces, convivial service and an exceptionally intimate atmosphere only the winter months can provide. Read full article
December Events Preview
December Events Preview
Willamette Valley wine country serves up an idyllic remedy for winter’s persistent chill. Wineries welcome guests with the warmest brand of hospitality, in the form of thawing fireplaces, convivial service and an exceptionally intimate atmosphere only the winter months can provide.
Far away from the tour buses and highway gridlock of the busy summer season, December in wine country spells cozy winemaker’s dinners, uncluttered tasting rooms and a certain peacefulness—one brought on not only by having the most recent vintage put to barrel, but by the company of snow-dusted foothills that bookend the Valley.
With the holiday stretch in full swing, it’s is also the perfect time to stock the cellar in preparation for memorable meals and end-of-the-year soirees. If you’ve yet to make it out to Wine Enthusiast’s reigning Wine Region of the Year, December offers an unparalleled accessibility to both the Valley’s world renowned wines and the colorful characters who produce them.
The transition to winter means hearty fare in restaurants throughout the Valley. Enjoy an earthy, lasting meal at Joel Palmer House or head to the Back Room at Nick’s for outstanding from-scratch pasta and a game of pool. Regional options like La Rambla in McMinnville counter chilly days with spicy, herbaceous offerings and pure comfort food from the likes of Gem Creole Saloon and Valley Commissary are all the more delectable during December.
Those hungry for genuine northwest cuisine will find no shortage of options during this spell, especially fans of seasonal seafood like shellfish and world-class pacific northwest salmon. The ever-growing Willamette Valley culinary scene continues to raise the epicurean bar and define what it means to experience every sense of wine country.
Extend the cozy nature of your Willamette Valley adventure with a night or two at any number of the region’s charming B&Bs or inviting hotels. Hole up in a historic property like Hotel Oregon, exploring its bars and restaurants in between strolls along McMinnville’s fetching Third Street.
Call a vintage Airstream trailer home for a long weekend, set within striking distance of countless wineries and tasting rooms. Or, head for the hills and live like a grapegrower among the vines in bucolic working estates like Youngberg Hill and the Black Walnut Inn. Unwind in the ultra-unhurried environment that is December in wine country. With winter rates in full swing, do yourself a favor and add another day to your fulfilling stay.
Central Valley winery Eola Hills embraces the holiday spirit with a Monday night movie series. Hibernate the wine country way with a relaxing film and a glass of estate wine in hand. Tonight’s screening is The Grinch. Details…
Rollin Soles is synonymous with Willamette Valley sparkling wine. The longtime Argyle winemaker has a relatively new label to boot in Roco and nothing toasts the holiday season quite like well made bubbly. Discover how appetizers can enhance Soles’ award-winning RMS Sparkling Wine and depart with a recipe. Details…
Esteemed Amity label Brooks Winery hosts a gathering devoted to the sometimes intimidating concept of wine pairing. Winery chef Abbey McManigle leads an approachable introductory course on the subject, one you get to eat and drink. It’s time to take your holiday food menus to the next level. Details…
Pinot Noir is one of the most expressive wines on the planet and a great way to experience that is via vertical tastings. Micro-producer Fullerton Wines walks guests through four vintages spanning 2012-2015, showcasing the uniqueness of each and how each distinctive growing season shaped the resulting wines. Details…
Throughout the last two months of the year, participating WVWA wineries and tasting rooms will partner with the Oregon Food Bank network to combat hunger. Select labels and venues will accept donations with the aim of granting 75,000 meals to those in need. Make your day in wine country all the more rewarding by helping the very community that helps make it possible. Details…
About the Artist: John Fisher
THANKSGIVING 2017 – NOVEMBER 5, 2017
Local artist, John Fisher, has created iconic posters and imagery for many Wine Country Thanksgivings. Get to know the artist, his story, and his inspirations.. Read full article
About The Artist: John Fisher
About The Artist: John Fisher
The Art that Captures the Essence of the Seasons in Wine Country
From the vivid energy of harvest and the collective pause for breath at Thanksgiving to spring’s picnic baskets and flowers in bloom, each season in wine country brings festive Willamette Valley traditions for winemakers and wine enthusiasts alike. John Fisher, who has partnered with the Willamette Valley Wineries Association over many projects and vintages, is the man behind the artwork that has become an iconic reflection of our Valley’s natural beauty.
Fisher operates in both fine art and graphic design. His latter work for the association is clean and seemingly timeless, offering the crispness of a photograph yet animated by way of playful, often primary colors. There’s slick layering to much of his work, as though it was a handful of separate cutouts to begin with, stacked nearly atop one another.
Many have witnessed his art, even if they couldn’t tie a name to it. Fisher’s visual accompaniments to the wildly successful Pinot In The City campaign neatly encapsulate every journey of that ongoing roadshow. There’s the Seattle poster, with a dripping Orca’s tail in the foreground the the Emerald City skyline in the distance. The Los Angeles poster depicts a black-and-white maze of buildings and off-ramps cloaked in the golden hue of southern California sun. This is to say nothing of his local subject matter, which overwhelmed him upfront.
“The Oregon landscape was challenging at first,” Fisher admits. “I felt a little claustrophobic with all the hills, as opposed to the midwest landscape where you can see the horizon for miles.”
Fisher visited his Portland-based sister while in high school frequently. The terrain blew him away and soon he packed up and headed west. Soon, he found himself getting lost on winding Willamette Valley roads, meandering in and out of the many vineyards, farmhouses and forested hills that would inform his work.
“Most of the artwork is seasonal, so it needs to capture a sense of place and time,” Fisher says. The greatest example of such seasonality also happens to be his favorite piece, a simple but evocative illustration for Wine Country Thanksgiving 2003. In it, a golden leaf droops over ripe ready-to-pick Pinot Noir clusters. A hushed and stoic background of brushy foothills and Mt. Hood’s silhouette completes an eye-catching and economical piece.
Fisher continues to pen illustrations for the association, in between painting stirring Oregon country landscapes and offering graphic design services for a host of clients including wine labels like Alloro Vineyards and Evesham wood via he and his wife’s firm Fisher Carlson Co.
Like any good artist, Fisher is willing to offer up inspirational colleagues. For his Pinot In The City pieces, he mentions David Lance Goines, whose symbolism, layering and tight presentation is not at all unlike Fisher’s. Both artists have taken on expansive content and both have excelled in capturing it with a certain precision.
The Willamette Valley may be home to hundreds of wineries and many more vineyards, but Fisher can somehow distill that into a single iconic image.
by Mark A. Stock | markastock.com Mark Stock is a writer from Portland, Oregon who spent a healthy stretch in the Dundee Hills making, selling and drinking wine. He’s written for Willamette Week, Oregon Wine Press, Travel Oregon, Sip Northwest, SevenFifty and more. Fly-fishing, Icelandic soccer and The Simpsons are among his favorite distractions.
Tools of the Cellar Trade
#WVHARVEST2017 – NOVEMBER 13, 2017
It takes more than great grapes to make great wine. From must plungers to tri-clamps, we break down the tools of the trade.. Read full article
Tools of the Cellar Trade
Tools of the Cellar Trade
As winemaking transitions from the vineyard to the winery, here are a few tools that winemakers and vintners can’t live without.
Most are aware of the towering vats, neat stacks of barrels and trusty forklifts that keep a winery ticking. With the fruit all in and November in full swing, a new cast of tools is called upon to expedite the evolution of a wine. Here are a few most vintners and cellar workers would rather not live without.
Assuming the shape of a narrow golf putter, the lees stirrer offers an arm-extension of sorts. The narrow body fits through a barrel’s bunghole, allowing the loose foot of the stirrer to push around the settled lees – or, dead yeast cells – at the bottom. Lees stirring is known as bâtonnage in the Old World and is more common in white winemaking, although it can benefit certain reds as well.
The Must Plunger
Well-known as it may be within wine circles, this glorified plunger is to the harvest worker as a chef’s knife is to the cook. Outfitted with holes in its rubber head, this devices allows the cap of fermentations to be punched down, distributing flavors, tannin and all kinds of other microbiology evenly throughout the lot. Moreover, it allows for some temperature regulation, a welcome introduction of oxygen and yields pronounced triceps for the lucky soul in command of the punchdowns.
A good old fashioned large-scale siphon can do the trick, but nothing beats the ease and speed of the Bulldog. This pressure racking wand can empty a 55-gallon barrel in just a few minutes, making it quite suitable for larger wine blends or simply moving product whenever necessary. The deep exhale the device takes after it empties a barrel is a sound that startles even the hardiest of winemakers.
Flashlights likely lead the list of objects found at the bottom of tanks when a wine is ultimately drained. Access to hands-free light in a dark cellar is paramount and the headlamp covers all bases. From eyeing fill-levels while barreling down wine to identifying lots in dimly-lit, tightly-stacked rows, the headlamp is your savior.
Sanitizing a barrel requires a clever tool that can turn out both the pressure and range needed. Enter the barrel washer, a hose attachment with an L-shaped head that fits neatly inside of an inverted barrel and boasts a small but complex nozzle to ensure that every square inch of the barrel’s interior is washed clean.
The topping gun is used to add wine to barrels to keep levels high and oxidation at bay. Often hooked up to inert gas to fight gravity’s pull, the gun is fit with a simple lever for dispensing and a crooked, narrow mouth to get into barrels. Equally important is enough hose length to get you up to the fourth of fifth story of barrels with some wiggle room to spare.
Every lab needs a control. There’s little more manufactured and chemically reliable than a box of Franzia or a jug of Carlo Rossi, wine you can essentially set your watch to. What these wines lack in character they make up for in scientific flawlessness. Winemakers use the basic chemistry of these wines as a reference point for analyzing samples as well as calibrating much-needed equipment.
A carpenter never enters a job without a hammer. A vintner’s functional cellar is never out of tri-clamps. These clamps offer the glue to just about everything in winemaking, from connectivity between pumps and tanks to adapters, valves, hoses and an infinite number of specialty pieces. In short, it is the tri-camp that can move the entirety of your largest production wine from one end of the winery to the other, without so much as losing more than a few drops.
Story and illustrations by Mark A. Stock | markastock.com Mark Stock is a writer from Portland, Oregon who spent a healthy stretch in the Dundee Hills making, selling and drinking wine. He’s written for Willamette Week, Oregon Wine Press, Travel Oregon, Sip Northwest, SevenFifty and more. Fly-fishing, Icelandic soccer and The Simpsons are among his favorite distractions.