One of the best parts about wine tasting in the Dundee Hills is…well…the hills. Oregon’s wine country is unlike anything in California. Some of these vineyards are at such great heights you can see Mt. Hood clearly in the distance. We drove up, and up, and up the road and eventually turned off to Durant Vineyards. I could already see how wonderful the view was before exiting the car.
Located off of 99W on NE Breyman Orchard Rd, Durant Vineyards has one of the best views in Willamette Valley. Upon arrival, you can see the large outdoor area. Perfect for picnics! There are a few spots underneath the shady tree as well as some other tables and chairs scattered across the lawn. There is also a regular patio with larger tables for a little more formal seating. Inside, the tasting room has nice open space with a bar.
We had our dog, Truman, so we were taken care of outside. The woman who poured for us gave us some history of Red Ridge Farms and Durant Vineyards.
The family has been a part of the Willamette Valley for five generations. They have a specialty plant nursery, a gourmet gift shop, olive grove, commercial mill, wine tasting room and lodging. What more could you ask for?! Nothing, because they have literally everything.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see the Red Ridge Farms gift shop, lodging or nursery. But, now I have another reason to go next time I am in the area! They were one of the first olive orchards in Oregon after planting olives in 2004. They handcraft all of their olive oil as well.
So, of course, we had to get one of their featured picnic plates!
The Everything Plate is $25 and includes: Olympia Provisions salami and an assortment of local cheeses, Oregon hazelnuts, Arbequina olives, cornichons, fresh vegetable crudités and sliced baguette, drizzled with Oregon Olive Mill extra virgin olive oil and 8-year Aged Balsamic Vinegar.
There were five of us so we demolished it pretty quickly. But it would easily feed 2-3 people.
Everything was absolutely delightful. From the olive oil sprinkled with black sea salt, to the olives, to the cheeses…I was in hog heaven. If I could live off of bread and cheese and salami for the rest of my life I would be one happy camper.
Not only that, but the wine was also fabulous.
First, the Pinot Gris. It’s well known to my family and friends that I have NEVER been a white wine drinker. I love those hefty, full bodied reds. But the more I taste white wine, the more I learn to enjoy it. This pinot gris was quickly added to my list of new loves. Your typical, light bodied, crisp white wine with hints of tropical fruits, pear, and lemon peel. It’s the kind of wine you want to pop open when you’re sitting on a warm beach. The palate stayed true to the nose with flavors of peach, lemon and nice acidity.
We had the opportunity to taste their Lark Chardonnay, which was aged in a neutral oak; therefore, I didn’t get much oak on the nose or palate. But it did have some nice buttery flavors, as well as some bright lemon and citrus. It was a medium bodied Chardonnay with nice acidity.
The Raven Pinot Noir was a ruby colored, lighter Pinot Noir with aromas of cherry, strawberry and spice. The tannins were soft and left a long finish. This wine didn’t strike me as particularly wonderful but it was still very good.
Last, but certainly not least, we tried the Bishop Pinot Noir. This wine knocked my socks off with aromas of oak, and earth. I automatically knew I was going to enjoy this pinot. On the palate were flavors of black fruits, plum, black berry with slight hints of oak. For a pinot, the tannins on this were firm, but not over powering, which helped balance out the typical fruity pinot flavors. This is a wine that could sit in your cellar for a little while and mellow out. 2012 was one of the best years for wines to date. Any of these well made wines are going to be worth the wait!
They do three different types of tastings.
Their Classic Tasting Flight includes 4 of their featured 100% estate vineyard Wines. It’s $10 and waved with the purchase of two bottles. They request that groups of six or more call and reserve a space.
Next, is their Wine Sensory Pairing. This costs $20 per person and takes about 45min-1hr of time. Each pairing is unique for each wine and helps you explore the way different flavors complement their estate wines.
Finally, they have The Estate Experience. It costs $65 per person (4 person minimum) and is a 2 hour guided tour of the Oregon Olive Mill. You get to explore their olive oils paired with different food items as well as taste the Durant Wines.
The price point of their wines is between $18-$65. The lowest being an $18 Pinot Gris, which I purchased. Along with a bottle of the Lark Chardonnay ($28).
If you would like to check out their website to learn a little more about Red Ridge Farms or Durant Vineyards please click on the link below.
My name is Katie and I am a wine drinking, food loving San Franciscan. I work as a full time nanny during the week, a tasting associate on the weekend and a blogger in my free time. I am a current student of the Wine Spirits and Education Trust (WSET) and am hoping to obtain the prestigious title of Master of Wine or Certified Sommelier. I moved out to California 5 years ago from Kansas City, Kansas and quickly fell in love with the culture, the ocean, and of course…the wine! My education started with a Winemaking 101 class from community college. After moving to San Francisco two years ago I decided to continue pursuing my dream and take classes through Sonoma State’s wine business program as well. It’s a long process but I love what I do and couldn’t imagine doing it anywhere else in the world! I started my blog ‘Somm Journey’ to show friends, family and whoever else will listen about the world I love and the journey I’m going through to follow my dreams. Check it out and learn about new wineries, tips and tricks, some of my favorites wines etc.
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