Tonight, while I sit enjoying some of my favorite Sunday night television, I am drinking a glass of wine from the Saginaw Vineyard. Saginaw is located south of Eugene, in Cottage Grove, in a very literal off the beaten path area. It is a small family owned winery that gets most of their grapes from other locations. I went there Labor Day weekend when my friend Chris Michaud came to visit.
When travelling to Saginaw, and you turn off the main road, you almost think that you might be driving onto someone's private property, and if you are not careful, you will miss your turn. The tasting room is in a red barn, but the inside is delicately decorated very similar to other small wineries I have been to, particularly a couple small ones in the Tri-Cities area of south-central Washington.
One of the wines we tasted was one that I had not heard of before - which is slightly odd because my parents are HUGE into wine. When I did some research, I learned why it was I might not have heard of this kind before - this particular wine is a Muller Thurgau. Muller Thurgau has sometimes been considered a bit of the bastard child of grape wines being seen as lesser quality and thought of as cheap. This has been particularly true in Germany, where it originated, but the grape has gained popularity in other parts of the world.
The Muller Thurgau from Saginaw Valley is quite enjoyable. Served chilled, when poured it looks a bit darker than white grape juice. I noticed the citrus smell when I gathered a couple whiffs of this wine. When swirled, there is a nice coat that the glass gets, which is slightly slower to run down the glass, yet this wine is far from heavily alcoholic (11% alcohol by volume). I find the taste to also be a bit more citric in nature than some others I can recall. There is a slight flavor of sweet but if you aren't paying attention, you might not be aware that it is there. When you take a sip, you get a burst of flavor, and once swallowed, the taste diminishes, with a very light remnant remaining on the palate.
I was glad that I tried this wine, and I don't know that I would call this a low quality by any stretch of the imagination. I believe that I might have spent $20 for this bottle, and I found it to be well worth it. I would recommend this to anyone wanting to try something a little different, and I would recommend visiting Saginaw Vineyards to everyone who is not a complete snob about where they taste their wine, Scott and Cheryl were very welcoming and will tell you the story of how they came about as wine proprietors.