Saturday, April 26, 2008

Honeywood Winery

My colleague, Aileen, had two friends/family members in town - Daniel and Sophia. We decided there was no better way to spend the very first thing on a beautiful Saturday morning than to explore a new winery. So at about 10am, I met them at Aileen's apartment and we walked the 10 minutes south and arrived at Honeywood Winery.

Honeywood is known as the oldest winery in Oregon. Stan, the person who greeted us and subsequently gave us our tastings proceeded to tell us a bit about Honeywood. They get their grapes from growers in the Eola Hills just west of Salem. They also just recently planted their own grapes, so it will be a couple more years before their are able to see the end result of that. In the meantime they are able to produce over 50 types of wine.

Stan told us about the second owner of Honeywood, whose name I forget, who is responsible for both tasting rooms and the ability of wine makers to sell wines directly to consumers in tasting rooms through lobbying and bills being passed.

Aileen, Sophia, Daniel, and myself tried quite the array of wines and left with about 9 bottles between the 4 of us. I purchased 3 - a Muller Thurgau, a Cranberry L'Orange, and a Pomegranate. I am sure that I will be consuming at least one of those bottles over the course of the next week, once I get them from Aileen's apartment.

So be on the lookout for those reviews.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Weekend Musings

Happy Saturday to all you oenephiles! Posts have been a little light here recently mostly due to the fact that all the staff have been busy with travel and our paying jobs; we'll try to do a better job. I don't have anything in depth to report, but I have had two excellent bottles of wine recently that are worthy of The Oregon Wine Blog recommendation.

First, the 2004 Griffin Creek Syrah, from Willamette Valley Vineyards. This vintage won the 2007 Oregon State Fair, and I picked up a bottle pre-release and had been hanging on to it for a special moment. I found out my soon to be picked up Oregon Wine Guild shipment includes a bottle, so we cracked open the one I had been saving and certainly was not disappointed. The second bottle that I really enjoyed was a 2006 Bethel Heights Pinot Noir. This bottle has been sitting on the shelf for a while as well, and I've actually been meaning to get out to the winery for a visit. Regardless, some good friends were in town from Utah so we opened this baby up and it was gone in short order. A delicious Pinot!

In other news, I've been drinking a lot more beer recently due to the opening of Block 15 Restaurant and Brewery here in Corvallis about 2 months ago. A number of us here at TOWB have played various roles in the opening process, and the owners are certainly supporters of the blog. Something I'm looking forward to is the pending release of King's Gold -- a golden ale that is slated to undergo secondary fermentation in an old wine barrel from King Estate's pinot. The brewer is expecting the beer to take on some characteristics from the french oak barrel and pinot residue, so expect a review once it is released. Also, if you are looking for something to do in Corvallis tomorrow (4/20/08) check out Block 15's Grand Opening and Earth Day celebration. Food specials, live music, great beer, wine...what more can you ask for?

Friday, April 11, 2008


1 comment
No, I'm not talking about the tech firm from Office Space, rather Enoteca is the Italian word for "wine cellar" and just so happens to be the namesake of the new wine bar in Corvallis. Located at 136 Washington (and riverfront) in the Renaissance Condo building, Enoteca is a welcome addition to the Corvallis food and wine scene. A group of us checked out the new digs this evening after a great dinner at Block 15.

Upscale, classy, yet relaxed, Enoteca has an abundant selection of wines that cover the spectrum of varietals and appellations and are reasonably priced all the while. Ample selections of both red and white by the bottle from California, Italy, Australia, and of course Oregon tantalize customers and an adequate by the glass selection is available as well. The food menu is *just* large enough to meet OLCC regulations for food service with alcohol; the dessert plate we had was tasty with a selection of truffles, fruit, and candied nuts. It paired nicely with the 2002 Kiona Reserve Estate Cabernet that we enjoyed.

In a unique blending of market segments, Enoteca serves espresso and coffee as well -- catching the morning crowd with caffeine and the evening crowd with alcohol. Details are the key, with custom monogrammed wine glasses, local furniture from Inkwells, and a unique menu concept. Local ownership rounds out the package, in fact 4 of the 6 owners live in the building. Outstanding customer service was the icing on the cake to a fine evening. I'm hesitant to post this because I want Enoteca to be *our little secret*. I'll do my duty, though, and gladly share.

Watch out, Sahalie, there is a new show in town...

PS: Enoteca is hosting a grand opening tomorrow, April 12, rumored to have some pretty nice bottles open for tasting!