Friday, July 16, 2010

Le Tour de Pinot Stage 2: Spindrift Cellars


On July 3rd, a much smaller crowd than our last stage departed to visit another familiar winery from last year's tour; Spindrift Cellars. Josh, Alyssa, and myself headed out on a beautiful Saturday afternoon for what turned out to be a quick stop for lunch before a bit of wine tasting. In Philomath and craving for loaded hot dogs? High Five Sports Bar will hook you up! More on that when we decide to start The Oregon Processed Meats Blog.

For those of you not familiar with Spindrift Cellars, it is a small winery in Philomath, OR owned by Matt and Tabitha Compton. What only a year ago seemed to focus mainly on a few varietals has turned into a winery with very progressive growth and variety. They're also very committed to sustainability with many Salmon-Safe and Live Certified wines all bottled with screw-top caps. I know we've been hammering this in a lot lately, but three cheers for screw caps!

Now onto the wine. First, I want to point out that this is probably the sixth time we've written about Spindrift Cellars. Why do we write about them so much? Because everybody who works there is incredibly warm and welcoming and the wine is phenomenal. They also have one of the best lines of white wines of any winery in the Willamette Valley. That's not to say their reds aren't great, but I rarely get excited about trying whites and Spindrift is one of very few exceptions to that.

Upon walking into their tasting room, Meagan immediately greeted us and introduced us to a group of folks from North Carolina and Tennessee who happened to be tasting. Introductions out of the way, it was time to do some tasting. Since we've done reviews of Spindrift's offerings before, I'm going to highlight a few we haven't talked about much.

Our very first tasting was of their 2009 Gew├╝rztraminer. While a young wine, this was a perfect way to cap off having just rode into town on a warm day. This wine hovered just around 1% residual sugar and provided just enough sweetness while also being refreshing. Even after the entire flight, this one stuck out as a top two or three favorite for all three of us. Very good bottle of wine to pick up for only $14.

The next wine I want to highlight ended up being Josh's, mine, and anecdotally Tabitha favorite; their 2009 Pinot Blanc. I'm going to go on record and say that this is tied as my favorite white wine of all white wines. The one it's tied with is almost twice as expensive and given the option, I rather have two bottles of Spindrift's Pinot Blanc. Preferences aside, this is the ultimate white wine for many reasons. It's refreshing, it's crisp, it's every so lightly sweet, and it provides a light tropical fruit profile not seen as often in Northwest white wines. It holds its own by itself on a warm summer day while also pairing well with a multitude of food options. If I had to suggest leaving Spindrift with just one bottle, this would easily be my choice.

Finally, we were in for a treat when they poured us 2005 Pinot Noir from the cellar. This was part of a small, limited re-release and Alyssa declared it as her favorite. This Pinot Noir aged well as it presented a light amount of fruit with a low-medium level of oakiness that makes it the perfect sipping wine. Not much left (if any at this point), so pick some up while you can.

All in all yet another great trip to Spindrift. Thank you to everybody who gives their their time and energy into producing some of the best wine in the Willamette Valley. If you haven't had a chance to visit Spindrift or try their wines yet, do yourself a favor and pick up a bottle.

Up next for Le Tour de Pinot is Stage 3 at Tyee Wine Cellars TOMORROW (7/17). Want to join us for the ride? We'll be meeting up at Avalon Wine in downtown Corvallis at around 11:30. Hope to see you there!


  1. Thank you for your support and kind words about Spindrift Cellars. I was so sorry that I was not able to pour the wines for you in my tasting room. I am glad to hear that Meghan took care of you I feel luck to have such great employees. Great Blog and I love the pictures Josh. Oh, good selection with the 2009 Pinot Blanc yes it is my favorite too. Enjoy your wine travels I like hearing about your adventures all over the Northwest. Cheers, Tabitha Compton

  2. Where is that place located? I also want to experience their amazing wines. I can see in your photo that that place is good.