Leaving Florence and the Pacific Ocean behind us meant we were on the last leg of our adventure and home. To soften that reality, we chose to meander our way through Oregon’s Wine Country. Almost to Junction City along HWY 126 we stopped at Domaine Meriwether in Veneta.
The production center doubles as a tasting room and event center where every Friday and Sunday a food truck, Comforts, sets up shop to accompany guests through either a concert or brunch. This was Wednesday, midday, so it was quiet there – good for us.
DM focuses on sparkling wine, we thought we were going to taste some, but we were a week or ten days before a new release. Ah well, it was Pinot Noir we were after anyway.
Our first tasting-room-poured Pinot was a Rose’ from 2006. The tasting notes read strawberries, cherries and raspberries – that rounded out the description fine. Treading carefully as we were it is amazing there are that many notes as I recall thinking hard about what I was drinking. Second pour of Pinot Noir was a 2006 with earth & caramel on the nose, a berry front palate and the caramel showing up on the finish again. We had a 2008 PN next that was surprisingly pie cherry with more acid than I was expecting. Like a salve to a wound, the last pour was a ‘ice wine style’ Gewürztraminer with apricot, honey and vanilla; quite the reverse of the previous wine.
Did I like the PN? It gave me more to work with than the Hinman bottle we bought in the grocery store did. I still wasn’t sure if I ‘got’ PN, which seems to have little to do with liking it at this stage.
Domaine Meriwether, named for Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis & Clark Expedition, was first produced at a neighboring winery, La Velle in Elmira. Reassured that we could pull our trailer into and back out of the parking area, we decided to head that direction next.