Orchard Heights Winery

Orchard Heights Winery 2007 & 2008 Pinot Noir.
Orchard Heights Winery 2007 & 2008 Pinot Noir.

We were gawking at all the Eola Hills Vineyards and drove right passed Orchard Heights Road, so we had to backtrack a little bit before we found the winery.  Beware to any shopaholic, the gift shop the tasting room is located in is great!  I don’t really fall into that category, but I found myself eyeing several items as we tasted wines at the bar.  This winery is a sister company to a Hawaiian macadamia nut farm and a confectionary; all is family owned and operated.  Some of the 15 acres of vines are from the seventy’s, predating the current owners.

Orchard Heights Winery 2009 & 2011 Rose' of Pinot Noir.
Orchard Heights Winery 2009 & 2011 Rose’ of Pinot Noir.

Each of the whites Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, & Riesling were poured and tasted; excellent and a great way to get a feel for the wine making before we began tasting Pinot Noir.  Next up were a pair of Rose’ of Pinot Noir from 2009 & 2011.  They look different, smell different and taste different, despite their common origins and wine maker.  Both won Silver Medals at the Finger Lakes International competitions.  My notes for this winery have disappeared, so I don’t recall which one tasted like what, but I do remember them being different; both great.

Next up, the Pinot Noir we were anticipating; this winery came highly recommended, so we were holding our breath – out come two, just like the Rose’s were being tasted in pairs, so were these reds.  In this case 2007 & 2009, again there was a decided difference between the aromas and palates.  My partner in wine and I didn’t agree about which was ‘best’, but we did agree that we were appreciating the wine more.

Orchard Heights Late Harvest Gewürztraminer with 'Mele Mac' - what a lovely pairing.
Orchard Heights Late Harvest Gewürztraminer with ‘Mele Mac’ – what a lovely pairing.

There are dessert wines and grape-based tropical fruit wines as well; mango, passion fruit and pineapple.  Remarkably, the pineapple was my favored tropical flavor, none were sweet as the dry white wine base balanced the sweetness of the juice added.  Different than the fruit wines we make, but good to try.

With the dessert wine, a late harvest Gewürztraminer, they pair ‘Mele Macs’ – toffee and chocolate (milk for those of you that care), then coated with powdered sugar.  That was spectacular!  We refrained from taking these with us as they wouldn’t have made it home.

In the end a Pinot Blanc, a kitchen scraper to keep in the trailer (you can’t believe how hard it was to find one of them) and I have a fun striped summery scarf came home with us.  One of these hot evenings on the patio and that Pinot Blanc will join us!

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