When we left the hotel in Newberg the fog was fairly dense, but as we climbed a hill toward the Bergstrom Wine facilities we climbed above the worst of it into a crisp mid-winter day in the Willamette Valley. The fog plays such a big role in the Willamette Valley’s growth of Pinot Noir we couldn’t argue that we didn’t know it could be so foggy. But having come from Walla Walla’s gloomy fog with the anticipation of 60+ degree days during our visit we were relieved to see blue sky and high fluffy white clouds. It was a fun tasting, not least of which was because we ended up with a server from Milton Freewater, especially familiar with Walla Walla; I was happy to relay her greetings to common friends. Nice personal connection right?
The 2011 Old Stones Chardonnay is the lovely white wine from a blend of vineyards from a long, cool growing season. It is my kind of Chardonnay with acids and minerality, almost salty undertones within citrus and spice on the palate.
We happily discussed the terroir: vineyard locations, soils, micro-climates and reasons for blending or not as Shari poured and we tasted the four different Pinot Noir’s on offer. From light and fruity to earthy and rich in various combinations we were impressed with each wine.
Afterward I wondered around the barrel room and outside for a few minutes enjoying the sunshine as it gently warmed me and my surroundings, dispelling the last of the morning fog in the valley.
As an aside, there was another of those daphne bushes on the path leading into the front doors of the tasting room, but it wasn’t as fragrant as the one at Dobbes Family Estate.