“Use your inside voice!” Typically, only teachers utter such a phrase as students return from recess. Story has it, however, that my cousins, on a family wine tasting trip, had been scolded by a tasting room attendant. The idea of wine tasting had always seemed a little stuffy to me YET knowing that my cousins had laughed so hard (and loud) at a winery intrigued me. Furthermore, that they had been redirected by someone who could be MY PEOPLE (an educator) based on the vocabulary used, made it easy to say yes when the my family ventured out at the next annual gathering.
Kathy and Jeannie (though Duck fans) are always fun to spend time with. In fact, it’s like there is a party happens where ever they happen to be!
As a working parent of three, weekends are gold. On a three day weekend in February, I meticulously mapped a journey that promised fun for all and allowed a full 60 minutes for tasting as part of our college visit/family reunion/romantic getaway adventure. We even had a dog sitter!
After dropping off our youngest at our middle’s house in Corvallis (home of the Oregon State Beaver’s Baseball National Champions), we backtracked to first meeting spot at a great-aunt’s in Oregon’s Wine Country. My great aunt was simply giddy as she waved us off (I learned later that she had a new boyfriend). My husband and I took our own car as we planned to spend our budgeted time then head to Newport, Oregon for a romantic sunset dinner and overnight stay. We followed the caravan along the winding roads. In certain parts of the Willamette Valley, blue signs mark winery locations at just about every intersection. We past them all and made our way into the heart of Salem.
Honeywood Winery in Salem, Oregon holds the title of Oregon’s oldest winery. This was the best first winery to visit EVER because they have a fruity wine for just about every fruit grown in Oregon. Marionberry, Peach, Pear, Apricot and Blueberry were among my favorites! When I introduced by sister-in-law to the range later, she described them as even better than the wine coolers we enjoyed in the 80s! Surprisingly, we also like varietals including Chardonnay, Gewertztraminer, and Tres Rojos.
Because it was my first “tasting”, I was surprised that each pour seemed substantial enough to enjoy over conversation and snacks in their comfortable tasting room. In addition to fabulous wines, they have a range of gifts for Beaver or Duck fans. We ended up staying much longer than expected and the friendly staff didn’t once ask us to use our indoor voice.