Montinore and Love Stories


Our tasting associates or wine ambassadors today were amazingly accommodating!  Since our last visit, they’ve changed up the patio furniture so we had our own little outdoor living room.

Vivace is my new favorite Oregon sparkling wine.  It’s refreshing and lively but what sold me was the description of the label.   Behind the trademark M, are drawings of leaves, and flowers.  What makes these particular leaves and flowers special is that they are the plants that go into the special type of compost that attribute to the growing conditions that make this wine so special.

Who knew that people were so intentional with compost!?!  The next time I visit I will ask better questions. For instance, do they dedicate growing space on the property to have just enough Shasta Daisy to add to the compost?  Do they partner with Unger Farms (or other nearby berry patches) to get the right amount of strawberry compost?  How did they come up with the ratios of what type of each plant to add?  Did they not add coffee grounds and egg shells to the label because they are ugly or not included–don’t all compost piles have coffee grounds and egg shells?

My husband loved the 2015 Reserve Riesling.  Montinore Rieslings hold a special place in his heart.  The first time we visited this winery we came for the “Bottle Your Love” event in February a few years ago.  Each pair of participants was given a basket with three beakers of wine (each with wine from a different part of the estate),  test tubes and note cards.  We were incredibly focused as we created our very own blend of pinot noir.

We had decided to call our special blend Eternal Flame after the Bangles song played at our wedding  ( if you weren’t alive in the 80s you may not be familiar with this special piece Bangles Eternal Flame) so the song had been playing in our heads for several days.  With OUR song rekindling memories AND a chemistry experiment at hand, it was easy to drive back to high school.   At Mt. View High School in Bend, Oregon, we’d both learned from our chemistry teacher Ms. LaCroix, that you never put your face directly over a test tube.  I’m sure her safety lessons during labs didn’t prepare us for wine making but as we blended, we practiced wafting the smell safely towards our noses, it was like we were back in high school.  All those memories of hormones and gushing feelings of love made for a special afternoon so when Darold learned that there was a sale on Riesling, he bought cases.  It still makes him giggly and google eyed so he bought two more bottles today.   I have the best husband in the world!  He is my eternal flame!

It’s amazing out a sip of wine, can  bring back a flood of memories.  The sno-cone blue sky, slight breeze, perfectly positioned umbrellas and snacks from Unger Family Farms made for the perfect setting for time with friends.  Any time you gather in a lovely place for no other reason that to enjoy the day and company, it’s a good time to learn and share stories.

Though they had gone to high school together and had been on the same swim team in middle school, Trina and Damien didn’t meet until they both worked as lifeguards at the same swim center.  Trina is quite simply a unicorn.  She is magical and relational.  She is a learner and always assumes the best in others!  Because she is all these things, I was surprised to hear that upon meeting Damien, she thought he was a jerk.

Damien has the look of a hero.  If your car had broken down in the middle of the night on a dark road far from civilization, Damien would be the person you’d be happy to see because he he’d pull up with a smile and jumper cables. He would look like he was coming to rescue you. Even my friend who thinks everyone is an ax murder on dark wet nights would trust him. Damien always has a smile.  He is the first person to get invited by winemakers to go on a tour and always remembers the details of his visit.  He also reads widely and can cross reference like nobody’s business.

It’s inconceivable that Trina thought Damien was a jerk upon meeting him.

As we enjoyed the wine (all the wine was awesome) we learned that in high school Damien was into sports and Trina was into theater.  Damien talks about the “drama hall” as a place he would have never visited.  Trina uses the same tone when she talks about the locker room.  Like Zac Effron and Vanessa Hudgen in High School Musical, things were destined to change. What they did have in common was swimming.  Trina’s heart changed when she saw Damien teach swimming lessons.  The way he worked with children was indeed special.  One of his pricocious little swimmers was named Kelsey and was so memorable that now Damien and Trina have a Kelsey of their own.

As we enjoyed information about each wine we tasted, we also learned the following:

There are 2 BEST spots to camp at Timothy Lake.

Mt. Saint Helens eruption was responsible for the property to start growing grapes.

When a vegan cheese and wine shop loses a liquor license, you will have a memorable story to share.

Montinore is the perfect place to spend time with friends on a sunny afternoon.   For more information check the website below.

Montinore Estates

Interesting Asides

Dogs? Yes!  Well-behaved dogs are allowed on the property but not in the tasting room.  The dogs present today were incredibly mellow, almost unnoticeable.

Kids? Yes!  There is a large grassy area where kids could play but I’ve not seen many children at this particular vineyard.  It has a more grown up feel that some of the other places we’ve visited.

Feeling Tone Score–4–  (Formal 1 to Family Feeling 5)

Ghost Stories Be sure to ask about the picture of the ghost in the upstairs window of the house.

1 Comment

  1. A nice post! Much more interesting than those posts where someone writes their wine tasting notes on something they drank last night! We always try and learn lots about the vineyards we visit, but like yourself we often get home and think “oh heck, wish we’d asked that question”!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s