Well, the fact is the vintner didn’t exactly invite me to lunch, but in a way, I invited myself. The fact is that a this summer I attended a benefit event, sponsored by “Salud” here in the Willamette Valley Oregon Wine Counrty, that raises monies for the health of the seasonal vineyard workers. One of the things I bid on at the auction, was a “Luncheon and vineyard tour of Anam Cara Vineyards in Newberg, Oregon.
When I arrived with my wife and a couple friends of ours, also included in this event, we were greeted by Nick and Sheila Nicholas and their two dogs, of course ! The drive up to their vineyard estate was spectacular, with leaves changing and orange everywhere.
Sheila asked if we had mud boots, as rain was threatening, and she smiled when we replied positively. Then she and Nick handed os pruning clippers and off we went to the vines. It seemed that we had arrived in the middle of harvest, and Nick needed to take testing samples of different sections of the vineyard for testing to determine exact harvest time.
What fun ! as we all got sent to various rows, and returning with a cluster of Pinot Noir 777 Block fruit, or maybe their excellent Riesling, we were taught what we should be tasting in these grapes, and how to determine ripeness to perfection. I was amazed when I would taste a grape and Nick would ask me if I thought they were ready for harvest. Many times when I said yes, he would hand me fruit from another row and show me the difference in “ready now, and ready in a week”.
Finally retiring to the dining room after such brutal hard labor, we were treated to a five course lunch which included roast pork and a home made cheesecake made by Nick, along with of course, five of their estate wines. Now when I say wines, I am talking about some of the most awesome Pinot Noir i have ever tasted my friends. Especially their Riesling, their 777 Block Pinot Noir as well as their “Ice Wine” served with dessert.