It’s been six weeks now since my husband and I spent a couple days in the Willamette Valley for my best friend’s birthday.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention what a wonderful stop we all had at Durant Vineyards at Red Ridge Farms. There’s actually quite a bit going on at Red Ridge Farms. Durant Vineyards Tasting Room, an extensive nursery, lavender field, olive grove, olive pressing in their Olive Mill, and a vast selection of pottery that spills outside in front of their Red Ridge store.
Their Red Ridge store offers everything from on-site pressed olive oil, salts, soaps, teas and the list goes on. There are even overnight accommodations above the Red Ridge store and in Stoneycrest Cottage. We explored, tasting olive oils, and watched a couple gentlemen pressing the oil. One of them took the time to explain the process and allowed us to pick some perfectly ripe figs on their loaded fig tree since it was my friend’s birthday. Truly, it was like visiting Italy for an afternoon without the jet lag. Okay, there wasn’t an extensive pasta dinner, either, but you know what I’m trying to convey.
We planted two olive trees three years ago that were growing magnificently in our backyard until I moved them this past Spring. Oh, it broke my heart to pull them up. Red Ridge Farms sells olive trees and, obviously, ones that grow particularly well in our area. Next Spring we’ll be making another trip here to breath some new life into our mini olive grow. Even if they don’t produce fruit, the silvery foliage of olive trees is so pretty.
In the tasting room, Lauren enchanted us with her knowledge of the three wines they were pouring. She was sweet, accommodating and well-informed on Durant‘s varietals. All three pours were equally easy to drink (which is not the case with every winery a person visits) though my favorite was probably their 2011 Durant Vineyards Bishop Pinot Noir. It had a richer mouth feel with a hint of smoke and spice though the 2011 Durant Vineyards Ava Lucia Pinot Noir had a definite earthiness about it.
My friend, being the white wine gal, enjoyed the generous pours of 2012 Durant Vineyards Pinot Gris that Lauren tasked her with (since it was her birthday). Their Pinot Gris had a lightness about it that didn’t lack but was subtle in a refined way.
Durant Vineyards and the entire property of Red Ridge Farms is a stop that will not disappoint.