Wine Down Eugene


Wine Down Eugene June 19-25

kramer carmineMy schedule for the next week is packed full of all sorts of exciting wine events, from a virtual wine tasting of a varietal I’m completely unfamiliar with, to literally exploring and tasting wines from several wine regions located on the Mediterranean coast of southern Spain.

Starting this evening, with a virtual wine tasting taking place on Twitter with Oregon’s Kramer Vineyards. Produced by second-generation winemaker Kim Kramer, the two wines we’ll be sampling and discussing in the live virtual tasting were made using the obscure Carmine grape: 2012 Rosé of Carmine “Little Red” and 2009 Carmine “Big Red.”

A brief background on the Carmine grown at Kramer Vineyards:

“Developed in the 1950s for cold-tolerant growing regions, this grape is a vinifera cross of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignane and Merlot.  The Kramer’s first planted Carmine in 1989, after discovering it at Courting Hill Vineyard in Banks [Oregon].  They soon learned that Carmine requires adequate vine maturity and a late harvest in order to achieve full ripeness.  This was the case in 2009, the last vintage a red wine was produced from this grape.  The late bloom in 2012 prompted them to make a direct press Rosé.”

Carmine roseAlthough the official Twitter tasting will be happening live this evening, from 6-8 pm, and can be tracked using the hashtag #tastekramerwine; admittedly, I popped the cork on the Rosé of Carmine “Little Red” last night because the gorgeous color simply lured me in.  Aromas of orange zest, raspberries and limes beckon a taste, and on the palate these flavors explode and are prefectly rounded out with solid and zesty acidity – wow.  It’s crisp, refreshing and has a great depth of character, unlike some Rosés that can be too light and fruity.  Find a bottle and join me, along with winemaker Kim Kramer, and learn about Kramer Vineyards, facts about the Carmine grape and have some fun.

It’ll be nice to join in on the virtual tasting tonight – to get myself out of the packing and preparing mode I’ve been in all week, getting everything in order for my next out-of-town, (or should I say, out of country) adventure.

In just a couple days, I’ll be starting my transoceanic journey to the Mediterranean coastal city of Murcia, Spain.  Having been to Spain before (Barcelona and Ibiza), I can say with full confidence that Spain is one of my favorite countries in the world.  The food, wine, culture, scenery, history and people are simply brilliant, marvelous and magnificent.

Casa de la Ermita
Gnarled and knotty vines at Casa De La Ermita – Jumilla | photo:

Murcia (pronounced Murthia), is situated along the Mediterranean coast, south of Alicante and north of Cartegena – in the Costa Blanca area.  A red wine known for high tannins, red berries and gamy, earthy qualities, Mourvèdre (also known as Monastrell) is Murica’s prized red wine grape.  We’ll be focusing on Mourvèdres while visiting three different wine regions near the city of Murcia: Jumilla, Yecla and Bullas.

With my unfamiliarity and curiosity of these regions, I’ve been surfing the internet attempting to scour up as much information as possible about the areas and wineries we’ll be visiting.  Surprising me the most during my research is the terrain in some of the vineyards, where vines seems to majestically grow and thrive with just rocks and boulders beneath – an incredible contrast to the Willamette Valley’s moist soils and grasses that usually need no irrigation.

The architecture of the wineries in Jumilla, Yecla and Bullas remind me a lot of the style of buildings commonly seen in Alexandria, Egypt, where I lived for several years.  Not surprising since both Alexandria and Murcia are located on the Mediterranean and offer warmer than average climates; especially, in the summer months.

Bodegas Bleda
Bodegas Bleda – Jumilla | photo:

Some of the many wineries we’ll be visiting include Bodegas La PurismaSeñorio de Barahonda, Bodegas Bleda, Casa De La Ermita and Bodegas Luzon – to  name a few.  It’s just all so exciting, and I can’t wait to bring my readers next weeks Wine Down Special from SPAIN!!

Also, keep up with my adventures as I visit Murcia, Yecla, Bullas and Jumilla on my award-winning wine website,  As usual, all of our local wine events can be found right here on Eugene Daily News’ Wine Down Eugene!


Leave a Reply

Previous Story

Russell in all-star game

Next Story

Single vehicle injury accident blocks road in Bandon

Latest from Firehose