Sweet Cheeks Winery, just a short drive from Eugene, has some phenomenal selections - with a killer view! For Frugal wine buyers, they have many options that won't break the bank either. Cheers!
I used to think that wineries sort of slowed down during the winter months, the perfect time for a well deserved break between harvest in the fall and bud break in the spring.
A few weeks ago, I spent the afternoon tasting future releases of the much talked about 2012 vintage. From Sweet Cheeks and William Rose wines taken straight from the barrels and tanks, to samples poured right out of the test bottles in the lab, I had a unique glimpse into some of Oregon's future wines.
Winemakers have worked long, hard hours picking, pressing and fermenting grapes. Now is the time when winemakers give a big sigh of relief - the yeasts in the fermenting tanks are working their wonders while the Pinot Noirs go to sleep in oak barrels.
The crisp Fall air seems to be arriving early this year in the Willamette Valley, or maybe I'm just not ready for the hot summer days to disappear; either way, the cooler temperatures and sporadic leaves with gorgeous hues of yellow and red are here.
The blue skies and 84 degree temperatures on Friday, the 13th of July, had the Local Lunch Gals outdoors for the entire day. Maria and Jennifer, along with a high school friend visiting from Idaho, had a fabulous lunch on the patio at Oregon Electric Station. I wasn't able to join them, but later in the afternoon, a friend and I went to Sweet Cheeks Winery to take in the view of the valley while chilling out with a glass of Sweet Cheeks Pinot Gris and indulging in a delectable meal.
As they always say, summer arrives in Oregon around the 4th of July, and this year was no different. We've had sunny and beautiful days since last Wednesday, and it's that time of year where I just can't seem to wipe the smile off of my face.
I've got quite a bit to look forward to in the next seven days, and my jam-packed schedule tells me I'll be enjoying Willamette Valley whether the sun will be shining in a beautiful blue sky or hiding behind an overcast sky blanketed in clouds.