Today's focus will be on the wineries of Dundee Hills. But before we visit this sub-appellation within the Willamette Valley, we'll stop by another winery that's top on our list!  We stopped by their picturesque vineyard on a Friday and were disappointed to find them closed during the day.  This is common for wineries in this area.  Be sure to call ahead before planning a wine tasting tour in Oregon.

As we finished our breakfasts in downtown Salem that clear Saturday, we enthusiastically talked about starting our tastings with the Pinots from Vitae Springs Vineyard.

 

Vitae Springs Vineyard

Vitae Springs VineyardWe found the most beautiful, gnarly vines grow on this property, a cozy home with floral gardens and courtyard area for gatherings creates the perfect setting.  The family atmosphere, peacefulness and hospitality from Joel & Michelle is the most special experience we've enjoyed yet.  A visit to Vitae Springs is an absolute must.

They have a limited production of 650 cases which was great since Sean and I love trying wines we can't find at home.  Joel said they are increasing their 35 acres of production into new areas next year.

We were their first visitors for the day.  Sean boasted about tasting Vitae Springs wines at a Salem restaurant and how we were so eager to visit them on Friday.  Michelle explained that they do open on Fridays, in the late afternoons for happy hour, between 4:00 and 7:00.

We started off our late morning hearing about their parents who were based in the U.S. Air Force in the Mosel Valley of Germany.  It was here that they were inspired to grow grapes once they returned to the States, and as it turns out, they'd be one of the first families to plant in the Northern Willamette Valley with their German cuttings.  Consequently they  have some of the oldest vines in the region.


Tasting List Includes:Vineyard at Vitae Springs Oregon Wine Country

2007 Riesling

2005 Pinot Noir

2006 Pinot Noir

2007 Pinot Noir




One of their favorites Pinots, the 2004, was sold out.  However we were lucky to try their 2005 which is now also sold out. I remember swirling the 05 in a lovely Pinot Noir glass and enjoying the a fabulous nose of cherries and cranberries.  Michelle suggested trying her homemade peanut butter cupcakes with the

Vitae Springs Vineyard

Pinot flight.   Next thing you know, she has a tray of enticing cupcakes  topped with heaping swirls of frosting.  She was right, they complimented the Pinots suberbly.

Next we tasted the silver award winning  06 which was intriguingly complex like the 05.   Then, we sipped their 07 which were surprisingly very different from the others.  The 06 had the characteristics of a summer red wine with fresh raspberry.  There Pinots were beautiful, but I especially enjoyed the flavors of cherries from their earlier vintages.  Although their wines took up a third of our wine luggage;  they didnt' last long at home.

Thank you Joel and Michelle for the delightful start to our day!

Coming soon....the rest of the day visiting Dundee wineries