May 30, 2012

De Ponte Cellars

Dan and I were first introduced to De Ponte Cellars (sounds like Doo Ponte) at The Painted Lady restaurant last year.  Their wine made such an impression, we knew we had to visit the winery at some point.  Their tasting room is in a great location where you could take one day to visit all the wineries on this hill including De Ponte--Vista Hills, White Rose, Winters Hill, Domaine Drouhin & Serene.  De Ponte is now open 7 days a week from 11am to 5pm with a $10 tasting fee. We enjoyed the many areas to sit, relax and sample their wines, and one spot for a picnic lunch with bottle of wine is pictured--super views!   Tasting staff are very nice and hospitable, and well worth the trip.  You will find mostly Pinot noir here, but we did taste a Rose as well.  We left with a bottle of 2009 Dundee Hills Pinot noir.  Kristen & Dan

May 17, 2012

Bethel Heights Vineyards

Beautiful winery on the outskirts of Amity, Bethel Heights Vineyards is a recommended "must go" if you are tasting out the this way on back roads to Salem.  I realized on this trip that I need to steer guests to Amity and beyond as there are fantastic wineries that would take a whole day of tasting.  So here's my recommended route:  first stop at Coehlo Winery in downtown Amity, then head to Bethel Heights (bring your lunch, purchase a bottle of wine, and sit outside and enjoy the amazing views).  Next up, Zenith Vineyard (St. Innocent wines are poured here). Then head back west to Van Duzer (another winery with great views).  Lastly stop in at Left Coast Cellars if you have not had a bite to eat as they have a small cafe inside their winery.  All these wineries are less travelled with smaller crowds, and tasting room staff are hospitable and helpful as you can talk with staff without lots of people to compete with.  Bethel Heights wines were delicious yet more expensive, but worth the trip. We left with a 2008 Estate Pinor Noir (Justice Vineyard).  I would have bought more if I could afford them!   Kristen & Dan