Maysara is truly a gem in what is now an incredibly good Oregon wine scene.
Moe Momtazi and his wife Flora started this vineyard and winery under the most improbable of circumstances. They fled their native Iran during the revolutionary period of the early 1980s, literally escaping the country on motorcycles while being chased by the authorities, making it into the United States by filing for political asylum. Flora was 8 months pregnant.
Once in the US, they settled in Texas where Moe had previously obtained his engineering degree and Moe joined an engineering firm. He eventually created his own engineering firm and ultimately sold it which allowed them to move to Oregon and pursue their passion: to make great wine.
A glass or Rosé on a summer’s day.
Every year about this time, the craving starts. As summer starts showing signs of arrival, our palates turn to something a bit lighter and more refreshing than the dependable, comforting reds that have gotten us through the winter. As the weather warms up, Rosé is calling and we’re more than happy to pick up a glass and answer.
Our first visit to Fort Beren’s Winery in Lillooet, British Columbia in 2021 was nothing short of a revelation.
A most unique terroir.
Not only was it surprising that this remote location was capable of growing grapes, but in the right hands, those grapes could be turned into high quality wine. When owners Rolf de Bruin and his wife Heleen Pannekoek needed a new winemaker, their search lead them halfway around the world to an even more remote place in South Africa.
Every wine enthusiast can tell you what their ‘a-ha’ wine is…the one that forever changed them from drinking wine, to tasting wine.
The wines we tasted virtually with Jean-Nicolas & Jay.
Once you’ve been bitten by the wine bug and delve down the rabbit hole of seemingly endless varieties, styles and regions; it’s that much more impressive when a wine can still force you to stop whatever else it is you’re doing and take notice. Our first sip of Nicolas-Jay in 2020 did just that, and we knew that we had to get the story behind it.
In 2020, the Laurelwood District was designated its own American Viticultural Area (AVA), a sub-appellation of the Chehalem Mountains AVA. It is known for having some of the highest concentrations of Laurelwood soil that blew in somewhere between ten and fifty thousand years ago (aka windblown Loess). Of the approximately 25 wineries that call that AVA home, none will make you feel more welcome than the ‘Wine of the Potter’.
The Yamhill-Carlton Estate Vineyard.
Our first visit with Résonance Wines took place in 2019. It was a fantastic visit and we vowed that we would go back every year. Well, pandemics have a way of changing plans on you. But finally being able to return after 3 years, we were very well-rewarded for our wait. Résonance is going from strength to strength and is asserting itself as making some of the best wines in the Willamette Valley as well as having one of the best tasting rooms to visit.
It takes a special place and a brave dream to make two nomads finally stop moving and, quite literally, put down roots.
Guy Insley & Ximena Orrego [Source: Atticus Wine]
Ximena Orrego and Guy Insley of Atticus Estate Vineyard & Winery were both born abroad and have lived in (and travelled to) multiple countries. Their aspiration to own a vineyard when they retired became a reality sooner than expected, and in a place quite unexpected.
A perfect pairing. [Source: Abbott Claim]
While it’s becoming somewhat common to see a Burgundian House establish a wine project in Oregon, one of the State’s newest winery owners is surprising initially, until you dig a little deeper. Beck Family Estates chose the Willamette Valley to launch Abbott Claim, its first winery outside of South Africa. Their reputation for a commitment to sustainability coupled with their choice of Alban Debeaulieu as their winemaker is already proving to be a wine match made in heaven.