Looking at my photos now, I’m realizing I took a lot of landscape shots because I couldn’t get over the visual appeal of Willamette Valley. I have been to Napa Valley several times, which is also strikingly beautiful, but Oregon ups the ante with ominous clouds, skyscraping trees, and sweeping farmland that betrays its fierce rural character, despite being just 30 miles south of Portland. Tastings are often at the discretion of the winemakers—Patricia Green‘s website: “We do not have a tasting room nor regular tasting hours, but we try to be accommodating, especially for enthusiastic individuals.” I imagine Willamette Valley is what Napa was 20 years ago (winemakers joke that their “old vine” grapes are from the early 1980’s), and here’s hoping it stays that way, even if it’s a secret worth passing around.
Here I was on a mailing list for the last year for a farm dinner outside of Portland, Oregon, and I had neglected to look in my own backyard (don’t tell the locavore police). It was my Pilates teacher—between administering punishing sets of stretching (I am officially not flexible)—who told me about a farm dinner happening outside San Diego at Sage Mountain Farm, known for its sustainable and organic produce.