As a founding member of the West Coast Winos, I find it to be my responsibility, nay my duty, to accept any invitations to wineries that are extended to me. So, even though I was slightly ill, I happily headed off to Lange Estate Winery and Vineyard last weekend for their Pre-Harvest party with fellow law students BB and EJ.
West Coast Winos has been to Lange winery before and loved not only their wine but also their hospitality. Ran by Don and Wendy Lange and their charming son Jesse, Lange Winery has been producing award-winning pinot noir in the Dundee Hills since 1987. While their tasting room is simple and not really anything to write home about, the view is spectacular, the wine is delicious and the people are friendly.
The Pre-Harvest party was hosted at the winery and catered by Red Hills Market’s owner Jody, who brought along his wood-fired portable oven. As Jody moved his delectables around in the fire, we chatted about the Dundee Hills and planned future communal living spaces centered around food. He told me he recently pulled his portable oven into his backyard for pizza night and I told him I wanted to become his new best friend.
Who could blame me with all the goodness coming out of that oven? With a very small work-space, Jody was able to create a spread that appealed to all my senses and disappeared as soon as he put it out.
Being besties now, Jody let me get up close and personal with his oven and I was able to capture this amazing shot of his mushroom tarts.
The food was only upstaged by the wine, which was stationed at various locales around the party, enabling us to chat it up with the friendly staff. Winemaker Jesse Lange poured the last three tastings for us – three pinto noirs made from grapes in three different locales – and explained the difference soil and sunshine plays in developing grapes.
Jesse Lange was so adorably shy yet friendly and knowledgeable we all couldn’t help but like the guy. Jody told me they’re neighbors and so I’m definitely moving to that block. Imagine the block parties. I’m not just mooching, though. I could contribute jam.
Before we left, we posed for the obligatory group shot and Jesse Lange ran out with a giant bottle of wine to include in it. We didn’t get to keep the bottle, but at least it made a fabulous photo.
Needing a bit more food, we decided to see what the actual Red Hill Market provided and were lured in by it’s adorable country store charm.
Offering mostly meats, sandwiches and charcuterie style options, Red Hill Market’s food smelled and tasted delicious and the whole place was decked out to be family and kid friendly, a major plus in my book.
The inside was decorated in a vintage farm feel but the outside was more modern and the patio highly inviting, especially on a day like ours when the sun is hanging on to the last remnants of its power over the clouds.
Between the great wine, great friends and great food (and maybe a few Advil Cold & Sinus), I almost forgot I had been sick all week. Dundee is about an hour from Portland, but I’d come back for a Lange Winery or Red Hills Market event every day if I could. For more information for your own tasting misadventure, visit Lange Winery’s blog and Red Hills Market’s website.
Check out all of the pictures from the day: