This is a must-see if you are a fan of “tasting.” Not only is there awesome wine tasting, there is salt tasting, honey tasting, olive oil tasting, a great gift shop and a cool plant nursery! Visiting is a memorable experience, suited for families as well.
Durant Vineyards makes some of the most exquisite wine I’ve ever tasted. Part of it is the red soil of Dundee that produces seductive, smokey wines. Part of it is their 40-year-old vines. Part of it is the low case production on all their wines, making for an intimate expression of the fruit, site and winemaker. Overall, all of the wines on their flight were exceptional, with the characteristic ahi-tuna-esque pepper for the Pinot noirs and a refreshing lemon zest in the Pinot gris.
The 2012 Durant Vineyards Pinot Gris was balanced and had a distinct refreshing lemon essence. It was nice and refreshing, with a crisp finish. The 2011 Durant Vineyards Ava Lucia Pinot noir had a mouthfeel of silk and powder. My favorite of the flight was their 2011 Durant Vineyards La Paloma East Pinot noir, which was bright and smooth, with nice acid and structure. It was definitely a stand-our Pinot noir and one for the books. I bought a bottle of that to bring home and cellar for a while. It was just so well-made I was impressed the second I smelled it. Finally, since their case production is so limited, we were able to try a club-only release on the flight; the 2011 Durant Vineyards La Casita Whole Cluster Pinot noir, which had a nice bright finish and lots of purple fruit.
Once I was thoroughly enamored with the Durant wines, we paid a visit to the gift shop and nursery of Red Ridge Farms, truly “A Destination for the Senses.” Located right next door to the tasting room, you can take a walk through, in our case, pots of lavender before reaching a picturesque gift shop filled with olive oil tasting, salt tasting, and more samples than you can imagine. It’s a super cool place to shop and discover new things.
The land of tastings (aka Red Ridge) is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit them at 5510 NE Breyman Orchards Rd. Dayton, OR 97114