Our visit with Dan Warnshuis, founder and winemaker at Utopia Vineyard and Winery, highlighted our trip to Oregon last month. We could immediately see Dan’s passion for the vines, the fruit and winemaking. We could have listened to his stories all evening, as we tasted his outstanding Utopia wines that feature elegance and bright acidity. He opened seven bottles for us, ranging from 2013-2018. We find it very appealing that many of Dan’s older wines are considered new releases. And our time at Utopia was extra-special because we stayed at the vineyard’s beautiful, secluded log cabin, listed on airbnb. Read on for details.
Of course, we know about Domaine Serene, the gorgeous Oregon winery renowned for world-class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. But we had never visited before. So when we arrived in June, we reveled in spectacular views, stunning wines and exceptional hospitality. We immediately understood why the Domaine Serene brand is synonymous with luxury, elegance and quality. And our experience was epic, thanks to our passionate, knowledgeable and friendly sommelier Pao Morgenstern. Read on for details.
Certainly, our enjoyment of warm weather whites increases every year. Until recently, our palates preferred Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris/Grigio. But these days, we also appreciate the beautiful Sancerres and Picpoul from France, in addition to the refreshing, wallet-friendly Turbiana grape from Lugana, Italy. Most importantly, there are so many wonderful wines to explore this summer. For example, here are some that we have tasted from Washington state, Oregon, California, Italy, France, Armenia and New Zealand.
Avignonesi is the largest vineyard in Italy that produces vegan, organic, and certified-biodynamic wines. Located in Montepulciano, Avignonesi’s portfolio features almost two dozen wines, in addition to Grappa, olive oil and honey. We recently tasted seven mini-samples including Chardonnay, Rosato, Sangiovese, Merlot and two excellent red blends. Our favorite? Avignonesi Grifi 2017. All but one of these wines are distributed in 37 states in the U.S. Read on for more details.