6 Oregon Mulled Wine Tips for September

Where August is lazy and foggy, September is too ambitious. September is back to shopping and the search for cardboard boxes marked “sweaters”. My advice? Fight him for as long as possible.

To help you on that front, I offer these six tips for engaging the stars, stomping on the grapes, helping others, and most importantly, enjoying a glass of wine in your declining garden.

Party with the stars at Brooks Wine

What’s more fun than snuggling up on a blanket while gazing at the stars and learning fun facts about astronomy? Doing it while drinking good wine is what.

Brooks Wine hosts theoretical astrophysicist Ethan Siegel for a night of star gazing and learning. Siegel, famous for his kilt and expertise on the Big Bang Theory that doesn’t feature Jim Parsons, is an entertaining speaker that will hold your attention.

Tickets are $60 each, which includes snacks and pours of astronomy-themed Brooks wines like Ara Riesling and Rastaban Pinot Noir. Although the winery accommodates picnic blankets and camping chairs, dogs and people under 21 will not be permitted. Order tickets on the winery’s website.

7:30-10:30 p.m. September 3, Brooks Wine, 21101 SE Cherry Blossom Lane, Amity, brookswine.com or 503-435-1278.

2020 Ermisch Cellars Ribbon Ridge Pinot Noir ($45, 13.7% alcohol by volume)

Here’s a fantastic Pinot Noir that flies under the Willamette Valley wine radar because it’s made in Bend, Oregon.

It’s bursting with aromas and flavors like black-headed raspberries, black tea, lemon zest, and a salty note as refreshing as an ocean breeze. It also has that rare combination of high acidity and robust tannic structure. Highly recommended.

elixirwinegroup.com/oregon/ermisch-cellars or 541-388-5330.

Celebrating Hispanic Roots

Seven Oregon vineyard owners and winemakers with shared Hispanic backgrounds are uniting to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, which begins September 15.

Each winery offers special wine selections from September 10 to 30 to commemorate this event. 10% of all sales will be donated to Ahivoy, a non-profit organization providing educational and professional opportunities for Willamette Valley winery stewards.

The wines are available for purchase on the Celebrating Hispanic Roots website.

Participating wineries are Alumbra Cellars, Atticus Wine, Beacon Hill Winery, Crimson Vineyard, Gonzales Wine Co., Parra Wine Co. and Valcan Cellars.

Participating wineries are also teaming up with Chef Javier Santos to host a six-course dinner at Subterra Kitchen and Cellar on Sunday, September 11. Tickets are $160, and Chef Santos will donate a portion of the proceeds to Ahivoy.


2021 Stargazer Lily Verdejo ($28, 13.3% ABV)

Red Lily Vineyards in Jacksonville has had great success with this Verdejo, a white grape perhaps best known in Spain’s Rueda region. Aromas and flavors such as white peaches, tangerines, lemon-lime zest, honeycomb, rosemary and toasted almonds are accompanied by a medium-bodied mouthfeel and surprising acidity.

Based on this effort, wineries in the Applegate Valley should consider planting more verdejo.

redlilyvineyards.com or 541-846-6800.

Crush grapes in Willamette Valley vineyards

Willamette Valley Vineyards is hosting the 31st Annual Oregon Grape Stomp & Harvest Celebration at their South Salem Hills Estate.

The stomping contest features teams of two: one person stomping the grapes for three minutes while the other catches the juice in a pitcher. The championship event between Saturday and Sunday winners takes place at 5 p.m. on Sunday, September 25.

Weekend champions will win wine, a gift certificate and an overnight stay in one of the vineyard suites. This year, there will also be a grape crushing contest for children 12 and under. Bring an umbrella for that one.

General admission tickets are $25 and team registration is $65.

11am-6pm, September 24-25, Willamette Valley Vineyards, 8800 Enchanted Way SE Turner, www.wvv.com or 503-588-9463.

2021 Scenic Valley Farms Hop Chardonnay ($30, 13.9% ABV)

Winemaker Gabriel Jagle has combined Citra hops and Chardonnay grapes to make a dry-hopped wine that, at first glance, should scare beer and wine drinkers alike. But it works.

With aromas of lanolin, honey, chamomile and lemon curd, I thought I was about to drink a Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley in France. The palace did little to convince me otherwise. Tiptoeing the wine to the edge of off-dry territory with flavors like ripe nectarines, wet rocks and a trace of juniper.

It is worth heading to the tasting room at Scenic Valley Farm in Gervais to try this wine. I’m told Division Wines in Portland will have it in stock soon as well.

scenicvalleyfarms.net or 503-393-6227.

— Michael Alberty writes about wine for The Oregonian/OregonLive. He can be reached at [email protected] For more on his coverage, visit oregonlive.com/wine.

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