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Food & Wine

I want you to make note of the date of this post. When you see the 22 photos below, you will not believe they were taken in February in Oregon. For some reason, we are enjoying outstanding weather. Just our luck too, as DT's college roommate, Red, is visiting from frozen Chicago. Red loves red wine, and wanted to spend the day touring Oregon Wine Country. He didn't have to ask twice.

Before heading out to enjoy the beautiful day, I prepared a little nosh:

Just a little schmear with fresh dill, lox, capers and red onion... on a cucumber slice.

Just a little schmear with fresh dill, lox, capers and red onion... on pumpernickel.

Just a little schmear with fresh dill, lox, capers and red onion... on a slice of boiled Yukon Gold potato.

Not a good idea to drink on an empty stomach!

Our first stop was down to our neighbors, Ponzi Vineyards. They produce delightful Pinot Noirs and a lush Dolcetto. DT is particularly fond of Ponzi wines and we serve it often at our house. Imagine our surprise when we saw daffodils blooming outside the Ponzi tasting room. In February. In Oregon.

A little freaky.

Dave is checking his watch. Don't want to start drinking before noon. Flag was up, so the boys began their tasting. Of the three vineyards we would visit today, Red liked the Ponzi pinot noir best. (It is our favorite too... and we bought a case of their wine.)

Ponzi wines

Next stop was to Archery Summit, one of the premier winemakers in Oregon. They only produce pinot noir and only use grapes grown on their own property. They are also one of the few Oregon wineries that have actual caves where they age their wine. If you visit this winery, plan ahead and book a tour to see the facility!

Today, at Archery Summit, we saw this:

Flowering trees. In February. In Oregon.

And here they are again, sampling more of that famous Oregon Pinot Noir. Red and Dave are getting happier and happier.

But not too happy. At $100 a bottle, Archery Summit doesn't give a very generous pour. Archery Summit has a spectacular property and the views were amazing!

The vines have been recently pruned back and haven't started to sprout yet.

But with this weather, I suspect everything is going to be busting-out soon.

It was so nice, we decided to enjoy our wine on the patio.

Look! The photographer stepped in front of her camera!

One can't survive on wine alone. Time for lunch! Of course, we took Red to the Dundee Bistro. It is owned by the Ponzi's and they feature local foods. Today we dined on the outdoor patio. In February. In Oregon.

The boys shared a plate of oysters. The plate was garnished with a ton of freshly-cracked black pepper.

Red ordered a pizza with mushrooms and pancetta.

Dave and I split a Pizza Margherita (tomatoes, mozzarella and fresh basil). The Dundee Bistro version also has oven-roasted Roma tomatoes!

Romaine leaves, apple slices, grapes... if a Caesar Salad and a Waldorf Salad had a baby... it would be this salad. Delicious.

One last winery to visit - Domaine Drouhin. Founded by a French family in 1961, Domaine Drouhin is just above the hill from Red Ridge Farms, the Oregon olive oil producer. (Yes, we now grow olives in Oregon too.)

Mt. Hood (center of the photo)

Today, from Oregon Wine Country, we could see south to Mt. Jefferson and north all the way to Mt. Rainier in Washington State! What a day!

From the main tasting area, we had a view of a private wine-tasting at Domaine Drouhin. Domaine Drouhin is famous for their pinot noirs, and they also produce a non-oaked Chardonnay.

This is Jon and Jodi. We do not know them. You may notice a bit of bling on Jodi's finger? Jon placed that ring on her finger while we were at Domaine Drouhin this afternoon! He proposed to her on the patio. Jodi said "yes".

It was just a perfect day. In February. In Oregon.

Until my next update, I remain, your "ahhh, how sweet!" correspondent.