What is your dream wine vacation?
What is your dream wine vacation?
Likely the wilds of Alaska or deep in The Rockies with no communication to the outside world, surrounded by grandchildren, and a case or two of wine for sustenance, of course. Not romantic but the truth…
Pete Buffington, Abiqua Wind Vineyard
My dream vacation would be Burgundy, for obvious reasons, but we also have ties there: Kramer Vineyards has hosted students from Burgundy and, in 2010, Kim worked harvest at a well-respected winery in the region. Nimes, Czech Republic, just north of Vienna, is another wine region where we know people. Italy is also on my list. I don’t know anyone who has been there and wouldn’t want to go back.
Getting away long enough is my problem. So much to see! My work is unique and others don’t know how to do what I do — always fires to fight when I return — I have never been to Europe because of that.
I would love to return to New Zealand someday. We went in 2006 for a cool-climate conference in Christchurch — we spent ten days driving on the wrong side of the road. While we were there, we missed the south part of the South Island where there is a lot of wildlife as well as the southeastern part of Central Otago.
Trudy Kramer, Kramer Vineyards
My dream vacation already happened. In May 2007, my wife and I met Luis and Isabel Fernandez at the Indie Wine Festival in Portland. The Spanish couple was seeking one Pinot Noir producer to add to their distribution portfolio in Spain. I thought it was a crazy thing to sell wine in Spain when we were barely making enough for this market. After three days of persistence, I agreed to sell them 50 cases the following year.
In 2011, we arranged a work trip to Spain where we met Luis and Isabel in Madrid. They had arranged a lunch at Lagrimas Negras in the America Hotel — the single best meal we’ve ever had in Europe — followed by a Spanish Wine Press dinner at Bokado, which started at 9 p.m. and concluded with everyone smoking and ordering gin and tonics at one in the morning.
The next day, we went to the market in central Madrid before traveling to Luis’ hometown of Placensia, near the Portuguese border, where tourists don’t typically visit. That Sunday evening, the small town was lit up, people everywhere eating, drinking and moving freely among the small tapas bars. We experienced yet another great meal.
We then drove north to Bilbao and held a tasting at Enoteca el Rincon del Vino. Isabel translated while I described our little corner of the world in Yamhill, Oregon. I was almost embarrassed by how well they all treated us and the respect they had for the wine, considering how hesitant I was about selling them the wine; had I not, we would have missed the best wine trip of our lives.
Steve Lutz, Lenné Estate
My dream wine vacation would be to revisit the Douro region of Portugal, traveling from vineyard to vineyard on the Douro River. At night, stay in one of the haciendas in the foothills that line the river and for entertainment enjoy a Portuguese meal complete with Bacalao, the national fish of Portugal, and a beautiful white Douro. Later in the evening, enjoy a White Port and Tonic drink famous in Oporto. The next day, sail to the next winery, crush grapes with my feet while an accordion-playing band entertains me with sips of red wine and cheers our group on.
April Yap-Hennig, NW Wine Co./Soléna/Hyland