The Stoller Family Estate Gastronomic Tastings can be arranged with a two-week notice, but Michelle Kaufmann, Stoller Group communications director, says the winery is flexible. ##Photo courtesy of Stoller Family Estate
MSR Provisions reveals a spread of Soter-spiced fried chicken and delicious sides, including chicken liver toast. ##Photo by Michelle McSwain

Wine + Dine

Private pairings for every palate

By Annelise Kelly

After a long year of takeout in front of the TV, a light glimmers at the end of the proverbial tunnel. We can dine out — with caveats, of course. And we can dine with people we don’t live with — again, with caveats.

While we’re hardly out of the woods, the pendulum is swinging slowly back to a touch of normalcy in the hospitality industry, and many of us are excited to break bread with new faces in new places.

If you’re ready to blow a little of the money you’ve saved on dining, entertainment and travel over the past year, consider celebrating with a visit to one of the many Oregon wineries that offer culinary flair. Imagine settling at a table with a few close, vaccinated friends and reveling in a shared, wine-focused meal.

We’ve assembled a list of wineries that craft dishes to specifically match their wines. Some are full-fledged meals, others are tantalizing tastes. All are fixed price and fixed menu, so there’s a festive atmosphere, and you can trust that you’ll have the right wine for every bite.

Most wineries currently require reservations for wine tastings, as well as for most of these gastronomic experiences. Seating is often limited, so plan ahead. Expect services and situations to change as our circumstances unfold, so check with each winery for the latest updates.

So get dressed up and go out for some gourmet gallivanting in Oregon wine country.

Antica Terra, Dundee

Antica Terra welcomes parties of six or less for their Collective Tasting, which, according to Stefan Czarnecki of Black Tie Tours, “leaves guests raving.” The wines presented include their own wines along with a rotating selection of inspiring bottles from around the world. This is a rare chance to sample Willamette Valley products in the context of other wines which your hosts consider notable for grape, technique or oenophilic achievement. Antica Terra Chef Timothy Wastell composes seasonal food to complement the wines.

$95 per person. 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., Thursday–Sunday.

Durant Vineyards, Dayton

For two great tastes that taste great together, schedule the Estate Experience at Durant Vineyards. After a guided tour of the Durant Olive Mill and the adjoining olive orchard, savor both wine and house-pressed estate olive oil, presented as flights and thoughtfully paired with small bites. A private host guides guests in comparing various elevations, clones and vintages of the Durant Estate and helps them explore the magical dynamic of how wine, food and olive oil complement one another. Parties each have a private host for this one-on-one curated experience.

$300 (table of four or less); $75 per additional person. All day, daily. Six-person maximum.

The Side-by-Side Flight and Chef’s Pairing crafted by Ponzi culinary director Kyle Resienauer. ##Photo courtesy of Ponzi Vineyards

Ponzi Vineyards, Sherwood

Kyle Reisenauer, Ponzi Vineyards culinary director, creates exquisite small bites in the Chef’s Pairing to go with the wines featured on the Side-by-Side Flight. Both food and wine rotate monthly, showcasing the savory serendipity that prevails when culinary components are strategically married with beautiful wines. Expect local, seasonal ingredients expertly composed and beautifully plated, providing a feast for the eyes and palate.

$35 per person. All day, Friday–Sunday. Six-person maximum.

Sokol Blosser, Dayton

Sokol Blosser Winery welcomes groups of two to eight guests for the Farm and Forage Tasting. The experience begins with a splash of sparkling wine and an amuse bouche, followed by a six-course tasting menu by Chef Travis Bird corresponding with six wines, ranging from current releases to special library selections. Some culinary ingredients are foraged right on the property, such as mushrooms, nettles and salad greens; other elements are sourced from local purveyors. This “very intimate and excellent” meal, according to Czarnecki, has a maximum capacity of 15, and they can seat groups separately.

$155 (discounted for club members). 6 p.m., Saturdays, April–June. Private evening bookings for parties of six to eight people also available.

Soter Vineyards, Carlton

Soter Vineyards represents simply one endeavor on Mineral Springs Ranch (MSR), a 240-acre Biodynamic farm thriving with vegetables, fruit, flowers and heritage livestock. Seasonal farm-to-table menus reflect the holistic philosophy of the winery and farm, with most ingredients sourced right on the property. Chef Sara Hauman crafts creative menus and dishes rich with diverse textures, flavors and preparations for the MSR Provisions Tastings. This guided culinary experience changes weekly.

$125 per person. 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., Friday–Wednesday. Six-person maximum.

St. Innocent, Jefferson

Making wine that integrates beautifully with food is the passion of winemaker and founder Mark Vlossak. A visit to St. Innocent offers a few casual ways to enjoy both food and wine. The Sip & Savor experience presents a flight of five wines with four small bites — the fifth wine is to sip while you wait for your dish to arrive. The winery also offers a small, focused menu, A Perfect Pair, matching a dish with a glass of wine. You may also arrange a private lunch or dinner on site, whipped up and hosted in the cellar by the winemaker.

$25 per person (Sip & Savor); $28/$15 (A Perfect Pair). Seatings available throughout the day.

Stoller Family Estate, Dayton

Stoller Family Estate welcomes visitors to dine on five small plates carefully conceived for mutual enhancement with five estate wines. Guests are seated inside the brand-new Experience Center overlooking the vineyard. For the Gastronomic Tastings, Stoller grows ingredients in their own culinary gardens and also partners with local purveyors who provide seasonal ingredients. The menu changes constantly and is custom curated to complement the accompanying flight of Stoller wines.

$125 per person. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily. Six-person maximum. 

Willamette Valley Vineyards, Turner

Visit Willamette Valley Vineyards for an intimate and educational gourmet experience, the Pairings Wine Dinner. The house chef relies on fresh, local ingredients to inspire a decadent four-course meal, thoughtfully partnered with elegant wines. Hear tales about the history of the vineyard and Oregon wine, along with tips for successfully selecting wine for food, from a knowledgeable winery ambassador.

Priced per table. Contact winery for dates/times available. Four-person maximum.


Web Design and Web Development by Buildable