We are now at the end of the Governor-declared Oregon Wine Month. The good news is the fun does not have to stop here. What have you done to partake? Not to boast or brag, but I have personally attended five wineries and one main event. Although my wine trolley extravaganza last weekend was loads of fun and there are bits I would love to share, I write this entry today to showcase one winery in particular.
Del Rio Vineyards & Winery holds a very special place in my heart, not to mention my taste buds. Being a Southern Oregon native, I am spoiled with not only all seasons of the year but also an array of places to explore during all of these yearly seasons. Growing up in Gold Hill, I spent the majority of my summer hanging out on the Rogue River. Whether it be rafting, dirt bagging (yes, this was a thing), rock jumping or simply lounging, I was in one of two river spots. One of the two spots was the historic Rock Point Bridge, only yards away from the doorsteps of Del Rio. Little did I know that a decade later, I would identify this location as one of my top favorite wineries in the Rogue Valley. This says a lot considering our wine country is now being compared to Napa and our region is booming.
Not only do they offer both an inside (tasting room and an amazing barn space) and outside (extended patio and picnic space) venue for their visitors to gather, but a birdy told me they recently planted 100 new acres with 12 different varietals. So, what’s not to love about this family oriented and family owned business? Great wine, check. Expanding yet still local, check. What else?
My love for Del Rio started with a past connection but has grown to something much more. This winery strives to serve and please their clients on a daily basis and is lucky enough to have two amazing women by their side along the way. Lindsey and Courtney reached out to me last month and invited me to attend their first ever Oregon Feast dinner. I was honored for the invitation at first and even more excited when I saw the menu and event partners! Great people and events, check.
My fiancé and I kicked off our date night with two new (to us) things: live music by Jeff Kloetzel and Gold Rush Brewing (specializing in hand-crafted cider). We were able to sit back and visit with strangers who ended up being our long-lost friends by the end of the night. We sipped, swirled, laughed and nibbled. We listened to the story of how this hosted dinner idea came about, and learned that Courtney and Lindsey were inspired on their trip down south to San Luis Obispo, California. Focusing on diversity and richness, they wanted to host a night to showcase what Del Rio is all about: being down to earth. Well ladies, you did exactly that. It was a perfectly gorgeous night and it couldn’t have been better!
The dinner was catered by Fresco and was exactly how it sounds: fresh, clean, delicious and locavore! The menu consisted of a wild mushroom stuffed beet tortellini soup, Harry & David poached pears with organic salad, Del Rio Cabernet Sauvignon braised beef shanks with potatoes and basil, a Fresco baguette, and ended with a tiramisu trifle. The wine pairings were on point and the décor was as Pinterest as you could imagine. Rustic meets elegance. Thankfully, the lovely Ashley of Gypsy Jane Photography was there to capture every moment of the night.
If you want to join Del Rio for one of their events, check out their calendar because they have a lot to offer. Every Friday night from June to September they have summer concerts scheduled, multiple wine club parties and one specific event I was extremely excited to see on their website. Boogie nights coming in October? You better believe I will be at that '70s themed night full of dinner, dancing, and hilarious outfits. So, join me in celebrating Oregon Wine Month, not just in May, but all year long.
Do you have an idea or event you want to share with Bonnie Ryan for her Out & About column? Send her your thoughts.
Do you have an idea or event you want to share with Bonnie for her Out & About column? Send her your thoughts.