Saturday, May 16, 2009

Wild Rivers Coast Wine, Art & Music Festival

I took a little break from exploring the great outdoors today and drove to Gold Beach for this annual festival. What a beautiful day! Warm, sunny, crystal clear and breathtakingly splendid as I drove the 25 miles north along the coast.

As you can see, I arrived way too early, but it gave me a chance to scope it all out, take a few photos before the crowds arrived. Eventually I set about getting into the swing of things, tasting a little wine, having some lunch and listening to a bit of jazz. By the time I left, the place was hopping with people.

Lunch -- a luscious fish taco that left me wanting another....

Jazz. This was the "Word of Mouth" Live Jazz Quartet and I must say, they put out some pretty cool tunes.

And wine..... red, red wine, for me.

OK, I admit it -- clearly my focus was on the wine, not the arts and crafts, and while I couldn't try a wine from each of the 16 wineries, I tried several and can highly recommend these three wines from these two wineries. I apologize for the out-of-focus label (honestly, not the result of too many tastes of the red inside), but both these Cliff Creek wines were superb, as was the Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from Spangler, above. The Cliff Creek cab was sold out but he had a bottle for tasting and I'll be looking forward to the release of their 2006 vintage sometime in the future. Their Claret is a delightful, perfectly balanced Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. the Spangler cab was so yummy I took it outside to linger over for awhile. I'd buy any of these three wines, any day. Since I had to drive back to Brookings, I didn't taste any of the other wines from either winery but I expect they would be equally as well-made.

Southern Oregon wines are not as well-known as the Willamette Valley wines, but because of the rather extreme climate differences, they are able to grow warm-weather grapes that simply don't flourish in the Willamette Valley. I expect that within a few years these wines will be much better-known.

Back to the great outdoors next time!

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