Terroir: a sense of place; the soil, climate, slope, weather and many other factors that may influence a wine – or a day’s travel?
Day one of our long-awaited vacation, saw us exit the Interstate amidst a sudden downpour of rain – the first rain this area of Oregon has seen in months. We had planned to drive a section of back roads that would take us past several of the Umpaqua region’s wineries. The rain poured down and at every corner we bemoaned the fact that we couldn’t really appreciate the beauty of the area – the sky had opened up and we seemed to be on the verge of the great deluge.
We decided to make one actual winery stop and we chose the Becker Vineyard – no regrets there, folks. A short drive up a picturesque and winding road took us to the wine tasting room. We were greeted by Peggy Becker coming toward us, smiling warmly and accompanied by her very large part St. Bernard and part black lab dog named Mueller – no lie, this dog was as big as a small pony – 160 pounds! Peggy ushered us into the wine tasting room and treated us like royalty. We could have tested all the wines but we aren’t big fans of red so we chose two of their very popular varieties for tasting – the 2011 Dog’s Drool – a very dry red (fruit forward, cherries, and soft tannins) and the 2011 Pinot Noir Rose (strawberry, refreshing crisp finish). We fell in love with the Rose and promptly bought two bottles. One of which we are enjoying as I write.
If you are ever in this region of Oregon please visit Peggy and Charlie Becker – they are one of only three Oregon Artisan Family Wineries – you won’t regret the trip and hopefully it won’t be pouring rain. Their testing room has the sweetest little balcony overlooking the vineyard – the rain kept us from trying it out but maybe you will get to sit out there in the sunshine and enjoy a sip of a wonderful wine.
So – what does this have to do with being a writer? Well – I learned a new word today – terroir. Always good for a writer. Peggy made me think about a wonderful, earthy, red-haired woman who might be a great character in any number of upcoming stories. All and all – not a bad writer’s day.