Wine Tasting and Olive Oil Tasting

I hope that everyone has had a Happy Thanksgiving.  We went to family had had a wonderful time.  In fact, the whole week has been wonderful except for emergency purchases of a new washer and computer (all in one week, but in time for Black Friday deals.)

Wine TastingWe had two fun trips to Wine Tasting and Olive Oil Tasting at some wonderful vineyards and olive groves right here in Oregon.  We are members of a wine club at a local winery, which has wonderful wines.  We go there frequently for lunch and wine tasting.  The olive grove was new to us.  I had frequently thought that olives could grow here, but only recently learned of commercial olive groves nearby.  And we did both last weekend.
The Willamette Valley Vineyards are right here in Salem.  They sit atop some of the hills on the edge of our town.  The vineyards cover the south and western slopes while the winery commands a breathtaking view of the Willamette Valley.  The winery hosts wine tasting, lunches and events (like the grape stomp a couple months ago.  This time they had wine tasting with some of their best wines.  We went for lunch and the wine tasting.  Here are a few pictures.
The first image is of wine bottles on one of the tables with rainy vineyards outside.  The wine tasting and banquet room were filled with people.  Everyone gathered around the wine tasting tables to taste the different wines.  My last image from the winery is our own table with the wonderful cheese and fruit plate that we had for lunch.  Of course, we took home several bottles of wine, buth for ourselves and to take for Thanksgiving dinner last Thursday.
Olive Oil TastingThe following day we went for olive oil tasting about a half hour away at an Olive Grove and olive mill at the Olive Mill at Red Ridge.  We got to see the groves and olive oil presses (not at all like the old stone mills)  If you think that olive oil all tastes the sam, you are sadly mistaken.  Fresh olive oil has a spicy, green taste.  We had learned this in Italy last spring.  Here, we were offered three different types to taste and each was quite different from the other.  Afterward we had the opportunity to have some brochette with tampenade and some wine.  Of course, we bought both some olive oil and olive tampenade.  (The tampenade is now gone.)
Here are several pictures from the Olive Mill.  The olive groves are very young.  The oldest trees are only 7 or 8 years old.  Still, they have been able to make enough olive oil to sell.  They have lost some trees, since olive trees are only moderately hardy to cold.  Their trees were developed primarily in Spain, which  are a little more cold hardy than those in the Middle East.  They showed us the mill and olive production equipment.  See the fresh green olives.  Next you see the olive press.  Next to the tasting room.  They laid out tables with the three different types of olive oil available for sampling.  The table was lovely.  People gathered around to taste the olive oil and to have some olive snacks with brochette and wine.  Back at home, we feasted on the olive tampenade topped with more olive oil and some seasoned salt (all of which we purchased at the mill.)  I think that we will need to do this again soon.
We loved the olive tampenade, we are ready to go back for more after only one week.  The olive oil we bought, is disappearing rather quickly, too.
I hope you have enjoyed this brief visit to these wonderful places.  We had a wonderful time and are certain we will go back.

19 Replies to “Wine Tasting and Olive Oil Tasting”

  1. Visiting the winery sounds like a great time! Tasting the olive oil would be new for me. I have been to wine tastings. Oregon is a beautiful state, I wish we had more time this past summer to visit some of the wineries. There are so many! Have a great week ahead.

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    1. Hi Eileen,

      Thanks for stopping by. It was indeed a really fun weekend. Olive oil tasting is fairly new to me too. This is only my second time. The first was this last spring in Italy.

      Yael

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    1. Hi Betty,
      Thanks for stopping by. I didn’t know you could really taste differences in olive oil either until I had the opportunity to taste fresh olive oil. Wonderful.

      Yael

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  2. Hi Yael! Olive oil tasting sounds fantastic! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog.

    p.s. the picture of the balloons was taken from my backyard; living in wine country we are lucky to see them every weekend.

    Happy holidays!
    Rhonda

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    1. Hi Rhonda,

      Tanks for stopping by and thanks for your comment. I have lived in one place or another that has been wine country for most of my life, but I really envy your having the added benefit of a weekly balloon show. Lovely photo.

      Yael

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    1. Hi Pam,

      Thanks for coming by. Olive oil tasting is interesting. I never even thought about it until we went o Italy and were at a winery that did both olive oil sating nd wine tasting.

      Yael

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  3. Here in the Okanagan Valley of Canada we have a huge wine industry and often visit different wineries near our home. Family & friends visiting from other parts of Canada quite enjoy the tours.
    Too cold here for olive trees but an equally great idea.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. I would love to come up to Canada and do some wine tasting there as well. It is sure wonderful to be able to do these things in our more northern climes.

      Yael

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  4. What a wonderful post, Yael–I’d love to go to the winery and olive oil mill sometime! I didn’t know they grew olive trees here for making oil, I will definitely have to check that out. I had a mini-dwarf olive tree for a few years, but we had crazy weather and eventually it died. I appreciated hearing from you today, especially about how you winter over your fuchsias. Maybe I need to rig up a little light over the fuchsias in the garage. I have had major problems in the past trying to winter them over inside, because even though I sprayed them with insecticidal soaps, they always were covered in pests, which then decimated my seed starts in the spring. I thought if I could winter them over out in the garage it would be a good idea. I heard from Mindy, who said all of her fuchsias she put in the garage died, so it’s starting to sound to me like that light is the key to making it work. I appreciate hearing about how you did it, Yael! Also glad you enjoyed the potato pancake recipe I shared, but isn’t it true that for latkes you have to use matzo meal? I wasn’t sure about that. Take care, and have a fantastic week!

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    1. Hi Athena,

      Come on down. We have quite a few really nice wineries here in Salem and in surrounding areas. The winery we went to is about ten minutes from my home; while the olive grove was in Dayton, about a half hour away. There is one olive grove in Keizer. I have not been there, but have bought their products….selections of olives. They are all wonderful. I believe they also express olive oil, although neither have sufficient quantities of olives yet to do anything large scale. Our fuschias usually last about three to four years wintering them over in the garage. I have not been as good as you about repotting them, however. Maybe I could extend that. I wish I had room in my house for seed starts in spring, or a place with sufficient light for that matter. I usually make dashes to spring sales for any veggies I have room for. But now I have two raised beds. Yay!

      Yael

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    1. Hi Emille,

      Thanks for coming by. It was really fun. It was not too cold here that day, but it was windy and rainy. Yesterday we had a record high of 61 in Portland, and pretty warm here. The rain is coming in now, though.

      Yael

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