Thursday, July 12, 2018

Viento Winery

100 Pacific Northwest Wineries





Sure, why not?  Today I begin a second Blog within a Blog.  I started "100 California Wineries" several years ago, but only got to Number 11 before we abandoned ship and moved to Oregon.

Happily, the wines up here in the Pacific Northwest are excellent and my collection is growing.  This summer I am concentrating on crisp dry whites since the temperatures are soaring.  Paired with grilled salmon, a Chicken Caesar salad or shrimp scampi, life doesn't get much better than this.

  Please join me as I wine taste my way through Oregon and Washington in the years ahead.  Maybe this time I will actually make it to one hundred.


1.  Viento Winery




      Viento is located at the west end of Hood River, Oregon, on Country Club Road.  The attractive building with big glass windows can be seen from Interstate 84 and for the past three years, every time we drive by, I turn to my travel buddy and say, "We really need to go there."

Well, last weekend we did.



The flight included one sparkling wine, two whites and three reds.  The winery was especially proud of their 2016 Retro Riesling because it had recently been highlighted in Wine Enthusiast as one of twelve Rieslings to try.  As the editor put it, "It's a pungent take on the grape, with a piney aroma and massively concentrated fruit.  Peach, apricot and papaya flavors come into play, with enhanced acidity."   Don't you love it?  In my vocab, a wine is either "good" or "bad."  

I asked the young man who was pouring if I could try the Pinot Gris and he gladly gave me a sample.  It is my "go to" wine whenever I dine at the Riverside in Hood River.  I have fallen in love with its dry, crisp clean taste.  Okay . . . maybe I do have more to say than "good" or "bad."

We ended up buying two bottles:  The Gruner Veltliner and of course, the Pinot Gris.


The man behind Viento is Rich Cushman, a native of Hood River and a wine maker for over 30 years.  He owns a small vineyard next to the tasting room, but also has vineyards in The Dalles and in Husum, Washington.

The tasting room is open Friday to Monday from 12 to 5.  It's a lovely room--classy and modern and filled with sunlight.  The place was packed last Sunday afternoon, but even so, I felt we were given undivided attention by the young man who answered all our questions in great length.

Viento Winery--a great start to my 100 Pacific Northwest Wineries Tour!








   

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