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connect 2016 61 o r e g o n Willamette Valley Tour september 2015 Pinot Noir from its home in Burgundy France to California Ger- many New Zealand Chile and even Argentinas Patagonian desert this most challenging of grapes attracts the intrepid winemaker the world over. We tasted the acknowledged greats and uncovered some hidden gems in the Willamette Valley. Most delightfully we had the pleasureofinductingsevennewIrishandIrish-Americanwinemak- ers and proprietors into the Society Trisha Rogers of R Stuart David OReilly of Owen Roe Scott Flora of Native Flora Dick Shea of Shea Vineyard David Hansen of ArborBrook Tom Fitzpatrick of Alloro Vineyard and Eleve Vineyard and David Polite of Carlton Hill. Our home for the tour was at the four-star Allison Inn Spa in Newberg Oregon wine countrys premier luxury destination resort surrounded by vineyards ower and herb gardens and spectacular views of Parrett Mountain the Chehalem Mountains and the Dundee Hills. OurrsteveningwasspentinthecompanyofIrish-bornTrisha Rogers founder and partner at R Stuart Co with her friends Rob and Maria Stuart. They founded the winery in 2002 having worked together with one of the great pioneers of Pinot Noir in Oregon Dick Erath of Erath Vineyards. Trishas background in science analytical chemistry and literature with years involved in the wine and food industry led her to write the exuberant and eye-opening The Zing thing a way of seeing and understanding wine and food anew. We were delighted to receive autographed copies of her book. Chef Carmen Peirano Ferguson prepared a stellar meal paired beautifully with R Stuart wines at Nicks Italian Caf where the food movement began in Oregon. Founder and owner Nick Peirano welcomed us to his marvelous restaurant. The following days passed swiftly with visits to JK Carriere Winesledbyitstalentedandmuch-respectedwinemakerandowner Jim Prosser. JK Carrieregraceful and age worthy Pinot Noir stag- gering views wild-eyed winemakerclassically Oregon Owen Roe named after the famous Irish patriot led by the delightful Belfast- born David OReilly whose wines enjoy a near-cult following then on to the small and secluded vineyard Native Flora to dine with owners Scott and Denise Flora where the vistas entice as much as the wines not least their ravishing sparkling wine. Tom Danowski head of the Oregon Wine Board kindly joined us for dinner and provided insight into wine developments in Oregon. Friday morning saw us setting out early for a tour and tasting at Domaine Drouhin Oregon Burgundys rst venture into the New World from where they now produce exquisitely elegant wines in the Burgundian style but with Willamette Valley boldness. Assistant winemaker Arron Bell and Sales Director Ashley Bell made our visit memorable. Then on to neighbors Domaine Serene for a tour and tasting lunch guided by Ryan Harris President of Dom Serene. 1 2015 1 2