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Learn About Lumos Wine Company, Cardwell Hill Cellars & Harris Bridge Vineyard

Guest Author | 02/08/2018 | Breweries, Wineries & Distilleries, Itineraries, Winery

Step into the heart of the scenic Willamette Valley and experience Oregon Wine Country the way it’s meant to be.

The Heart of Willamette Wineries' small boutique wineries are family-owned destinations that reflect the natural beauty and diversity of the Willamette Valley. Nestled in the foothills of the Coast Range and Marys Peak, our sustainable vineyards enjoy the some of the most favorable grape growing conditions in the valley.

Lumos Wine Company

Dai Crisp, owner, grower and winemaker and his groovy wife, PK McCoy, launched the Lumos Wine Company (map) in 2000. Dai grows all of the grapes in his wines using only natural fertilizers and without the use of chemical herbicides or systemic fungicides. He’s been farming vineyards this way for 20 years. This philosophy of using a natural approach with minimal intervention also drives the wine-making.

The estate vineyard and tasting room, nestled in the foothills of the Oregon coast range, are just 15 minutes west of Corvallis. The 100-acre farm, once the heart of the H bar H dude ranch, is family-friendly and the perfect spot for a picnic. Dai and PK would love to see you out there! Visit their big ol’ historic barn, where you can taste their award-winning, sustainably-grown wines and take in what could be the best view you’ve seen all day. (Call for reservations, though, please: 541-929-3053.)

Cardwell Hill Cellars

Cardwell Hill Cellars, a boutique-sized, family-owned winery, lies in the shadow of Mary’s Peak. The vineyards of Cardwell Hill Cellars (map) are located on a south-facing slope, which catches the afternoon sun and the winter rains. Dan and Nancy Chapel, who came to the area to fulfill their dream of producing quality Pinot Noir in the bucolic Willamette Valley, purchased the property in the year 2000.

The family business now bottles between 5,000 and 6,000 cases annually. The production includes Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Rosē from Pinot Noir, Blanc de Noir and a Reserve Pinot Noir. The Chapels are dry farmers, and the vineyards are certified sustainable by both Salmon Safe and LIVE (Low Impact Viticulture and Enology). All Cardwell Hill wine is produced from grapes grown on their vineyards.

Their tasting room is open daily from 12pm to 5:30pm. Dan and Nancy would love to see you visit them!

Harris Bridge Vineyard

Nathan Warren and Amanda Sever founded Harris Bridge Vineyard (map) in 1999. Together, they produce Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris dessert wines, liqueurs and brandy, tend 3 acres of grapes, and host concerts, dinners and other events just west of Philomath, Oregon.

Freezing the harvested fruit, then patiently pressing the whole clusters, makes their dessert wines. The resulting juice (only about half the yield, leaving behind the watery ice) is concentrated and rich, with sugar levels around 40 brix. It has a deep color from the long pressing of the skins and the high level of oxygen exposure at this early stage of the wine-making process.

This rich must is then fermented, giving it all the complexity that the process and yeast allow. A key difference in these sweet wines is the acidity due to the earlier (earlier than most dessert wines) harvest, which brings out the varietal character and fruitiness, so they are surprisingly balanced and not cloyingly sweet. Harris Bridge is currently processing their first liqueurs and brandy and will soon be offering tastes and bottles at the winery.

Each bottle of dessert wine is adorned with a small piece of paper with a short story written on it. Many of the stories offer a glimpse into the beauty and history of the valley as well as a chance for people to take a moment as they enjoy the wine and appreciate the story. Sarah Norek, the namesake for Sarah’s Stories Pinot Gris and the resident writer, has a way of painting a picture with her words and many other releases now have her writing attached as well.

For Nathan and Amanda, this winery and vineyard is a place for friends to gather, ideas to be shared, food enjoyed, and wine savored. Bring a picnic any weekend, May through November, noon to 5pm, and enjoy the covered bridge and Mary’s River nearby.

Article by Tom Johns of Emerson Vineyards. Keep up with Corvallis news, events and happening by signing up for our email newsletter.

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