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Domaine Serene Tasting Room

I visited Oregon’s Willamette Valley in July, 2011, and had one of the best ‘wine times’ of my life hitting up a number of prominent wineries.

I did a photo essay for Palate Press, blogged each day here about the trip, and wrote a newspaper column about the experience. Part of my wine-writing work got left in a folder for way too long. I had pitched a full video about the experience to Palate Press but they never bought into the idea. So I have some really interesting interviews with prominent winemakers and others who make Willamette a special place.

Obviously, those pieces have set too long. But the information is as fresh today as the day I first heard it. I’m going to share a number of those over the next two weeks. I had a long chat with Don Lange of Lange Vineyards, Don Hagge of Vidon, the two delightful ladies who own/make and entertain at the Republic of Jam and more.

One of our most enjoyable stops on that trip was Domaine Serene. That winery consistenly scores big points from the two leading national magazines and wine critics for its supurb Pinot Noir. The price points are a bit higher than the already significant prices of most Oregon premier Pinot. But you have to taste the wines to understand.

Talking and touring with Serene’s Willett

The entry level is “Yamhill Cuvee” at $45, though you might find it slightly lower at retail stores. What you learn when you visit vineyards is how premium producers take extraordinary care in every step of the winemaking process.

During my July visit we met Lucas Willett, Hospitality Director, who gave a great tour and fabulous tasting of the Domaine Serene wines. He also shared what was my first white Pinot Noir. Yes, you read that right.

These videos I’ll share over the next two weeks are largely unedited or raw. It puts you in the tasting room and vineyard in a way that a slick edited piece doesn’t. I decided to leave the vids as they were shot.

Below is Willett talking about the care Domaine Serene takes in making its wines and also about Serene’s very unique white Pinot Noir.

Send comment or questions to: hewitthoward@gmail.com