We're honored to be featured in a new book by Susan Gehringer, knitting and food aficionado (and a wine club member!). Her book Northwest Knits and Eats features five wineries in the Pacific Northwest, each with a paired recipe and knitting pattern. It's a fun book, filled with fun knitting patterns, delicious recipes, and several fantastic wineries from Washington and Oregon; we're so excited to be one of them!
Susan's theme for the Torii Mor chapter was the coast. The book features a beautiful shawl pattern and a delicious salmon dinner paired with our 2011 Olson Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir, perfect for a seaside dinner at the Oregon coast.
You can buy the book from Susan's website, Grist Creative and be sure to stop by our tasting rooms for a special book signing and knit-a-long! Join us at the Dundee tasting room on Sunday, Oct 2, 5-8 pm, and Thursday, Oct 20, 5-8pm, in Woodinville.
And in celebration of this fantastic new release, we're featuring a special recipe from the book!
This delicious rice pilaf will pair nicely with salmon, chicken, and of course a glass of your favorite Torii Mor Pinot Noir!
Wild Rice with Cranberries from Northwest Knits & Eats
1 c. wild rice
2 Tbl. butter
½ c. sweet onion, finely chopped
2½ c. water
½ c. dried cranberries, chopped
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. cracked black pepper
zest of ½ lemon, minced
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Toast wild rice in a pan over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, remove from heat and place in bowl, set aside.
Melt butter and add onion, cooking until translucent.
Add rice, water, cranberries, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender, approximately 60 minutes or as instructed by the package directions. During cooking, add more water if needed to keep rice from scorching.
When rice is finished cooking, stir in lemon zest and lemon juice.
craving more? get the book at www.gristcreative.com
There are a million reasons why every home cellar should have a few single vineyard Pinot Noirs. Not only are they a unique addition to your cellar, they're the sort of wine that can easily elevate a weeknight dinner or the perfect pair for a fancy dinner party. With a chameleon-like ability to pair with most any event, single vineyards should be a necessity in your cellar. Today, we're highlighting five reasons why you should have these special gems in your home cellar.
And what single vineyard wines does Torii Mor make you might ask? We have a great variety! Whether you love the funk of the Alloro, the bold Olalla and La Colina, or the ever-changing Nysa, we have something for you.
It's been one year since we started our blog for Torii Mor. We've had so much fun sharing our inspiration, our antics, and special sneak peeks to you all year long. Today we're doing a roundup of our favorite blog posts from the past year.
We've had a variety of posts on this blog, from wine pairings to vintage reviews, from event details to gift guides, we've posted a little bit of everything.
One of the most loved blog posts was our Halloween Wine and Candy Pairing post. Who doesn't love an excuse to enjoy Halloween candy and wine together?
And we can't the vintage posts. Oregon is special for many reasons, but something that makes our wine so distinct is the variety our vintages bring to every bottle. We detailed the 2013 Vintage and the 2014 Vintage last year!
And of course, we had to do a few travel posts for out of towners. Get Outside in the Willamette Valley offered ideas for a variety of activities to explore everything the valley has to offer.
Every vintage has its challenges, its thrills, its perks, and its cons. Some people would say to focus on vintages, others would say to focus on the producer and not worry about the vintage.
No matter how you spin it, vintages can give you a clue about the wine you're about to drink and can help you better understand where the wine came from, how it was grown, and what the winemaker did to get it to your weeknight dinner. As well, digging into each vintage can be a fun exercise, because you can learn a bit more about the area the wine is from, how vines grow, and how a vineyard is managed and kept healthy.
The 2014 vintage was one for the books. Unprecedented weather and yields made 2014 a vintage hailed as the "vintage of a lifetime".
So what made this vintage so epic for Oregon wine?
Numerous factors go into each vintage: climate, daily weather, rain, wind, sun, heat, cold. For 2014, the stars aligned and whatever could go right, actually did.
Everything started early, due to warm days and warmer than usual nights All the major milestones (harvest, bud break, verasion, etc.) were several weeks early due to the warmer nights which allowed the grapes to ripen fully earlier than if the nights had been cooler. These warmer nights were what actually broke the heat records, rather than the daytime temperatures.
As well, there was a lack of disease pressure. Oftentimes, certain weather patterns can make vines more susceptible to various diseases, which of course, are a concern. However, in 2014, the vines were safe from diseases, which was one less thing for winemakers to worry about as they prepped for harvest.
Harvest began early in the valley, during the first week of September and was finished in more places before the first week of October. Here at Torii Mor on our Olson Estate, we started harvest September 12 and finished October 10th due to our higher elevation.
The 2014 vintage was a vintage of high quality and high quantity. If you were to ask a winemaker what problems the 2014 vintage presented, most of them would say there wasn't enough space to ferment all the grapes they brought in from their vineyards! Our Olson Estate Vineyard brought in 25% more grapes than estimated!
As these delicious and beautiful 2014 wines start to roll out, snatch them up. They are a special vintage and worthy of a spot in your cellar.
The bright, warm days of summer make way for a variety of fun experiences. In the Willamette Valley wineries stay open late, put on exclusive parties (like our White Party in August!), or host tours of their properties and vineyards.
But there is another must-do winery activity that makes for a memorable event: a picnic.
Charming, simple, and refreshingly elegant, a winery picnic elevates a simple wine tasting trip to an even better experience. Not only do picnics mean delicious food, but there's something about a picnic that brings out happiness and cheer. Add in the sunshine, and you have a blissful afternoon ahead of you.
But what makes the perfect picnic? Here are our top tips for a winery picnic to take your picnic to the next level.
Top Tip #1: Pick your place.
There's a reason we have a phrase with the word location in it three times: location, location, location truly makes the difference for a memorable picnic. And you won't find better locations than in the Willamette Valley. Especially with the views...depending on your vantage points you can see Mt Hood, Mt Jefferson, the three Sisters (on a VERY clear day), and the entire valley at your feet. Breathtaking? Yes. Memorable picnic viewing? Most definitely!
For wineries with spectacular views:
Top Tip #2: Bring water...but leave the wine for the winery.
One of the joys of picnicking at your favorite winery is enjoying your picnic while also sipping your way through a flight of wines. Which makes picnicking at a winery a little bit easier. The drinks are already prepared for you! Just bring water for the group, and a non-alchoholic beverage if you have little ones or non-wine drinkers in your party and you'll be set to go.
Top Tip #3: Bringing your own food is a great idea...but so is taking advantage of local eateries.
If planning and packing your own picnic seems daunting, never fear. Wine country is full of eateries and delis offering food to go. With so many good options, it's almost easier to grab your food and go straight to your picnic winery!
Our favorite grab-and-go eateries:
Top Tip #4: No need for a blanket...enjoy a table!
Most wineries have space outside to enjoy a picnic lunch with your tasting flight. No need to bring a blanket, sit on hard ground, or worry about ants getting into your food. Enjoy a table with comfy chairs and let your picnic worries fade into your glass of wine.
Top Tip #5: Bring Napkins
We don't need to explain this one, do we?
What are your favorite places to picnic? We'd love to hear!
Social Media and Marketing Assistant
Today we're bringing our winemaker, Jacques Tardy, on the blog to give us a quick tour of what's happening in the vineyard and the winery during the hot days of summer. Enjoy!
Things have progressed rapidly in the vineyard since bud break. Bloom which usually happens mid-June was finished by the first week of June.
Because of a slight lack of pollination due to the heat (and a few days over 100F) at the end of May and early June, some flowers didn’t get the chance to open up. Now we have what is called “Hen and Chicks”, with normal size berries and smaller ones that will not swell to full size, limiting the yields but adding a concentration to the wine.
I have not seen any disease in the vineyards, despite the mildew friendly weather. This cool down we have experienced since mid-June is welcome by all, including the vineyard crew, and the vines (Pinot Noir doesn’t really like high heat). Hopefully, it will allow for longer hang time to allow flavors to develop and for a delayed harvest, after last year’s unusually early harvest.
While I was vacationing in France late-May to early-June, our assistant winemaker, Jon, was busy getting the 2014 Pinot Noirs and some 2015 whites ready for bottling and brought in the truck to bottle them the first week of June. All is well that ends well…it turns out he didn’t really miss me or need me (maybe just a little?).
Summer brings plenty of time to dig into a new book with a glass of wine close by. Here are our recommendations for a great summer read...you might even learn something new too!
|Wine in Words by Lettie Teague - The Wall Street Journal wine columnist brings her wit and charm to this book containing a series of essays focusing on five words: acidity, aroma, balance, structure, and texture. While you won't become an expert reading this book, you'll definitely learn how to sound like one. An enjoyable read for newbies and long wine lovers alike.|
|Hungry for Wine by Cathy Huyghe - For the wine lover and world traveler combined, Hungry for Wine will take you on a journey around the world through the lens of a glass of wine. Her essays are a relaxing read, perfect for a summer's day by the beach or pool with a glass of wine in hand.|
|Fed, White and Blue: Finding America with my Fork by Simon Manjumdor - Manjumdor decides whether or not to become an American citizen by eating his way through the country. Visiting Farmer's Markets, restaurants, hunting, fishing, and fully taking part in the varied experiences our country offers, you'll learn not only about the food of our own country but a bit about the people too.|
|Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave - For the fiction lovers, this tale of family business and family bonds is the perfect poolside or beachside read. The complexity of wine and the complexity of relationships blend in perfect union in this book about wine, growth, and the relationships that make and break us.|
|A Natural History of Wine by Ian Tattersall and Rob DeSalle - Written by a paleoanthropologist and a molecular biologist, this book on the history and science of wine is perfect if you've enjoyed wine for a while and want to know a bit more about the intricacies of how wine actually goes from roots in the ground to a drink in your glass. No science degree required.|
What will you be reading this summer?
Social Media and Marketing Assistant
The month of June brought the dire need for white wine, so we showed off each of our white wines and a recipe pairing for each on our social media accounts all month long!
We featured our 2014 Pinot Gris and our 2015 Rosé which both sold out by the end of the month! We still have our 2014 Pinot Blanc, 2014 Viognier, 2014 Riesling, and our newly released 2014 Chardonnay all available for purchase, as well as our 2015 Pinot Gris!
And don't worry, if you missed the recipe pairings, we've rounded them all up here for you. Get your taste buds ready!
You can find them online at the links below or you can print them out. See below for more details.
Each recipe was created by our resident chef Daniel Mason! He has cooked at restaurants all over the world and brings years of experience to our wine pairings. Be on the lookout for more recipes from him soon.
For our 2014 Pinot Gris, pair this Hazelnut Creme for a decadent dessert.
Pair our 2014 Pinot Blanc with your favorite fish in this dish.
Have you ever tried Bacon Jam? Give it a try with our 2014 Riesling for a real treat.
For a perfect summer dish, pair these Coriander Crusted Scallops with our 2014 Viognier.
If you got your hands on our Rosé, try this delicious Salmon Tartare for a beautiful and colorful pairing.
And for a late summer dinner to impress, look no further than our 2014 Chardonnay and this Smoked Salmon Risotto.
To get a printable PDF with all of these recipes, click here!
Social Media and Marketing Assistant