I took a wonderful tour last Friday to Carlton, Oregon as part of the 2012 Wine Blogger’s Conference. It was blazing hot. After an impromptu police evacuation of our bus holding up traffic (all staged but all very cool) we were escorted to the grounds of a tiny organic winery called Carlo and Julian.
The wines were great. The people behind the wines were great. But two things left impressions with me once I got off the bus. The first was the father of the winery’s owner who does not normally live on the property but was visiting for a family reunion. He greeted us, struck up a conversation with me and literally, arm in arm, escorted me down the driveway. It was then during our conversation that I realized how deeply proud he was of his son and how excited he was to help host our group. It was touching. It reminded me of how proud my father is about what I do.
I did not take a picture of him. I thought it disrespectful to take out my camera while we were talking.
The second impression was the property itself. Not the vines, but the land surrounding them. Hops climbing up winery walls, pond ducks, roaming sheep and punctuating it all was the centrepiece…the grand oak tree. The star of the show. In the heat it embraced the group of 50, gifting them with shade. It could have accommodated 100 people with shade to spare. Coloured mason jars hung from her.
This terroir felt wise, calm, grounded. You knew the wines would be. You could feel it all around you.