State Wineries Toast Start of Tasting Season

The Register Guard (Eugene, OR), May 30, 2005 | Go to article overview

State Wineries Toast Start of Tasting Season


Byline: Jim Feehan The Register-Guard

LORANE - Red, white and library?

Studious wine connoisseurs will tell you that library wines are older, vintage wines from a limited production - including some of the pinot noirs and cabernet francs made available for tasting Sunday at Chateau Lorane.

Memorial Day weekend is the time many wineries across the state offer wine tasting, food, music and special events.

"It's the traditional start of tasting season for us," said Mike Fix, owner of RainSong Vineyards Winery in Cheshire, one of at least nine vineyards in Lane County expected to uncork some bottles during tasting hours today.

Frank and Sheila Blair of Noti make a point of hitting as many wineries as they can during the Memorial Day weekend.

On Sunday, Frank Blair was discussing the subtle differences between the 1999 and 2001 Chardonnay produced by Chateau Lorane, one of Lane County's 16 wineries.

"The '99 is softer, more fragrant. A nice sipping wine," he said.

Sheila Blair said she's partial to Chateau Lorane's marechal foch, which she described as sweet, peppery and full-bodied.

"It's great with lamb, beef, as well as sweet chocolate or fudge," she said.

Chateau Lorane kicked off the wine-tasting season with its 11th annual fine arts and wine festival. Visitors sampled the winery's pinot noir, chardonnay, Riesling, zinfandel and other blends while dining on baguettes, fruit cheese plates and summer tomato salad.

In the picnic area overlooking the chateau's man-made "Lake Louise," Jeanie Thompson of Jean's Fudge of Lorane sold brownies, chocolate-dipped strawberries and chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies. And fudge, of course. A crowd favorite was the tiger stripe fudge, a confection made of vanilla fudge with chocolate, peanut butter and butterscotch chips.

Dee Gauthier-Barab of Cottage Grove, a music and theater arts student at Lane Community College, sampled a 2003 Huxelrebe, a dry white wine, while studying her lines for the college's upcoming production of "Singing in the Rain. …

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