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Oregon Dinner In The Field Series Kicks Off

Tuesday, June 02, 2015


As June marks the beginning of wedding season, logic dictates this must also be the season of wedding anniversaries. Need an anniversary gift? Share a romantic dinner with your partner in the picturesque setting of an Oregon farm or vineyard.

Started in 2013, The ‘Dinners In the Field’ series is organized by Portland’s catering company Field and Vine. The evening begins with a farm tour followed by a six course meal with local wine and spirits. Imagine white tablecloths and strings of rustic lights under a lush grove of apple or peach trees. 

Most evenings feature a guest winery, brewery or distillery, such as Deschutes Brewery or Stoller Vineyards. In the event of rain the dinner is hosted in a barn or under tents. Dinners are on Saturday evenings, and sprinkled throughout May to December. Two ‘Dinner In the Field’ soirees are scheduled in June. The first is June 13, at St. Josef’s Vineyard and Winery where guests will dine on local lamb sugo with pork belly pinot noir and cacao nibs. St. Josef’s winery is one of Oregon’s oldest.

On June 27 guests will explore Pete’s Mountain Vineyards then feast on mushroom bruschetta w prosciutto and confit short ribs. For reservations and full menus, visit fieldandvineevents.com.  Consider buying a gift card for someone you love. All inclusive tickets are $85 per person. 

An urban farmer and master gardener, Amélie Rousseau writes for fellow explorers and eaters of the plant kingdom. It's a jungle out there. 


Related Slideshow: 4 Multi-Tasking Moms Making Great Wine in Oregon

Sensitivity. Intuition. Collaboration. Listening. Multitasking. Words that are often associated with women – especially moms.  In the winemaking industry, these traits are particularly helpful and these four women winemakers have them in spades.

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Pam Walden

Pam Walden, an urban winemaker and owner of Willful Wines, fell into the wine business backwards.  After a promising career at the BBC was derailed by layoffs, this London native found herself waitressing in a small restaurant in France's Dordogne region. One day, a budding winemaker – an American – walked in.  Pam fell in love and followed him back to Oregon, supporting his dream of opening his own winery.  

Helping out in the cellar, working with the grape-growers, and assisting with blending gave Pam the hands-on training she needed – and a passion for making wine.  Now with her own label, Pam just signed a lease on a new production facility in Portland that will allow her to make all of her wine in town, close to her sons, Cato and Samson, rather than splitting her efforts between Portland and the Valley.  

This month, Cellar 503 is featuring Pam’s Jezebel White, a crisp, aromatic white wine with just a hint of sweetness. Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris are co-fermented in a stainless steel tank and left on the lees for a gorgeous mouthfeel.  It’s excellent on warm summer days or with spicy Thai food!

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Rachael Martin

For Rachael Martin, winemaker and co-owner of Red Lily Vineyards, winemaking is truly a family affair.  Rachael’s husband Les worked in the hospitality industry for years and on their frequent travels to Europe they fell in love with Spanish Tempranillos.  When they found the future home of Red Lily just outside of Jacksonville, Oregon, they knew what would come next. 

Rachael, Les, and their two kids moved to the small town and built Red Lily – named after the rare red flower found in the neighboring Siskiyou Mountains.  The site was perfect to indulge their love of Tempranillo, including  Life of Riley, a Tempranillo blend named for their son Riley; and Lily Girl, a Tempranillo Rosé, named for their daughter Lily.  

Our current favorite is their Red Blanket blend  -- made with 80% Tempranillo and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, giving this opulent red an exotic spice aroma with underlying dark berry and hints of coffee.

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Anna Matzinger

Like a lot of moms, Anna Matzinger found herself stretched too thin. Two kids, a full-time job (as winemaker at Archery Summit), and trying to start Matzinger Davies Wines with her husband, Michael Davies (winemaker at Rex Hill).  

Trying to do it all wasn’t working for her or her family.  So, in 2013 she left her day job to focus on her kids, Otto and Elsa, and her passion, Matzinger Davies Wines.  And it’s working out great – both for Anna and her family; and for all of us, who get to taste the fruits of her labor.

Anna and Michael’s Gorgeous Savvy Sauvignon Blanc is just that: gorgeous.  It opens with aromas of citrusy lemon peel and key lime pie, with a beautiful floral and herbal quality balanced out with a hint of brineyness that makes this white mouth-wateringly satisfying.

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Dana Blizzard

The vines at the family farm had been left to tend themselves, overgrown and ignored.  So when Dana Blizzard successfully tried her hand at amateur wine-making, she knew what would come next.

She took over the property, replanted some vines and drastically pruned others.  Now, Blizzard Wines is building a reputation for great wine – though it’s still made in the garage of Dana’s parents’ house.  A new production facility and tasting room are coming soon. 

Her two young children, Carmen and August, often accompany her to their grandparents’ house and are already figuring out how to start grandpa’s tractor.  Dana’s love of wine and love for her family has led to the promise of a multi-generational winery.  

This month, Cellar 503 members are enjoying the Blizzard Wines Syrah, made in a traditional French style and co-fermented with a small amount of Viognier to bring out the beautiful floral nature of this big, red wine.


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