When you're not craving a smooth pinot noir from Oregon's North Willamette Valley, consider its summer companion: the rosé. Coming next weekend in conjunction with the Rose Festival, the North Willamette Vintners are hosting a Rosé in the Rose City tasting event to show off the best rosés of the region.
Eighteen North Willamette Valley wineries will be showing their rosé varietals. What makes North Willamette rosés so special is that they're made from the same grapes as pinot noir, whereas most regions' rosés are made from the hot grapes of syrah, cabernet, merlot, sangiovese, or blends. Says Suzanne Hankins, the executive director of the North Willamette Valley Vintners and organizer of the event, rosés aren't always the bright pink wine you expect. "Rosés actually appeal to a very diverse palate," she says. "Most tend to think that rosés are very sweet, but many of them can be quite dry."
While the wine region is best known for its pinot noirs, Hankins is excited to show off the unexpected varietal. "It's a varietal that's often overlooked," she says. Some wineries to be on the lookout for: Kramer Vineyards, Patton Valley Vineyards, Apolloni Vineyards, and Elk Cove Vineyards.