7-20-17 Walter Scott Winers and Williamette Valley Cheese

We started the day at Walter Scott Winery.

Sign at entrance

This small producer in the Eola-Amity Hills area of the Willamette Valley. We were there to taste through their current releases with Andy Steinman. Andy and his wife Sue became major investors in the Winery in 2012. We have know Andy and Sue for some 15 or more years having met them at World of Pinot Noir which is held around Janeen’s birthday (March) on the Central Coast of California and then again at various Pinot Noir events in Oregon. Ken Pahlow and wife Erica Landon started Walter Scott wines in 2009 sharing faculties with others until they could have the size and stability to have their own facility. In 2011 they moved to a leased facility in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA. Production has grown from a beginning of 650 cases to over 5,000 now. With the help of Andy (now the CFO) and Sue (legal council to the team), Ken who’s background included working with Mark Viossak at St. Innocent Winery working various harvests at Patricia Green Cellars and a position at Evening Lands Vineyard gives him the background to work the wine making magic to produce some wonderful Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays.

Tanks and interior processing area

A small production area, barrel storage and work space limits their production at this time but there are plans to expand the exterior portion of the facility to allow equipment storage outside – thus increasing both barrel and case storage inside.


We tasted two of the Pinot Noirs – 2015 Sojourner vineyards and 2015 Freedom Hill plus two chardonnay’s Freedom Hill vineyard and X Novo Vineyard.

Andy explaining the wines

We found the wines pleasant but the Chardonnays more drinkable now while the Pinot Noirs need a few more years to mature.






After tasting the wines we had a delightful lunch in McMinnville and then decided to visit the Willamette Valley Cheese plant close to Amity. This small producer is making artisanal cheeses from local dairy cows.

Some of the cheeses they presented.

While a delightful visit there wasn’t any cheese that really said ‘take me home’ but we enjoyed the exposure to alternative cheese taste just the same.

7-19-17 Stoller Day 1 and Recipe Restaurant

It’s been several days since we updated our blog. During that time we left the Oregon Coast and travelled inland to my sisters place in Portland. This was a scheduled stop for laundry duty, pick up stuff we had shipped to her place and get organized for our stay in the Willamette Valley. During our stay with Marilynn, we visited Cindy and Jon where our son Ryan and his husband Chris joined up for a visit. They (Ryan and Chris) are on a 2-week trip, which included a stop in the SF Bay area before joining us at the Cousins Reunion on the Oregon Coast. They are now in Yellowstone prior to heading to Wyoming to visit a relative of Chris before they head to Salt Lake City and home. We won’t see them for several months and not even sure where we will see them again.

This morning, after repacking the car, we drove to the Willamette Valley and more specifically Stoller Winery. We had arranged, through Melissa Burr, Director of Winemaking, to stay on property at Stoller in one of their cottages. This lovely 1 bedroom place is just right for our needs. It comes with a full kitchen, nice living room and bedroom.

Our Cottage at Stoller
The tasting room and lawn overlooking the vineyards.
Lunch and a Rosé at the Stoller Tasting room

Couldn’t ask for a better place to stay.    Prior to hooking up with Madison (who took us to the cottage) we had a lovely sandwich from Red Hills Market and a Stoller Rosé on the lawn outside the tasting room. A nice spot, lovely view and delicious sandwich.

Now it is off to McMinnville and do some shopping for our meals in the Cottage.


Our Cottage at Stoller
.  At one end is the kitchen and the other a nice seating area.
The seating area.


Oysters on the Half Shell
Entrance to Recipe Part Deux

For dinner, we hooked up with Emily Bachand and went to her husband Paul’s restaurant Recipe, part deux.   This small place in Newburg doesn’t have a real kitchen and all the ‘hot’ stuff comes out of a food truck they have parked behind the place.

All the hot items come out of this food truck behind the restaurant.

Paul’s first restaurant, Recipe, had a fire and this place lets him keep going until the old place is rebuilt. When we arrived, I had brought a lovely bottle of burgundy from 2005 – Savigny Les Beaune from Josephn Drouhin but we started off with a lovely Chablis. This parried well with our Oysters   on the half shell, Lemon Wagyu steak tartare and the Torchon of foie gras. We followed this with other stuff which I didn’t write down and a couple of great desserts.

7-14-17 Wine Tasting

Wine Tasting! Something we actually know something about was the theme for the day on Friday with the Family. With an early start, 8:15 AM, we headed out to our first stop at Domaine Drouhin Oregon. This wine producer uses the theme “French Soul, Oregon Soil” as they are from France with a very long history producing Burgundy wines and came to Oregon in 1987 and set up shop. After 30 years they have produced a number of really interesting wines with the focus on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (really Pinot is the main thing in my opinion).

They made up a specific tasting menu for our group!

Our group of 43 folks were met at the winery and taken to an outdoor area with lovely shade trees overlooking the vineyard and tasted through 5 different wines.

All in all a wonderful way to start the morning.

Nice selection of great wines!
Dyane did a wonderful presentation prior to the start of our first tasting.
Stoller Vineyard and our second tasting of the day.

After finishing our tasting, we headed over to Stoller Vineyards for another delightful tasting where we all had a sack lunch from the Red Hills Market.


Cindy, Jon, Janeen and James in the Roco Tasting Room

From there off to Roco Winery and our final spot for the day.

Rollin Soles, Wine Maker and Owner with Chris and Ryan at Roco Winery.

After a leisurely drive back to Gleneden Beach a nice dinner and family sing along was part of a birthday celebration for several of our group.

7-13-17 – A family Reunion

The last couple of days have been focused on family. A gathering of cousins and their kids had been in the planning for the better part of a year. This involved joining three branches of the family on my (Neyman) mother’s side. My mother had two brothers – Ted and Bob. Between them they had a total of 8 kids. These “kids” are my cousins and we have gathered together to catch up, share stories and photos and have a good time.   This includes my three siblings – Georgia, Richard and Marilynn and their grown children and grandchildren. During a head count at dinner tonight, we totaled 47 people!

.  .  David, Georgia, Richard and Marilynn
Jason & Little Miss

Several have come from great distances: Kathee N. from New York state, Bill N. and Jason L. from Virginia, Roy N. parked his boat in Tahiti and flew in to join the group.   All in all we are a great bunch of people. It is really neat to get to know some of the second and third generations who have joined with us here on the Coast of Oregon, the oldest being 78, and the youngest, 2.

Roy, Sarah, Lisa and Rob.  Roy came the furthest.

7-10-17 & 7-11-17 – Coos Bay, Eugene, King Estate, Gleneden Beach

California Gold Bear.

On Sunday, with Janeen driving, we left Fortuna CA, unrecognized sister to famous Ferndale CA (Victorian Gingerbread guardian of Avenue of the Giants, Redwoods Trails), we headed North along 101 coast route crossing the Klamath River Bridge. At each end of the bridge are gold painted bears.

The Golden Bears on the Klamath River Bridge weren’t always golden. Sometime in the late 50’s or early 60’s mysteriously the cement bears on the old bridge would turn golden over-night. Despite efforts of the State Highway Department with buckets of turpentine swabbing off that golden color, overnight the bears would be returned to their golden hue.

Wonderful shrimp and chips
This may have been the best salad Janeen has had so far on this trip.

Midday, we stopped at Gold Beach along the Rogue River for a seafood lunch at the Port Hole Café.  Port Hole Cafe overlooking the Rouge River.

From there more redwoods, road construction and , ultimately ,to Coos Bay , Oregon for the night.

Monday morning, bright and early, we hit the road to Eugene to visit with Cousin Barbara Lee and her husband John Costello who hosted us for the evening.

Janeen, John, David and Barbara

After an afternoon snacks, we went out for a quick tour of the City including a visit to OSU campus, the neighboring town of Springfield (hometown of Ken Kesey author and LSD ‘hippy’ and Matt Groening the Simpsons creator) then an afternoon beverage along the Willamette River at a lovely spot outside McMenamins by the River.

Cousin Barbara Lee in the middle – had to guess, right?

After a wonderful breakfast – thank you John – we headed out on the next day of our adventure.

Our very good (and old) friend Joel raves about King Estate Winery all the time so we had to visit.

The road to the winery winds through the vineyards

Although the winery is about 30 minutes out of Eugene, and not really on our route to Gleneden Beach, it was well worth the extra time to cycle past. It is on top of a hill surrounded by vineyards and rolling hills.






Front of the Winery building

The lavender was in full bloom. Gorgeous!

We started off in the tasting room sampling most of their releases – including some not on the tasting menu.

  Apparently they are well known for their Pinot Gris – which seems to be one of the largest production wines. They also do Pinot Noir, Chardonnay from the estate and Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Syrah and Viognier sourced from vineyards in the Columbia Valley. With an overall case production in the 350,000 range they are a very large producer and distribute to all 50 states and several foreign countries.

Janeen on the Patio at King Estates.

After tasting we went out to the patio for lunch. With a cold bottle of Viognier we enjoyed a starter of warm country olives followed by potato cakes with herb crusted pork belly with jam and herbs and a pulled pork shoulder with apple butter glaze, potato roll, sharp cheddar, coleslaw and sweet potato frites. Everything was quite delicious and, as we so often do, we had them split the items into 2 servings which was plenty.

Warm Olives
Pulled Pork

After lunch we headed back north winding our way through the back roads ultimately getting to the Oregon Coast (again) and route 101 North to Gleneden Beach and The Beachcombers Haven for the gathering of Cousins.

One of the buildings of Beachcombers Haven.

7-8-17 Road Trip to Ferndale and the Coast

Saturday turned into a big circle drive – see the highlighted ‘loop’ below.

We started out in Fortuna and made our way to Ferndale to walk amongst the Victorian storefronts on Main Street and to get a feel for this city. Ferndale contains dozens of well-preserved Victorian  storefronts and homes.

Lovely home on a side street
The corner of this building certainly stands out.
The Victorian Inn has been around a long time.

Ferndale, sometimes referred to as “Cream City”, is known for well-preserved Victorian store-fronts on main street and homes throughout the community, which are also known as “Butterfat Palaces,” due to their construction wherein considerable wealth was generated in the dairy industry. Many of these buildings date from the 1880s.

Part of main street.
The Gingerbread House is now a B&B.
The Public Library

We also ventured into the Ferndale Museum that has various exhibits and artifacts documenting the community.

Ferndale Museum

This included an old switchboard – Pacific Telephone toll board and various telephone devices. All we needed was Lilly Tomlin to be sitting in front of it!

Telephone Switchboard

One of the permanent displays includes a seismograph. This was placed in the building 1962 after a long use at UC Berkeley and has been maintained every since. It continues to operate and record earthquakes from all over the world and the device is serviced on a weekly basis – changing the recording paper and oiling the device.

After walking around Ferndale, we decided to head towards Cape Mendocino. This area of the coast is the westernmost point on the coast of California. The road wound through the forests up and over a couple of coastal mountains and in areas had been washed out. So not such a good road.   As we topped one rise and could see the ocean, the clouds were beautiful as they came in the valley.


The coastline in this area was wind swept and without any improvements as this part of the coast seems to have been forgotten.

Cape Mendocino

A travel magazine has called this area “too lovely to be believed, perhaps too beautiful to last.” It has been recognized as the top “still wild” place in California. The area is the only significant stretch of California without a shoreline highway, and so far has “thus escaped tourism’s aggressive paws.”

Close to the coastline is which is a small town with the claim to fame as the site of the first oil well drilled in California. Not much else there – unless you consider all the area where I’m certain marijuana is grown. Further along the loop road we took was the even small town of Honeydew.


After a quick pit stop, we continued on our travels through more redwoods and beautiful coastal countryside. The only downfall of this overall loop was the road conditions – constantly running into areas where the road has washed out, been destroyed by earth movement and generally it sucked.


7-7-17 Redwoods, Bubbles and Beaches

Today was a travel day – so we backed up and headed out from Beth’s home in Sonoma heading north – to Fortuna. As we had lots of time, we hooked a left on route 128 at Cloverdale and wound our way through the coastal mountains, past redwoods and a BUNCH of different wineries. The views were wonderful and the cooling winds delightful. The only winery we decided to stop at was Roederer – they make sparkling wine.   

Roederer Estate Brut is the first sparkling wine to be produced by the French Champagne house of Louis Roederer. With a 200-year tradition in France, it seemed like a good idea to start a project in the ‘new world’ and they purchased land, planted grapes and started the process in 1982. Over the years various changes have occurred but in large part they have kept to the traditions of Champagne region. Now operated by the son of the founder, Frédéric Rouzaud, four basic sparkling wines are produced. As it was lunchtime, and warm, it seemed fitting to have a bottle of their Brut Rosé Multi Vintage with our cheese, crackers and fruit.


The setting on the patio was nice with a bunch of lavender blooming near us that was alive with bees.

After finishing our lunch, and picking up a couple of extra bottles for later, we got back into the car and headed to Route 1 and the coast. Along the way there were of course large trees, tunnels of trees over the road, beautiful sights to see for sure.

Once going along the coast, again the views were spectacular with clear beaches, rocky shores and cool breezes. Not sure I’d want to be here in the winter months but right now it was lovely.

We are now in our hotel for the evening (altho I think we might go get something to eat) and tomorrow will explore the area around Fortuna and Ferndale.


7-6-17 A Day of Rest and relaxation and Lunch with Friends

Every so often it is critical to take a rest and look back to see what’s happened and to consider the days ahead.  It has been 2 weeks since we drove away from our home in Alhambra.  During that time we have visited with great friends – Claudia in Morro Bay, Pete and Jaynese in Lafayette, Myrt in the Bay Area, my sister Georgia and Liz in Cupertino, Susie in Marin area and now Beth in Sonoma.  At every stop it has been a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with friends, create new memories and have wonderful times together.

Today is no exception – we will be having lunch with our wine making friends Kirk

Janeen and Kirk

and Denise

Denise and David

(WesMarWinery.com – great small batch Pinot Noir) and getting ready for the next push up the coast.

For a late lunch, we met up with our friends Kirk and Denise of WesMar Winery along with Beth


for lunch at a fairly new spot called Gravenstein Grill.     We shared a fantastic bottle of 2011 Chardonnay and a 2007 Pinot Noir both from their winery.  

Soup of the day

After a couple of hours and lots of conversations we had to leave for other commitments.

Tomorrow we pack up our car (which is filled from the back of the front seats to the tail gate) and drive along Hwy 101 to Fortuna amongst the redwood giants. While there, we will explore the coast, Eureka and, who knows, maybe discover something new! From there, staying on Hwy 101, we go to Coos Bay Oregon for a night prior to heading inland to stay with my cousin Barbara in Eugene.

So, stay tuned, more pictures and updates as we move along.



7-04-17 Sonoma Home Town Parade

To celebrate the Fourth of July, we walked down the street to the Plaza and watched the old-fashioned style celebration in Sonoma. Starting at 10:00 a.m. it had marching bands, fun floats and just about anyone seemed to be able to enter the parade.

The start of the parade was very colorful   and of course there was a fire engine    or three, horses   and a stagecoach,    decorated cars,   various floats, a blueberry producer  passing out his crop   and of course a wine trolley.  

I would have to say we had a wonderful time celebrating with the locals around the Sonoma plaza.  

On the historic plaza, there was live music and games all day long along with food, beer, and wine. Of course, at dusk, there was a fireworks show that seemed to go on for an hour!

After the parade, we went with Beth to a neighborhood picnic and met a bunch of folks, drank some nice wines and had burgers.  All in all a wonderful celebration.