We were certainly honored and elated to be invited the the Hawks View Cellars 2012 La Baleine Release party “The Whale”. We have tasted Hawks View’s wines at several events around town but have never had the chance to visit the winery as they were only open by appointment only (Tasting room info below). So when a last minute invite came across our email it was on. Themed as The Black & White Affair we knew instantly we needed some fresh threads to attend. After searching and searching we found the perfect LBD for Tiffany just in time to get ready and get on our way. We raced home and got ready as we did not want to miss a thing!
As we meandered up the long winding drive way to the winery we pulled into valet parking, WOW this place is first class. As we exited our vehicle, we were quickly directed to the red carpet were the paparazzi was waiting. Wow seriously were are we, I thought we were the paparazzi! Then as we entered we were graciously greeted by the cellar manager with two glass of the 2013 Oregon White Pinot Noir “The Unicorn” yes that is right, I said “white pinot noir”.
Making our way out onto the patio, we enjoyed horderves with the beautiful weather of the day. We quickly understood why the founder named this winery “Hawks View” as we gazed over the horizon of the Willamette Valley as the sun warmed our skin. As we walked through the doors onto the balcony of the Fermentation Hall we were in aw of the grand facility, black linens, polished tanks and an array of glass made for a dramatic scene.
After being seated, we had the chance to hear Co-Founder A.J. Kemp and Wine Maker Adam Lee talk in detail about the history of the winery and the inspirations behind the wines. Most interesting was the dialog about the history of the wines and the conception of the unique names of the wines. We got to hear more about there mysterious white pinot noir “The Unicorn”, how is this possible. In the last few years there seem to be a trend brewing with wine makers producing white wines from red grapes. This may seem impossible, but with the pinot noir varietal having a white flesh and red skin, Hawks View has mastered there technique for this stunner. Then the star of the show the 2012 La Baleine “The Whale” a big red wine a homage to A.J.’s Kemp’s larger than life father. The story goes, that the life long Oregonian Jack’s large stature could be felt as he entered the room, as La Baleine can be tasted on the palette.
For the dinning experiance Oregon Craft Cooking’s Chef Matt Howard knocked it out of the park with a three course spread. First we nosh on spring greens , heirloom radishes & carrots, creamy feta, Oregon walnut strussel, with an English pea vinaigrette. Second was the pan seared wild caught pacific NW halibut, Meyer lemon preserves, and a spring ratatouille with La Baleine braised cascade beef, Willamette valley french prairie brie potato puff, and kale salsa verde. Thirdly for desret a wonderful plate of buttermilk carmel truffle rhubarb creme brulee, caramelized pinot noir sugar chocolate chip cookie, and an amazing chocolate chip cookie topped with Jacobsen Stumptown Coffee Sea Salt.
Later on the very down to earth wine maker Adam Lee made it over to our table. I was very interesting to hear Adam speak about his life as a wine maker in California and in Oregon. Adam spoke about Hawks View’s differences in climate and terroir in the different AVAs. Adams continued commitment from since the conception of the winery until now to producing Hawk’s eclectic and quality wines really shows.
Hawks View Cellars‘ tasting room is now open to the public every Saturday and Sunday from 11am-5pm for guests to taste their signature wines and experience the beauty of Hawks View’s estate vineyard. There is a$15 tasting fee, waived for La Baleine members and their guests. Please call ahead for groups of 5 or more. Private tastings are still available by appointment Monday-Friday, please call (503) 625-1591 or schedule an appointment online.