The Wine Shack’s Summer Winery Series is now in full swing. This summer, The Wine Shack’s tasting room will be the home for a local winery on Saturday afternoons, from 1 to 5 p.m., until the end of September.

For those of you who love Oregon wine, it’s always exciting to talk to the winery staff or to meet the person responsible for your favorite wine. We are honored to have a representative (often the winemaker) visit The Wine Shack and pour four wines for you to taste and purchase.

You may not realize it, but the winemakers love it when customers start asking questions about the wines, vineyards or the wine-making processes. This gives them an opportunity to explain what makes their wineries different from other Oregon wineries. You may find they farm organically, use natural yeasts or they only use fruit from vineyards they own. Whatever the case, this is your chance to meet the winemaker or winery staff member, talk to them about their wines and build a relationship with them.

Here is some information on some of the wineries we will be hosting in the next few weeks:

•July 5, Sokol Blosser: Lee Medina, Sokol Blosser’s regional brand ambassador, will be at The Wine Shack pouring four wines.

Sokol Blosser, in Dayton, has made a commitment to organic farming and sustainable business practices that makes the winery a leader in this type of winemaking. These earth-friendly business practices include earning a “salmon safe” designation for protecting and preserving the salmon’s natural habitat, using 100 percent renewable energy in the winery and recycling as much as they can from the facilities.

Maryann and I support these types of environmentally conscious business practices. Sokol Blosser takes the same care when making wine. They make about seven different pinot noirs, but most recently, Sokol Blosser has become known for its “Evolution” white and red blends. These delicious and affordable “Evolution” wines have really connected with the market. Just recently, Sokol Blosser released its new Evolution White Sparkling Wine.

•July 6, Pudding River Wine Cellars: Sean Driggers, Pudding River’s winemaker, also visits the Shack’s tasting room during the Independence Day weekend.

Pudding River, in Salem, is best-known for its gold medal-winning estate and reserve pinot noir, but all of the wines are equally delicious. For those who enjoy white wine, Sean makes pinot gris, viognier and riesling, all of which are bone dry and very food-friendly. For chardonnay fans, Pudding River offers two different styles, a chardonnay fermented and aged in oak barrels and a second chardonnay fermented in stainless steel.

Sean makes a silky smooth syrah from Walla Walla fruit that is also the base for his syrah port. For those who are 2009 Puffin Pinot Noir fans, you probably know that Sean is the winemaker responsible for creating this delicious wine.

•July 13, Cristom Wines: Cristom, also in Salem, is known for making some of the finest pinot noir in Oregon. Cristom makes seven different pinot noirs, including four single vineyard pinots. The Cristom name is so closely associated with pinot noir that you may not realize they also make delicious pinot gris, chardonnay, viognier and syrah.

•July 20, Seven of Hearts: Byron Dooley will be at the Shack.

Seven of Hearts, in Carlton, makes several single vineyard pinot noirs, but it is also known for making wine in an old-world style, including a delicious cabernet Franc.

When Byron makes a Bordeaux varietal wine such as cabernet Franc, cabernet sauvignon, merlot and roussanne, he uses his “Chateau Figeraux” label. If you haven’t tried one of Byron’s wines, you are in for a treat.

•Aug. 3, Cana’s Feast: Cana’s Feast, also in Carlton, makes approximately 20 wines, all of which are red, except for a single rose. That, alone, is unique in Oregon, but the winery also make wines from grapes that are definitely not common in Oregon, including nebbiolo, barbera and sangiovese.

For this reason, I thought it would be great to bring Cana’s Feast to The Wine Shack. In my January “2013 Wine Resolutions” column, I resolved to promote wines from lesser-known wines being made in Oregon. I am expecting a lot of pleasantly surprised tasting room visitors on Aug. 3.

Personally, I am really looking forward to having each of these wineries visit The Wine Shack. As a relative newcomer to Oregon, I enjoy talking with them about their wines and their wine-making practices. This makes me and my staff more knowledgeable and better able to recommend a wine that is right for you.

We look forward to seeing you at The Wine Shack this summer. Hopefully, you’ll have a chance to visit the tasting room on a sunny Saturday afternoon, hang out with a winemaker and taste some delicious wine. One of the best things about this summer series is that you don’t have to get in the car, leave Cannon Beach and drive to the winery. The winery is coming to you!

If you do enjoy a glass of wine with friends or family, please do so responsibly. Don’t drink and drive.


Steve Sinkler is the owner of the Cannon Beach Wine Shack. His column appears once a month.

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