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I think for all four of us, Emerson Vineyards is one of our favorite stops.  Located in heart of the Willamette Valley, this family venture creates some wonderful wines and are truly some of the nicest people we’ve met in our wine travels.

Your typical visit to Emerson will begin in the tasting room and a talk with Emerson founder Tom Johns.  A fun loving, witty and sarcastic character, we love the banter that he creates with patrons.  Every once in a while you’ll also get to meet Elliott Johns, his son and winemaker.  He offers a very enjoyable and educational conversation on how the wines are made, how the vineyards are maintained, etc.

There are two wine club options at the winery.  The first is called the Waldo Society, basically the wineries mailing list but “membership” does afford you a 5% discount on all wine purchases.  Under pressure from certain patrons who shall remain nameless here (I might…just might be in this category), they have recently announced the Super Duper Wine Club which will offer 2 bottles of their choosing, twice a year, to be shipped or picked up at the winery.  I can’t wait for the announcement for the first date in October of this year, I’ll revisit the post after that visit.

Emerson ALWAYS produces some great Pinot Noir wines but don’t fool yourself in to thinking that this is all they offer you on a visit.  In past years they have made a wonderful Riesling (admittedly not typically my favorite variety of wine but my wife’s FAV!), they are making a Syrah from grapes sourced from the Columbia Valley, Pinot Gris and an awesome red blend called Brother Red.

This wine is a bit of a swerve in the proverbial road from some of their other red wines.  A big, bold, deep purple bomb of flavor in your mouth.  I can’t for the life of me remember all the varieties that make up the wine but I do know that there are at least five and they are blended with an expert hand by Elliott.  At $16.00 a bottle, a serious value and I can just about promise that you won’t be disappointed. Of course, you’ll be there so for goodness sake, try it yourself and see if you agree with me.  If you love it like I do, you might just leave with a Brother Red logo tee shirt as well as what’s in your wine bag.

To top all of this off, Tom is nothing if not a music lover!  Every Friday evening in the summer months, there is live music out on the deck (or moved in to the barrel room should the NW weather not cooperate).  He signs acts to come out and play original tunes, a nice varied lineup and if that wasn’t enough he’ll grill up a hot dog for you while you watch.  The cost of attendance for these Friday nights is $5.00 and a can of food which supports local food banks.

For more information on Emerson Vineyards, you can visit their website at http://www.emersonvineyards.com/.  Tell them we sent you!