Full disclosure here, I have been a fan of Left Coast since tasting their wines last year. My interest in Left Coast was first peaked by a bottle of their White Pinot Noir. At the time I had to ask myself, why would someone take perfectly good Pinot Noir grapes and make a white wine from them? The answer was easy to understand after enjoying a bottle of this white wine for the first time. I had the opportunity to visit Left Coast Estate during the Wine Writers Educational Tour (WWET) of Willamette Valley when the winery hosted our group for dinner and wine tasting of other Oregon wine varietals.
As you drive up the long and meandering road to the Left Coast tasting room you get a sense of just how expansive the estate really is. Left Coast is more than just an estate winery, it is also a fully functioning farm with 150 acres of vineyards spread out over the 356 acre farm. The vineyards are mingled among Oregon oaks, fruit trees, vegetable gardens, fields of beautiful wild flowers, and helping to pollinate it all are the estate bees. Roaming the land you will see ducks and other wild fowl along with chickens doing their part to help the biodiversity of this land.
This location was discovered in 2003 by Left Coast founders Suzanne Larson and Robert Pfaff who laid out a plan to turn the property into more than just a family farm and winery, but a place that would endure for generations to come. At Left Coast they are “Working to fulfill our commitments to the strengths and benefits of biodiversity, we strive to be the best possible stewards of the land.” Left Coast Estate is LIVE (Low Impact Viticulture and Ecology) and Salmon Safe certified, and participates in the groundbreaking program “Salud” that guarantees basic healthcare to seasonal field workers. The winery and vineyard are 90% solar powered, constituting the 2nd largest agricultural solar grant in Oregon.
Situated on the 45th parallel, Left Coast Estate vineyards are planted on varying slopes, elevations and soils which brings distinction and complexity to each of their wines. The Estate is home to approximately 150 acres under vine including; Pinot Noir (61%), Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Meunier, Syrah, and Viognier.
“The vineyard is divided into eight unique microclimates, each with its own set of characteristics based on soil type, exposure and elevation ranging from 225 ft to 510 ft above sea level. There is not one terroir at Left Coast but many, allowing our wines to showcase multiple personalities of Willamette Valley wines, bound together through the thoughtful work of Luke McCollum in the vineyard and Joe Wright in the cellar.” Quote from Left Coast’s Website.
Left Coast Estate is home to 11 vineyards including ‘Field of Dreams’ which is the largest at 22 acres.
During the WWET in Willamette Valley we tasted a large variety of Oregon Pinot Noir. The dinner, hosted by Left Coast, was a welcome opportunity to taste some of the other varietals that the Willamette Valley offers.
Dinner included many items from the Left Coast Estate and gardens as well as other local ingredients.
I wanted to personally thank Left Coast Estate for hosting us for dinner and wine tasting. Dinner was prepared by Robert Pfaff, Chef Carolynn Andringa and other members of the Left Coast team.
‘Other Varietals’ enjoyed in order of Wine Service:
Writing about each of these wonderful Willamette Valley wines will be saved for another post. However, I would like to thank the winemakers for sharing these other varietal selections with us.
Left Coast Estate’s Winemaker (who was not able to attend) Joe Wright joined the team in 2011. “He was drawn to the diversity of Left Coast Cellar’s 356 acre estate and is now devoted to carefully producing exclusively estate-grown wines that reflect the special characters of their sites.”
Visiting the Pfaff family and beautiful Estate of Left Coast was definitely a highlight of my WWET Willamette Valley trip. I truly can’t wait to return and spend more time exploring the vineyards, gardens and grounds, as well as try more of their remarkable Oregon Wines.
Left Coast Estate is located at 4225 N Pacific Hwy W, Rickreall, OR and the tasting room is open daily from 12-5 and Friday form 12-8. You can learn more about Left Coast on their website.
Prior to my visit to Left Coast Estate I spent the summer enjoying some of their wines.
Sample wines reviewed in this blog post were supplied by Left Coast but the thoughts and opinions are my own.
Have you visited Left Coast Estate in the Willamette Valley or had the opportunity to taste their wines? I would love to hear about your experiences in the comment section.
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