My darling and I were on what is quickly becoming our regular Sunday outing of wine tasting. Driving up 99W, out of Newberg, OR, I saw a sign by the side of the road: “VX Vineyard – 2 ½ miles”. On a whim, I swerved off the highway, forcing a gasp of surprise from my darling, and down the country road we went. The countryside was beautiful, with plenty of farmland, trees and quaint farmhouses. The road twisted and turned through the countryside as we drove… And drove… And drove… And drove some more. I started to wonder if this was such a good idea.
Was the sign just someone’s idea of a practical joke? My question, as if on cue, was answered with another sign, “VX Vineyard – 1 mile”. So on we drove and began to once again worry when the road tapered to a one-lane dirt road. Finally, our diligence paid off when the road came to an end at a lovely farmhouse, manicured garden and a tasting room. The home of VX , or Vercingetorix Vineyard.
As we walked up to the tasting room, we realized we were the only ones there. No surprise I thought, we’re out in the middle of nowhere after all. A cute and very well-behaved puppy dog named Jetson greeted us and it turned out would do tricks for cheese. The tasting room manager, Becca, was working with Baranna Baker, a confectionist from Hungry Birds Eat Sweet.
The vineyard’s unusual name, Vercingetorix, (or VX for short) pays tribute to a Gallic hero who, according the VX website, “…became chieftain under the threat of Roman invasion. Vercingetorix united the clans of Burgundy against Caesar and the Roman legions. Vercingetorix adopted a “scorched earth” policy against the Romans, which preserved only the precious vineyards of Burgundy and the main settlement Averticum.”
Becca introduced us to four of the vineyards wines, starting us off with 2014 Pinot Blanc. She informed us that this wine had been served at the White House in 2009. This wine was pleasant enough and would go well at a hot summer afternoon garden party. It had an aroma reminiscent of honeydew melon on the nose and the palate was more melon with a touch of citrus and then finishing with citrus accents. The finish didn’t linger very long but it would still be a fresh wine when chilled.
Next came their 2014 Pinot Gris. This wine was much crisper than the Pinot Blanc with a grassy aroma on the nose. One the palate, the flavors of vanilla, pear and citrus mingle together to bring a bright lively flavor. This wine would be perfect for seafood or possibly grilled pork with a nice, mildly spicy peach chutney. (I bought a bottle of this one).
Third on the list was their 2013 Caroline’s Cuvee Pinot Noir. This is a lighter Pinot than I am used to. On the nose came the aromas of cherry with darker earth tones, which surprised me. The palate came through with more cherry and red raspberry with an almost woody finish. The tannins are present, although subtle, with it finishing rather quickly on the tongue without the lingering tones that I am usually accustomed to. This would be a very decent everyday drinking wine that would go with beef, chicken or lamb alike.
The finale was a 2012 Reserve Cuvee Pinot Noir. This wine had the full rich dark color that brought visions of a Cab rather than a Pinot. The nose was heady with Bing cherries, spice and cedar. The palate was full and robust with the tannins coming through like gangbusters right along side of Bing cherries, brambleberries and a slight charred nuttiness. This wine I thoroughly enjoyed and Becca informed us that it won a double gold medal at the 2015 SavorNW Wine Awards and had rating of 91 from Wine Enthusiast. (I bought two bottles of this one).
VX was not what I expected when I headed down that single lane dirt road. It was a pleasant surprise and more. Offering complimentary cheeses, meats, and other snacks to nosh on, as well as its own line of chocolate truffles. It even has a guesthouse that you can rent for that special occasion as well as a Wine club.
Vercingetorix VX Vineyard
8000 NE Parrish Road
Newberg , OR 97132
Next up: I will be doing a pairing of VX’s 2012 Reserve Cuvée and the confections of Hungry Birds Eat Sweets.