Go With the Flow: A Wine Tour Experience

We design a tour to fit your tastes, your desires, and your particular palate.  So no two tours are alike. But yours may go something like this: You are picked up at your accommodation at 10am in Portland (or Dundee or McMinnville) in a TESLA and you drop your jaw when you see the falcon wings open and the white white seats. That ride is for me? You slip in and the doors close automatically and you feel like you are in a spaceship. You hear about the unique qualities of this wine country as you ride smoothly to the first winery atop a hill.

Ride in Style: Tesla Wine Tour

You slide out of the Tesla and everyone turns their head to see who it is that is stepping out of the best ride on the road. You are treated like royalty as you get your first tasting of the day, where you enjoy spectacular views while sipping world-class Pinot Noir. You relax, settle down into an Adirondack chair overlooking miles of vineyards with the morning sun back-lighting the leaves. You are enjoying conversation with people you care about as you soak into the verdant setting and let the wine soak into you. Your shoulders relax and all the stress of yesterday falls away. You discover through taste what a difference there is in the glass between ocean soil and volcano soil. You like ocean soil. Your spouse likes volcano soil. Figures. Opposites attract. You get some volcano wine and some ocean wine and decide to compare those wines again some time after you return home—maybe in the fall. But now it’s on to another winery.

You wind your way through back country roads to a place you would never have discovered, pulling up to a gate that doesn’t even have a sign. The driver enters the code and the gate opens—and the Tesla raises suspension to traverse this rough gravel road and the spaceship soars further into the clouds until you stop at the winemaker’s home for a private tasting. You learn from him how much passion and heartache goes into every vintage, and you see the passion oozing out every pore of the winemaker and you taste the passion in every pour of the wine. He walks you through his vines, wine in hand, and you pet the sheep he uses to mow the grass between vines. And you taste a grape before it’s fully ripe—and see how small and thin-skinned the pinot grapes are. You then say goodbye, realizing you’ll never forget this place or this person or this wine. You’ll be back, and will be drinking the wine on some cold night next winter recalling this magical place. Then it’s back into the Tesla, and you can’t believe how silent it is and how fast it accelerates.

You hear some of the quirky and crazy stories of this wine country that deepens your appreciation for the area and it makes you start to feel like you belong to it in a deeper way. You are amazed at the variety of scenic vistas—each fold and curve in the hill and each rolling vineyard interspersed with native white oak is as different as different from one beautiful human is from another. The windshield in the Tesla that goes all the way over your head allows you to watch a Red-Tailed Hawk fly above you as you turn onto a gravel road leading to a winery that you would never have known was tucked back in the crevice of these hills.

The wine-grower/owner sees you coming and steps out of the small tasting room to greet you, and you are greeted as well by Tensing, the Tibetan Mastiff. You can tell by the twinkle in his eye that he loves growing grapes in this little bit of paradise, and he passionately begins sharing some of the nectar he and his wife (the winemaker) have made with great love and deep knowledge. They make fewer than 2000 cases a year, so this artisan style wine gets more care and individual attention than most wine you’ve tasted.

You enjoy cheeses and charcuterie as you taste chardonnay that has 12 different clones of the grape in one vineyard and in your one glass. You don’t usually like chardonnay, but this just opened up a whole new world for you. You are fascinated by the knowledge of this wine-grower, but even more impressed by his passion. The dog expresses his love for life in a much more subdued form of expression. But it all seems to balance out—just as you are feeling more balanced and at peace with the world than you have been in a long time. You are entering that flow of wine tasting where time seems to disappear—as does your chorus of inner critics. Every moment is present in this moment, and in this moment is eternity. No rush. No need to impress anyone. You breathe, sip, look down into the small valley where the creek meanders. You smell the air that is coming off the vines a few feet away. You hear nothing—but the slight breeze and the flapping of the wings of a blue heron that passes just overhead.

You tuck away some of that amazing wine to enjoy in months or years from now—which will remind you of this eternal moment—and this place of paradise, and roll on to a different corner of heaven. You sit back in the comfortable seats with no motor sounds and look around at the people you love and are reminded of what is important. Who is important. You are brought back to the moment as laughter bursts out and you pull up to an elegant, state-of-the art tasting room built by one of the legacy families in the Oregon wine country. The falcon-wing doors open right at the entrance and you turn heads as you step out and up to the stunning setting.

Your guide is done talking all the nuances of wine and soil since now is the time to just soak it all in as the sun is lower in the sky. Your guide escorts you to some choice, cushioned seats on the veranda overlooking the valley. He knows your palate by now and suggests that a glass of wine—instead of tasting through a flight—might be just what you want for this moment in the day. A glass of fruit-forward Pinot for you. A glass of lightly-oaked Chardonnay for your friend. A glass of a cool vintage Pinot Noir for another in the group. And a glass of warm vintage Pinot Gris for yet another. Each has found something to enjoy as you watch the sun start to descend to kiss the vines on the horizon.

After entering into the vibe of this place and time, and tasting it, and breathing it and hearing it and seeing it, this new rhythm is starting to really resonate with you. You have a way of being that you’ll be able to carry with you back to work and home. The conversation turns to making plans for dinner and your guide suggests some amazing eateries to choose from and the juices start to flow for what dinner awaits you later that day.

You meander back to the Tesla and it opens its wings to receive you for your journey home. It’s like climbing on the back of a big falcon, and the novelty of this ride is still stimulating. And as various people sing out song requests, they are played on the sound system and everyone is laughing and singing along to the concert-like quality tunes. The levity is welcome as you shift from pensive to playful and as you all sing at the top of your lungs to long-remembered songs, you catch the eye of a loved one and remember your deep gratitude for life, friends, loved ones, and wine.

As you arrive at your hotel, you smile as you unload the wine treasures you’ve gathered that day. You feel like you’ve gained a new friend, and start thinking about whether you’ll order salmon or scallops. It’s been a day to remember, and you are already making plans to revisit next fall. But the memories you’ve made today will be revisited daily for some time to come. Interested in making memories of your own? Book your wine tour today.

Corwynn Beals