Doing the Willamette Rain Dance

Located in the Chehalem Mountains, Rain Dance Vineyards comprises 73 acres as part of a larger 120-acre farm. Owners Ken and Celia Austin dry farm the vineyard and are LIVE certified. Their efforts have resulted in wines that are vibrant, juicy, and nuanced. I’ve also highlighted Mark McNeilly’s wines from his Megan Anne Cellars label, with fruit sourced from the Willamette Valley.


Rain Dance Vineyards Nicholas Vineyard Estate Riesling 2016  

(Chehalem Mountains; $22)

Aromatic floral notes and tangerine zest give way to lush lime and melon on the palate. Mostly neutral French oak lends a soft creamy texture to the finish and its great acidity begs to be paired with some spicy Thai noodles or buttery scallops.


Rain Dance Vineyards Nicholas Vineyard Estate Rosé 2016

(Chehalem Mountains; $22)

Pretty in pink, this rosé of Pinot Noir rises to any summer occasion wearing watermelon and strawberry like a badge of honor. While some Pinot Noir rosés can fall a little flat, this one exhibits pleasing acidity. Pair it with a nice filet of salmon.


Rain Dance Vineyards Nicholas Vineyard Estate Chardonnay 2015

(Chehalem Mountains; $30)

This inaugural Chardonnay drinks well now, but could definitely stand up to 5-7 years of cellar time thanks to a good amount of retained acid. On the nose, it gives classic aromas of pear and apple accompanied by lemon chiffon. It feels crisp on the palate with a moderately long finish. Try it with crab salad or risotto.


Megan Anne Cellars Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2015

(Willamette Valley; $40)

Red fruits like cherry and earthier bramble vines delicately comprise the bouquet and round on the palate with a moderate finish. Pair it with some lightly grilled meat, chicken, or vegetables.


Megan Anne Cellars Willamette Valley Chardonnay 2015

(Willamette Valley; $50)

Sourced from both the Dundee and Eola-Amity Hills sub-AVA’s, the nose is classic apple, pear, and citrus with a bit of toast from the oak. This wine has a luscious mouthfeel with a bit of tropical fruit on the palate. Good acidity and minerality make for an interesting finish. Pair with a halibut steak.



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