King Estate winery 80854 Territorial Rd, SW of town, 800-884-4441, 541-942-9874. Tasting daily 11-5; tours on the hour, noon-5pm.
Reached by a drive through scenic farmland, this gated hilltop French-style chateau is approached via a spectacular uphill drive past grounds planted with Mirabelle plum trees and grape vines. The area is reminiscent of England’s Lake Country to such an extent that if I were dropped here blindfolded and asked where I was, I would reply, “On Beatrix Potter’s farm.” The winery uses organic and sustainable farming, has published several wine varietal cookbooks, and is well-known for its Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir—both of which may be tasted at no fee.
The Restaurant and Wine Bar at King Estate (541-685-5189. L-D daily, Sat-SunBr; $-$$. Reservations required for indoor seating; outdoor seating is first-come, first-served.) menu incorporates estate and locally grown organic ingredients that complement King Estate wines. In good weather, the expansive outdoor patio, with its views of the surrounding forested hills dotted with small farms, is the venue of choice, though the interior is stellar, too, and features a cozy fireplace. Appetizers might include Oregon Dungeness crab cakes or a plate of Pacific Northwest artisan cheeses, while lunch choices might be an excellent burger with pommes frites and housemade ketchup, a very tasty sandwich of pulled pork that has simmered in barbecue sauce for hours, or a refined grilled hanger steak with crispy fingerling potatoes. Well-priced wine flights are the perfect accompaniment.
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image c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers