oregon chardonnay symposium

It’s entirely true that yes, sometimes my job makes me want to find a thick branch and bite down on it just to keep myself from chewing through my own tongue (mmm, graphic, GOOD MORNING!) but a couple of weeks ago, after a whole four months of planning, I’m happy to say that we pulled off the 2014 Oregon Chardonnay Symposium with only a fraction of a hitch.

Bear with me while I geek out a little bit here…

We had SO many amazing winemakers at this event and apparently I’m enough of a dork to get star struck when I meet them all. It really is like meeting one of your favorite artists and I get a colossal kick out of it every time I get the chance to talk with one of them. What was really neat though was seeing how many of these world-renowned masters came out to our event to talk about the future of Oregon Chardonnay.

Veronique Drouhin of Domaine Drouhin… Legen - wait for it - DARY!
And for the record here, I used to consider chardonnay my absolute least favorite drink ever. Just above rum and a vodka Red Bull, but still below a too-sweet Riesling and antifreeze.

But then I moved to Oregon. But then I tried Oregon chardonnay. But then I pulled my head out of my… I changed my mind.

So yes, over the last six years I’ve decided that it’s really not so bad. It’s actually really good.

It just has to be done right.

And to be honest, what put me off it for so long was that grossly golden, thick, buttered 2x4 in a glass that California keeps producing because once, long, long ago, some idiot at Romb… A certain winery… got blazed and dumped ten times the amount of sugar he was supposed to dump into a batch of chardonnay and ruined the varietals reputation for life.

Or maybe that’s just the legend I heard but regardless, the Golden State did something to mess up that grape for a long, long time and if I’d been more aware of how much better Oregon chardonnay was a long time ago I wouldn’t have stuck my nose up at it for so long.

OK. So that’s the backstory on how I used to hate chardonnay. But that’s not why you’re here. You’re here because you humor me when I tell you I’m now going to show you a million pictures from this damn near flawless event and carry on about how much I love a good, sharp, stainless steel aged chardonnay and how Soter and Antica Terra should win a Nobel Prize for how good their wines are.

Boom. And yay pictures. 

Soter 2012 Chardonnay - one of my favorite wines on the planet
Melissa Burr, winemaker for Stoller
Wynne Peterson-Nedry, winemaker for Chehalem
Erica Landon (co-founder of the OCS) of Walter Scott hugging Don Lange of Lange Estate 
Our very own Aaron Williams! Jodi and I love him.

The packed house at the Technical Panel & Tasting - SOLD OUT!

Jesse Lange of Lange Estate

Erica Landon and her daughter Lucy, official spokesbaby of the Oregon Chardonnay Symposium 
Paul Bachand, chef at Recipe and creator of some of the most delicious foods I've ever eaten
Our girl Libby Clow! And some woman I don't know!

Josh Bergstrom of Bergstrom Wines (he was my favorite panelist to listen to - great stories!)

Kim Kramer of Kramer Vineyards
Jason Lett of The Eyrie Vineyards 

Our fearless leader Paul Durant (co-founder of the OCS)!
Veronique Drouhin and Grant
Wynne Peterson-Nedry

Scenes from the Grand Tasting
All that to say… Come to Oregon. 

We'll drink chardonnay.


  1. So fun and I'm so glad everything worked out and it looks like everyone was having a great time! I'm a Chardonnay person thanks to my momma. :)

  2. I want to come to Oregon and drink Chardonnay so badly. Beautiful pictures- you've got the talent girlfriend!

  3. Yeah...I don't think we are allowed to have that much fun in the guise of work here in the Napa Valley...kudos to the Durant's & Stoller's, and their support team! "Oregon...Obviously"!

    Love, Dad
    PS- Brilliant pics...felt like I was there...wish I was there!

  4. Wowzers Lauren! Stunning photos!! I wanna go to a giant wine-tasting event! And I don't like chardonnay either, but I'm willing to give it another chance in Oregon. Only Oregon! ;)