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I am head down working on Oregon book!

October 18, 2008

OK, my WineTrail trekkies, I am writing to let you know that the reports of my demise are greatly exaggerated. For months I have been working furiously on WineTrails of Oregon. The guidebook will feature the entire state -- 10 wine country regions; 24 WineTrails and nearly 200 wineries. During the summer of 2008, Kathleen and I visited 200 wineries taking notes and lots of pictures. Now you find me working with my editor (the wonderful Sunny Parsons) and the production team to get the book ready for the printer in Hong Kong. Our target date is February 6th to get the manuscript sent. If all goes well WineTrails of Oregon will be in the stores by June.

Here is a DRAFT (i.e., unedited write-up for a winery called Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards. It's deep in the Umpqua Valley wine country and it is absolutely stunning. Check out this write-up to learn more:

“Enter as strangers – leave as friends” is the slogan visitors experience at Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards. Transplants from the New York City area in 2001, Stephen and Gloria Reustle found an ideal location in the Umpqua region to lay down a vineyard. Stephen had enjoyed a very successful business career in New York that he parlayed into the creation of an extraordinary winery. However, he and Gloria also leveraged another asset – a strong Christian foundation. The fact that Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine was a nice endorsement from on high.

In 2004, they began making wine with less than 500 cases produced. Unfortunately, a Washington bureaucrat didn’t appreciate what the Reustle’s had etched on their corks. Failing to get the Department of the Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approval, the reviewer wrote to them stating, “Delete ‘Drink your wine with a happy heart God approves of this’ reference.” Evidently, alluding to wine as a heart happy food is a no-no.

A bird’s eye view of the property is afforded at the top of Prayer Rock Vineyards. Here, you can look down into the bowl of rolling vineyards and winery buildings and home. It’s also the site of the rock where Stephen visited and prayed for God’s blessing when they arrived. They live lives of abundance. But they don’t keep it to themselves…they pass it along.

At their new tasting room featuring the only cave-like barrel room setting in Southern Oregon, visitors get a healthy dose of wine education, wonderful appetizers and generous tastes of award winning wines. I love the orange and black distinctive packaging that envelopes each bottle of pinot noir, tempranillo, viognier, riesling, syrah, merlot, rousanne, semillon, grüner veltliner, grenache, pinot gris, and sauvignon blanc. (WineTrail note: notice the wide range of warm and cool weather varietals – you know you are in the Umpqua!) By the way, the grüner veltliner is a rarity of sorts not only in Oregon but also in the U.S. This surprisingly flavorful white wine from Austria pairs wonderfully with grilled chicken, fish and summer salads.

Is Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards a spiritual experience? I think so. Can you call this plot of land ‘heaven on earth?’ Yes, I believe you can. Will your visit transform you? Yes, it will. Enter as strangers – leave as believers.

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