Because I’m an avid foodie and wine enthusiast, one of my favorite activities is to experience new wines, especially when paired with courses of equally delicious food. As such, I was more than happy to attend a media dinner hosted by Hawks View Cellars at Irving Street Kitchen in the Pearl District of downtown Portland, Oregon.
Because I lived a few blocks away from Irving Kitchen for several months in 2011, I was already a fan of Chef Sarah Schafer’s infamous Organic Fried Chicken. It’s one of those dishes that’s SO good, it produces spontaneous mouth-watering cravings and ultimately becomes your go-to dish whenever you visit the restaurant. That said, I had yet to try any of Irving Kitchen’s other spectacular menu offerings, and was excited to have a chance to during this seven-course small-plate “Grand Feast of Oregon.”
Our host for the evening was the witty and knowledgeable A.J. Kemp, co-founder of Hawks View Cellars. The family-owned and -run winery began in 2002, when his late father, Jack Kemp purchased the vineyard after retiring from the financial services industry. A.J. had been pursuing an alternate career path, but like his father, was drawn to the natural beauty of the vineyard. Driven by the notion of creating a “world-class facility with a warm, inviting place that would bring friends together,” the Kemps began planning the winery in 2007. The rest, as they say, is history. Hawks View is a small producer – 2500 cases in 2012 – crafting ten wines sourced from the best vineyards of Oregon, Washington and California.
The evening’s tasting menu consisted of the following pairings:
- Salmon Gravlax with Sauce Gribishe on Rye cracker + 2012 Hawks View Oregon Chardonnay – deliciously crisp, with notes of pear, apricot and honey;
- Chicken-fried Oyster with Herbsaint Aioli + 2012 Estate Oregon Pinot Gris – exceptionally bright palate with notes of peach, orange peel and marzipan;
- Marinated Pork Chop with Country Ham & Shelling Bean Ragout + 2010 Hawks View Oregon Pinot Noir – velvety palate with notes of spice and raspberries;
- Mary’s Organic Fried Chicken with Smashed Potatoes & Country Gravy + 2011 Hawks View La Baleine “The Whale” – created in homage to the winery’s founder, Jack Kemp, this was the winery’s first non-Pinot-based wine.: 50% California Syrah, 25% Oregon Pinot Noir, 25% Washington Cabernet Sauvignon,
- Teres Major Steak with Garlic Grits, Ancho Ketchup, Onion Rings & Marrow Sauce + 2010 Hawks View Washington Cabernet Sauvignon – smooth, highly drinkable red with notes of black raspberry, plum and cedar;
- Chocolate Torte + 2011 Hawks View California Syrah – robust, fruity palate with notes of blackberry and blueberry with a touch of cardamom and cinnamon. A perfect wine to complement dessert!
Stop in and try some of these delicious wines for yourself! Hawks View Cellars is a 50-acre estate in the Chehalem Mountain AVA, located in Sherwood, Oregon, just 30 minutes from downtown Portland. Open for tastings Monday through Sunday, by appointment only.