Eola Hills Wine Cellars
Eola Hills' tasting room falls in the major metropolitan area of
Rickreall, Oregon (population 57). It doesn't look like much
from the outside, just an aluminum sided barn with a cardboard sign
reading "Eola Hills".
Not much presentation for Oregon's fourth largest wine producer.
The reason for this is that they incorporate grapes from many
vineyards throughout Oregon, and produce their own wines, rather than
having a large, on-site vineyard from which to draw grapes. Eola
Hills sponsors Sunday brunches, which seem quite popular, though we
opted not to find out at $20/per person. They also sponsor a
Horse Drawn Wagon tour & Winemaker's Dinner in July.
wines are available for tasting for free at the tasting room, and the
staff was friendly and very helpful and informative. The
majority of the wines were rather bland, though quite adequate for
daily drinking. We did enjoy the Gewürztraminer, which we don't
usually care for, as it had only 2.5 percent residual sugar, much less
than other winemakers (we imagine Thai food). We also favored
the 1998 Lodi Zinfandel, the 1997 Ramsgate Merlot and the spicy 1998
Applegate Syrah. Our favorite from Eola Hills was the 1999 Old
Vine Zinfandel, which was surprisingly velvety, deep and full.
For daily drinking, we like the plain, old chardonnay they produce,
with a heavy oak flavor. Not the finest wine out there, but it
just suits us.