down the street from Bethel Heights is the cozy little Witness Tree
vineyard, sitting on 100 acres,
where all the grapes produced for their wine are grown. Mt.
Jefferson graces the skyline, and a picnic area sits beneath the
namesake witness tree. The witness tree, as owner Dennis Devine
tells us, was noted by surveyors of the area for many years, as it is
perched on a hillside by itself, overlooking the valley and is visible
from all over. His walls are graced with original government
survey notes of the tracts surrounding the witness tree, and an
ancient coin found near the tree in 1996.
produce only Chardonnays and Pinot Noir, but are discontinuing the
Chardonnay because they don't feel they can compete with
California's massive Chardonnay crops. Oregon Pinot Noirs are
world famous, however, and for good reason. The Pinots we tasted
here weren't really up to Oregon standards, but were reasonable
priced, and were quite pleasant. We bought a glass of the
Vintage Select 1999 Pinot Noir and lounged in the picnic area on a
beautiful sunny day, while horses grazed nearby, overlooking the
vineyards. The winemaker strolled through the crops and the
Devines attended to the grounds while we sipped on the wine, and
enjoyed the scenery. I neglected to mention to the owner that
the tree gracing the label isn't nearly old enough to be the one
indicated on the original government survey notes hanging on his wall.
We got a case of their closeout Chardonnay for only $4 per bottle.
Not the best Chardonnay around, but much better than that price!