By the time I’d finished walking all over Cave Junction, trekked over the bridge, and wandered up and down Rockydale Road, searching for the place I once lived, I was tired. Hot. Sweaty. I couldn’t believe how far we had to walk to get a bag of groceries or take our clothes to the Laundromat. I thought nothing of it at the time, but I was a lot younger then. A sign at the intersection of the Redwood Highway and the Caves Highway pointed toward two wineries, Foris and Bridgeview, and I decided to finish off my visit tasting some local wines. I was curious–there weren’t any vineyards when I lived there. Cave Junction had a population of around 400 then.
I drove four miles to the Bridgeview Winery. The surrounding vineyards were dense, lush and green. I know practically nothing about vineyards, but these were the happiest-looking vines I’d ever seen. It turns out they look different because Bridgeview has a different method of growing them. Click on the link above for the story.
I drove in and parked. At the end of a spacious deck was the tasting room. Brianna, the wine hostess, was helping a group of people who were buying a lot of wine. I wandered around looking at the bottles of wine on display. When it was my turn, Brianna asked me if I’d prefer to taste white or red wines. After all the walking I’d done, I was in the mood for chilled white wine, the drier the better. We started with 2010 Blue Moon chardonnay, fermented in oak barrels, and the premium 2010 chardonnay which is aged in stainless steel. To me, they were similar; fruity with hints of apple, but the Blue Moon seemed a bit heavier. We chatted, and Brianna told me the winery has been in Cave Junction for about thirty years.
Next was the 2010 Blue Moon pinot gris, which I loved. Soft but refreshing, it reminded me of summer days in my dad’s peach orchard. I took a bottle home.
Last was the 2011 viognier. I had never tried viognier and had no idea what it was. It was crisp and tart with a bit of mineral. It was, hands down, the best white wine I have ever tasted. It was like being on the high ridge of the Devil’s Rest trail in the Columbia River Gorge, looking out across the gorge to the mountains beyond. It tasted like sunshine. We had the bottle I took home with chicken and deli salads. It was really, really good with food.
The samples were generous, and when we were done, I had a pleasant buzz going. I got my notebook out of the car and relaxed in a shady spot under one of the deck umbrellas for an hour or so and did some writing. The deck stands next to a tranquil waterway with swans and big trout.
So, if you happen to be in Cave Junction, check this place out! And thanks, Brianna, for being so very helpful.