Oregon wineries, winemakers nominated for national awards

Knudsen Vineyards and Ostroms Mushrooms, companies in which the Knudsen family is involved, hosted a luncheon featuring inventive dishes using mushrooms paired with Knudsen Vineyard wines.

Ah, finally it is fall — the grape harvest is nearly completed and the mushroom harvest is about to begin. That puts into spin two of my favorite foods: wine and mushrooms.

I received good news from Panther Creek winemaker Tony Rynders this week. He says this is the earliest vintage he has encountered.

“The crops are small, the clusters and berries are small and the flavors are intense, which is what you’re looking for,” he said.

Panther Creek is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, a special milestone, and we’ll learn more about their history in an upcoming column. But in the meantime, there is plenty of great news to share in Oregon’s wine world this fall.

Wine Enthusiast’s 2016 Wine Star Awards included several Oregon wineries and people on its nomination list: Jim Bernau, founder of Willamette Valley Vineyards, is nominated for Wine Person of the Year; King Estate in Eugene is nominated for American Winery of the Year; and the Willamette Valley AVA is nominated for Wine Region of the Year. That’s a lot of power focused on our area. Results will be announced in January 2017.

SUBMITTED PHOTOS - Winemakers Tom Monroe and Kate Norris of Division Winemaking Company have been named to Wine Enthusiasts Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers for 2016.

And the awards don’t stop there. Two of my favorite winemakers — Kate Norris and Tom Monroe, co-owners of Division Winemaking Company and Southeast Wine Collective in Portland — have been included in Wine Enthusiast’s Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers for 2016.

Congratulations to all!

At the Collective

Southeast Wine Collective offers a great adventure year-round, but especially during harvest and wine-making season. Located in Southeast Portland at Division and 35th Place, the collective is an urban winery where currently about 10 winemakers make wine. There is always some unique exploration going on. My husband Mark and I visited recently and enjoyed watching the hustle of production; we even helped punch down merlot grapes.

The 5,000-square-foot industrial space also includes a wine bar, where you can sample more than 70 wines by the glass. Chef Althea Potter whips up inventive dishes to complement the wines, too.

“Our wines are meant to be consumed. They are meant to be drunk and shared,” Norris says. Research shows that most wines are consumed within 72 hours of purchase, rather than stored in a wine collection. Southeast Wine Collective makes it easy to sample a wide variety of wines at one location.

“We are always tinkering with new wines, many with varietals not well known to the Willamette Valley,” Monroe says. “We have a skin-fermented orange Chardonnay wine that we have been aging for three years coming out soon.”

The collective also hosts a number of special events throughout the year. Coming up is the Cuisinières Harvest Dinner on Nov. 6, where attendees can celebrate the end of the 2016 harvest at the first of what will be monthly chef-driven dinners. Later in November will be the Nouveau celebration, where you can sample the new wines.

To learn more about the winemakers and events, visit, or just get over to the collective at 2425 S.E. 35th Place in Portland and experience wine country without leaving the city.

Page Knudsen Cowles brought together friends and journalists recently to learn about Knudsen Vineyard wines and Ostroms Mushrooms. Irving Street Kitchen Executive Chef Sarah Schafer created inventive dishes using mushrooms of many kinds.

More good news

There is also great news from my friends at Knudsen Vineyards.

Located in Dundee, Knudsen Vineyards was founded by Cal Knudsen in 1971, making it one of the pioneers of Oregon’s wine industry. The vineyard is now run by his children, Page Knudsen Cowles, Colin Knudsen and David Knudsen.

“We grew up here, developed our love for life and family, and learned to embrace the values of hard work, laughter and life-long curiosity,” reads the vineyards’ website, “Over time, we have come to understand the power and grace of wine and its ability to help us connect through conversation, celebration and the formation of enduring relationships.”

Enduring relationships are indeed a hallmark of Knudsen Vineyards, which for many years was the largest vineyard in the Dundee Hills. The Knudsen family has supplied Argyle Winery with grapes for its still and sparkling wines since its origin.

Knudsen Vineyards produces wine under its own label, too, and it was poured at a recent lunch featuring the Knudsen’s sister company, Ostrom’s Mushrooms. Cal Knudsen bought into this business before his death and now David Knudsen helps manage the company, along with representatives from other families.

The Knudsens had Irving Street Kitchen Executive Chef Sarah Schafer create a lunch featuring Ostrom’s mushrooms, paired with Knudsen wines. Here’s what she created:

The first course featured Irving Street Kitchen’s gravlax with pickled shiitake tartar sauce, cucumber and frisee and homemade rye crackers, paired with Knudsen Vineyards Chardonay, Dundee Hills 2014. The entrée was Charred Teres Major, Portobello and Heirloom Tomato Salad with Ostrom’s Mushrooms Steak Sauce, paired with Knudsen Vineyards Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2013 and 2014. Dessert was a delightful ginger cheesecake with Maryhill peach mousse, garnished with enoki mushroom crumble. The dishes were beautiful, inventive and delicious.

Ostrom’s mushrooms are readily available in area grocery stores, and Knudsen wines can be purchased online at The vineyard is open only by appointment; learn more on the website.

There is so much to explore in Oregon wine country. Make a point to get out and introduce yourself and your palate to the great tastes offered in our backyard.

Bon Appetit! Make eating an adventure!

The recipe included today is one that was shared by David Knudsen at the luncheon in promotional material. Visit for more.

Steak with Red Wine Mushroom Sauce

Makes 2 or 3 portions

1 jar (14 ounces) tomato-based pasta sauce

12 ounces fresh white mushrooms, halved (about 4 1/2 cups)

8 ounces penne or ziti pasta (about 2 cups)

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, bring pasta sauce and mushrooms to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer to blend flavors, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package directions.

Stir basil and Parmesan into sauce. Drain pasta. Spoon sauce over pasta. Serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of

Barb Randall welcomes your food questions and research suggestions. She can be reached at 503-636-1281 ext. 100 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Follow her on Twitter @barbrandallfood.

Here’s more wine and mushroom industry news:

  • Subterra to feature Bells Up wines during October

    Subterra — A Wine Cellar Restaurant has selected Newberg’s Bells Up Winery as its featured winery of the month during October. Three of Bells Up’s wines will be showcased and available by the glass or bottle, with a meal or to take home.

    The selection includes 2014 Rhapsody Pinot Blanc, 2013 Titan Willamette Valley AVA Pinot Noir and 2014 Firebird Walla Walla Valley AVA Syrah.

    Bells Up winemaker and owner Dave Specter will pour tastings of all three at Subterra from 5-9 p.m. Oct. 7 as part of Newberg’s First Friday Artwalk event.

    Subterra is located at 1505 Portland Road, beneath The Dark Horse wine bar at the intersection of Hwy 99W and Villa Road in Newberg. For more information, call 503-537-1328 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • Micro-Winery pop-up tasting set for Oct. 8

    Cellar 503 will host a pop-up tasting for three young Oregon wineries from 1-4 p.m. Oct. 8.

    The three wineries — Jasper Sisco Wines, Hanson Vineyards and Franchere Wine Company — are committed to producing unique, site-expressive artisanal wines at accessible prices. All three work with sustainable vineyards and work gently in the cellar, without new oak or excessive manipulation, says Carrie Wynkook, proprietor of Cellar 503, an Oregon wine club.

    The wineries all produce pinot noir, plus wines made of grapes less commonly found in the Pacific Northwest. Jasper Sisco works with Cinsault and Muscat grapes, Hanson grows and bottles Gamay and pinot blanc, and Franchere produces Gruner Veltliner and Syrah grown in the Willamette Valley.

    Admission is $10 per person, with one tasting fee waived per six-bottle purchase. The Tasting Room at Cellar 503 is located at 4407 S.W. Corbett Ave. in Portland. Learn more at

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  • It’s First Come, First Served for Panther Creek’s Library wines

    In celebration of its 30th anniversary, Panther Creek is offering a very limited inventory of vintages dating back to 1995, including wines from several of Panther’s flagship vineyards. All can be shipped for $1. Learn more online at

    Enjoy daily tastings of the 2014 vintage’s new releases during October, and don’t miss the Haunted Halloween Party from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 29. Costumes are encouraged.

    The Panther Creek tasting room is located at 110 S.W. Hwy. 99W in Dundee. Tasting room hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.

    n Get the Fall Mushroom Show on your calendar

    The Oregon Mycological Society will hold its annual Fall Mushroom Show from noon-5 p.m. Oct. 30 at Miller Hall at the World Forestry Center in Portland.

    The event features displays of mushroom specimens, presentations by experts, vendors, samples of cooked mushrooms and more. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and students and free for children 12 and under.

    The World Forestry Center is located at 4033 S.W. Canyon Road in Portland.

    — Barb Randall