The first time I visited Left Coast Cellars, it was for a pre-race dinner before The Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon, and it was like a little piece of Heaven on Earth, which was exactly what I needed in the midst of a heavy race season. If you’ve never been to the town of Rickreall, it’s a bit of a trek off the beaten path, but it’s well worth the journey. My husband and I sat outside sipping delicious wine with a lovely couple from the East Coast and I couldn’t think of a better way for them to see the beauty Oregon offers than for them to experience Left Coast Cellars.
I felt tremendously lucky to get the opportunity to visit the winery again recently, this time to tour the grounds and to learn more about the Oak Savanna Restoration Project, which the 2018 Run for the Oaks 5k Trail Walk/10k Trail Run on August 4th will benefit. This is a truly awesome cause to get behind. Left Coast Cellars is passionate about the land preservation and are LIVE certified. You can read more about their investment in sustainability and community.
Despite the fact that the weather was less than stellar when I arrived at the property, Taylor Pfaff, who is the CEO at the vineyard that his parents started in 2003, led me out into the rain and mud on a beautiful slog through the forest and farmland to see part of the race course (which changes slightly every year) as well as lots of gorgeous oak trees. The passion for the place as well as the cause was very evident.
The Oaks Savanna Restoration Project is a partnership between Left Coast Cellars and the US Fish and Wildlife Service and their purpose is to restore the old growth oak forest on the property, as the oak trees are basically getting edged out by a lot of the growth in the area. The oak trees take a long time to reach full maturity, so it’s a labor of both love and patience to try to restore the oak population. The plan is to turn the forest into a permanent wildlife refugee, a habitat for the native plants and animals, and to improve the watershed.
The 3rd annual Run for the Oaks 5k/10k is a race to help fund the Oak Savanna Restoration Project. The course will be on rolling gravel roads as well as some off-road trails and paved sections with views of the estate vineyards and the old growth oak savannas. The hope is for runners to get a chance to see the improvements each year that they do the race, as they will be a big part of making it happen. Additionally, creating more awareness to the cause is paramount to creating positive changes to the environment.
After the race, the runners will get to enjoy some of the vineyard’s stellar wines at the Treehouse Pavillion. I myself had the pleasure of sampling some tasty wines that paired nicely with a spread of meats, cheeses, nuts, bread, and dried pears.
The first wine I got to try was the Field of Dreams Viognier which was my favorite of the 4 wines I sampled. It was a fragrant wine with floral tones but not overly sweet. I am far from a wine connoisseur but this is one I would drink every day if I could.
The second wine poured for me was the Truffle Hill Chardonnay. As it was explained to me, many people shy away from the oaky notes of an Oregon Chardonnay but are swayed when they try a bottle from Left Coast Cellars. The wine is created in a larger barrel than what is traditionally used and the result is a much different flavor which is simply delicious.
The third and forth wines I had were Pinot Noirs grown in an area of the vineyard right next to each other. The Right Bank Pinot comes from a Pommard clone and the Latitude 45° is from a Dijon clone. The wines each had their own unique flavors to them, despite the similarities in where and how they are grown.
Despite the long journey and the mud and rain, exploring Left Coast Cellars was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. Run Oregon will be previewing Run for the Oaks in the future, so please stay tuned!!
About Left Coast Cellars:
Family owned. 100% estate grown and bottled. Committed to sustainability.
The family founded the Left Coast Estate in 2003. Through a combination of passion and hard work, we’ve slowly grown into one of the largest contiguous vineyards in Oregon. We carefully tend each vine to create our award-winning wines with an authentic sense of place.
At Left Coast we put all of our love into the land. In the early years we focused on vineyard development and landscaping. Every building on the property, including the tasting room and winery, has had a tractor driven through it, as their original utility was equipment storage. The beauty of the estate is what inspired our family to come to Oregon. Our goal is to enhance and share that natural beauty with others through thoughtful winemaking, sustainable practices and habitat conservation. Our vineyards and winery are LIVE certified sustainable. We are 90% solar powered and have partnered with the US Department of Fish & Wildlife to help restore 100 acres of old growth Oregon White Oak on the property to their native savannah state.
We warmly welcome you to come visit the Estate and to share its beauty and wines with you. Voted Oregon’s Best Tasting Room of 2017 by USA Today and our famous wood fired pizza has been featured on the cover of the Oregon Wine Press. We hope to meet you soon!
- 2015 Field of Dreams Viognier
- ABV: 14.5%
- 2016 Truffle Hill Chardonnay
- ABV: 13.7%
- 2015 Latitude 45° Pinot Noir
- ABV: 13.8%
- 2015 Right Bank Pinot Noir
- ABV: 13.6%
- 4225 Pacific Hwy W, Rickreall, OR 97371
- Tasting Room & Café open daily 12:00PM-5:00PM