Joe Dobbes offering barrel samples at an event

How about I kick this off by writing about one of my favorite wineries Dobbes Family
Estate/Wine By Joe
 located on the east side of Dundee, OR.  I first visited Dobbes several years ago on the recommendation of my son Ryan who discovered them while applying for jobs.  It was love at first taste, and after enjoying their wines for a number of years I have come to regard Joe Dobbes (winemaker and owner; shown offering barrel samples) as one of the premier winemakers in the Willamette Valley.  Since I am partial to red wines we will start there.  The staple wine here in the Willamette Valley is pinot noir and it is not uncommon for a winery to sell multiple pinots at a variety of price points.  A problem that I see with many wineries is for whatever reason the flavor profile of the pinot noirs that they sell doesn’t seem to change much.  It’s as if they have this vision of what a pinot ought to taste like and impose that on all their wines.  This is not the case with Dobbes.  Joe Dobbes makes 10+ pinot noirs and they are all different ranging from the bright, light, joyful Skipper’s cuvee (actually made from Rogue Valley grapes), to the bold Griffin’s cuvee, a variety of vineyard designates (Quailhurst and Meyer have been my favorites of the years), to the most balanced flavored pinot noir I have every had Patricia’s cuvee.  If you are looking for a wonderful everyday drinking pinot noir for under $20 the Wine-by-Joe Pinot Noir is the ticket.  Joe Dobbes has also single handily made me a syrah lover.  He makes three syrahs:  Grand Assemblage, Fortmiller, and Sundown (club members only) all of which are wonderful.  His syrahs are big and full flavored….just the ticket for those who enjoy a stark contrast to typical pinot noir in the valley.  Of note is the GA syrah which for under $30 is incredible bang for the buck.  Dobbes sells many more wines but one other that I want to mention is their viognier.  Generally I am not a white wine drinker but this viognier is nice and dry (I’m not a fan of residual sugar in a viognier), complex in flavor, and simply a delight to drink.  I find that the elimination of sweetness common to so many other viogniers allows the wine to stand on its innate character.  There are many other wines to enjoy and I encourage you to visit their tasting and try them.

Retail sales manager Charles Hesson leading a tour

Dobbes was the first wine club I ever joined.  For me wine clubs are less about discounts
and more about fun and Dobbes has not disappointed.  From winemaker’s dinners to BBQs outside the tasting room to picnics at their Larkins Estate vineyard.  They even let us come in a be harvest interns a couple of times.  Each and every event is an absolute blast.  Best of all however is the atmosphere in the tasting room.  Retail sales manager Charles Hesson creates a relaxed environment where you feel like you are tasting wine among friends.  My wife, after experiencing Dobbes, said that it reminded her of the TV showCheers where everyone knew your name.  Without a doubt I have found being a member of Dobbes wine club a holistic experience.