Proceed with caution if you have a weakness for food porn and are prone to farm fatale seduction.
Disclosure: The following is 2 of 3 posts written in exchange for a discounted ticket to the 2021 Wine Media Conference in Eugene, Oregon. All opinions are my own.
Sometimes you don't remember a meal because you're too drunk with joy to remember.
Abbey Road Farm, located in the Yamhill County, Oregon, is a beautiful location to not only get married at but also to enjoy fine dining in a farm setting.
Verdant Restaurant is open on Fridays and Saturdays for unique 6 course tasting menus paired with wines from the property.
6 Course Menu Paired with Estate Wines
Chef Matt Preisch relocated from the Portland restaurant world to bring his culinary creations to the on site restaurant.
Bolded items are ingredients grown on the property.
1st Course - Seashells
Clam "chowder" - clam, baby potato chips, chive, bay, dill, whey
Mussel escabeche - fennel, marigold
2020 Abbey Road Farm - Demi-Sec Sparkling Pinot Gris
Pairing Notes: The little bit of sweet vinegar in the mussel and saltiness in the clam contrasted well with the sweet, sparkly white wine.
2nd Course - Prawns
Spot Prawn Aguachile - pink peppercorn, sansho, pineapple weed, finger lime, tomato, cucumber, ground cherry
2019 Abbey Road Farm - Terry Vineyard Chardonnay
Pairing Notes: The spot prawn also had a broth of fermented rhubarb juice. The soft brightness of the aguachile paired nicely with the chardonnay, aged in neutral French oak barrels with malolactic fermentation. The chardonnay tasted a bit green, had a light finish, and a touch of citrus "oomph."
3rd Course - Breaking Bread
Fresh baked rustic bread - butter, flakey sea salt
Pairing Notes: What doesn't pair with bread and butter? Especially a hearty, homemade loaf.
4th Course - Miso Cod
Miso marinated cod - black olive, summer squash, bouillabaise sauce
2019 Statera Cellars Chardonnay
Pairing Notes: The fish was slightly heavy for the crisp chardonnay but accentuated the grassy notes and minerality in the wine.
5th Course - Duck
Seared duck breast - beets, carrots, chanterelles, liver sauce
2019 Abbey Road Farm Canton Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir
Pairing Notes: I must say the pinot noir did love that earthy liver sauce made with reduced red wine and butter.
6th Course - Ice Cream
Ice cream made from leftover wine lees of Pinot Gris - frozen green grapes, Pinot Gris gelee
2020 James Bahn Anne Anne Vineyard Riesling
Pairing Notes: I loved each of these separately rather than on their own. The semi-sweet riesling had a bright, lemony acidity. And the lees ice cream was everything: rich, nutty, like brown betty fudge caramel.
About Abbey Road Farm
What started as a horseriding facility in the 1960s turned into a gorgeous winery, wedding venue, and restaurant.
Bought by the Wilkens family in 2017, they turned a third of the property into a winery and the remainder into a flexible space for weddings and events.
They now have 82 acres of organically farmed grapes with lots of animal friends on site as well including a bevy of chickens and pigs.
Their goal was to be an incubator for up and coming winemakers who did not have the space or capital to produce their own wines. They currently feature 8 different wine labels from 5 different winemakers.
The Last Drop
After being cooped up in the long California Covid lockdown with nary a restaurant to dine at with actual ceramic dish ware rather than togo boxes, it made this experience actually kind of magical.
The idyllic, Disney-esque setting certainly added to the feeling that I might meet Tinkerbell at any minute.
If I were to go back to Oregon, I would put a drive through the Yamhill Carlton County AVA on my list. The towns are exceedingly quaint, and there is plenty of wine to taste.