Touring multiple wineries in one day really accentuates the differences between them. Each winery has its own personality, from the wine, to the owner, to the setting, to the way they welcome visitors.
On our Thanksgiving tour through the Umpqua Valley wine county, we visted Becker Winery. Tucked into an oak woodland setting, Becker is a small “Oregon Artisan Family Winery.” A boutique winery producing less than 700 cases of wine, the two owners of Becker Winery are its only employees (during harvest they rely on friends and family to help bring in the grapes). All of their vineyards are “dry farmed” without supplemental irrigation. At their 700 foot elevation, this makes the grapes “work,” giving the wine a more pronounced taste of the setting and place, while also being a more sustainable farming practice. We enjoyed the taste of the Syrah so much, that we picked up a bottle to have for dinner once we returned home.
Becker Winery feels “homey.” Their two large dogs may greet you as you walk up to the winery and might settle in for a nap at your feet while you taste (their images also grace the labels of the “Mud Dog” and “Dog’s Drool” wines). Adding to the “homey” feel are the owners, who greeted us with a friendly, open welcome despite the hectic-ness of the Thanksgiving weekend rush and the van of wine tasters that arrived before us (did I mention that they are the only employees?).
Enjoying these smaller wineries — which are so small they don’t produce enough wine to sell in stores, and whose owners welcome you warmly when you arrive – is one of the reasons I enjoy excursions out to wine country.
For directions on how to get to Becker Winery, visit their web site: www.beckerwine.com.