When you head up to Sarver Winery you experience 3 main things; the beautiful view, the amazing wines, and the relaxed, homey atmosphere. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill, stuffy, tasting room. This is the kind of place that you can get comfy in one of their high-backed chairs and just enjoy yourself. I had the pleasure of spending some time in one of those high-backed chairs while I got to know Erin Sarver, who co-owns Sarver Winery with her husband, Chris.
Chris and Erin Sarver moved out here almost 5 years ago from Michigan with their daughter, then just a newborn. With a love of wine and some amateur wine making experience under their belts, they started their hand at making wine here in the Willamette Valley. They thought they had a good grasp on what they were getting themselves into with the wine making part of the winery, but soon realized it was only a small percentage of what was involved with their current undertaking. The sheer work involved in the vineyard was immense. The infamous Oregon rains were upon them. They had a newborn!
Over the years they have added a gorgeous tasting room to the property with a beautiful outdoor space to enjoy the sunshine we do have in the Willamette Valley, eventually. They have also introduced new varietals to the vineyard, most recently an acre of Gewurztraminer vines.
5 years later, looking back on the journey they have taken and the beautiful things they have done both with the winery itself and the wine they have created, there is an overwhelming sense of pride felt with their accomplishments, so far. Here is just a piece of my interview with Erin out at Sarver;
Alyssa Morse: What is your favorite wine? Have you made one that just stands out?
Erin Sarver: No, because I’m a connoisseur of wines and I appreciate the wines for what each varietal has to offer. Previously, I hadn’t had much exposure to Gewurztraminer, but now that we’ve harvested our second vintage, I understand it in a broader sense and appreciate the nuances that only it can bring. Our business is to make wines that explore a broad palette, so there will always be a special wine that speaks to our customer’s different tastes.
Alyssa Morse: So you don’t have a go-to type that you pour to relax in the evening? Wait, do you still have a glass of wine in the evening to relax?
OF COURSE! I say of course because one of the reasons we moved out here is that we like to drink wine! I would say that if I were to grab a glass, primarily I would drink our Estate Pinot Gris or one of our Pinot Noirs. We look out on these vines every day, they truly are part of the family. However, I’ll happily open up a bottle of Petite Sirah when the steaks are on the grill, or sip a refreshing glass of rose on a hot day.
Alyssa Morse: What is your favorite vintage you made so far?
Erin Saver: I think it’s going be this year. We don’t have many vintages under our belt and the past couple of seasons have been particularly challenging for growers. Having said that, even with challenging seasons, we’ve been very pleased with the results! This year’s harvest is coming in and looking great with regards to ripeness, acids, ph levels, and overall flavor development, so we’ll see!
So I suggest the next time you want a relaxing glass of wine with some fun people, head on up to Sarver Winery. Meet Erin, Chris, the amazing tasting room staff, and even their little dog, Baby. You definitely won’t regret it. I know I never do.