Celebrating Spring at Tom McCall Preserve

Tom McCall Preserve Tom McCall Preserve

In addition to their work to fight climate change, improve the health of our forests, restore habitat at the coast, The Nature Conservancy helps to protect millions of acres of land across the world. In fact, in Oregon alone, they have protected more than 530,000 acres. One of these special places is Tom McCall Preserve at Rowena.

Arrowleaf Balsamroot

Tom McCall Preserve at Rowena

Located just east of Hood River in the Columbia River Gorge, the Preserve bridges the wet west side of the Cascades with the drier grass prairies of the east, creating a unique landscape with many rare and sensitive plants. Each April and May the preserve is full of bright native flowers. The flowers that are the most prevalent at the Preserve are Arrowleaf Balsamroot and Lupine. Native plant species help preserve the planet’s biodiversity and are often better able to support the local environment and wildlife than ones that are introduced.

Red Tail Hawk

The Preserve is a great example of the beauty and diversity the earth offers when it is protected. The work The Nature Conservancy does help to restore and protect these 231 acres allows birds and other species to thrive. Among the many native flowers, we saw a few red tail hawks during our visit.

Underwood Wine and The Nature Conservancy

We recommend making a trip out there within the next week or so as the peak blooming season is coming to an end. Please stay on marked trails to protect the sensitive species that call it home. Pack your camera, flower identification book, and your favorite beverage.

Learn more about The Nature Conservancy’s efforts to protect #NatureNow.

Tom McCall Preserve

As always, pack it in, pack it out, stay on the trails, and please don’t pick any of the flowers.

More information on the Tom McCall Preserve at Rowena, including directions, highlights, and other resources, is available here.

Above Photo: Rowena Crest ©Gary Grossman/TNC Photo Contest 2019
All Other Photos: ©Union Wine Company

Union Tastes: Exploring Diversity in Wine

They come in many different colors, shapes, and sizes, with an endless amount of potential early in their life, later coalescing to become something beautiful and complex. We are talking about the amazing wine grape of course. However, our community within the world of wine is just as varied and multifaceted. In hopes of sharing this abundant bouquet of culture, we invite you to our Diversity in Wine tastings, where we feature world class wines brought to you from our fellow winemakers and growers in the BIPOC community.

BIPOC Wine Tasting

A few months back we rounded up a few of our favorite wines and made some at-home tasting kits for our staff. Each staff member picked up their wines and tasted from the comfort and safety of their homes. The fantastic wines we enjoyed are from the following wineries:

Chosen Family

Chosen Family “makes wines that capture a rare moment in time.” Founded by Channing Frye, Chase Renton, and Jacob Grey as a way to bring their passion for wine and for making the most of life to their friends, family, and all of our dinner tables.

A thoughtful approach to every aspect of the winemaking process is showcased in their wines, which tend to sell out fast so if you have the opportunity to score a bottle, do it!

Chosen Family 2019 Chardonnay – Our Notes: 

Great acidity, balance of fruit and mild oak. Nice layers. Flavor lingers on your pallet and is very enjoyable. Juicy, light.

Aroma: mineral, stone, brioche, savory, lychee
Appearance: straw yellow, wheat fields
Taste: biscuits, tart green apple, green fruit, pear
Finish: smooth, buttery, dry

Chosen Family Chardonnay Chosen Family Chardonnay

Abbey Creek

“It’s great that I’m the first but what’s most important is that I’m not the last.”

In 2008, Bertony Faustin became the first recorded black winemaker in Oregon. He works hard to create community and open up the dialogue for a deeper conversation into diversity, equity and inclusion. Named after the creek that runs through the vineyard, Abbey Creek wines have made a name for themselves in the world of Oregon Pinot Noir, as well as offering up a collection of sparkling wines and a 14-month, oak-aged Chardonnay. If you’re in the Portland area, be sure to visit Bertony’s new wine shop and tasting room, The Crick. It is full of good vibes and good tunes.

Abbey Creek 2019 Chardonnay – Our Notes: 

Super interesting for a chardonnay, bright, smells amazing. Balanced oak with fresh flavors. Maybe stainless steel aged? Big mouth feel.

Aroma: lemon rind, grass, salt air, lemongrass
Appearance: pale gold, clear pastel yellow
Taste: sour candies, tart citrus fruits, under-ripe grapefruit, sour patch kids, apple
Finish: smooth and tart

Abbey Creek Chardonnay

McBride Sisters

Robin and Andrea McBride grew up separately in Monterey, CA and Marlborough, New Zealand – two world-renowned wine regions. The newly found sisters joined forces in California in 2005, creating the McBride Sisters Collection. In a male-dominated profession, the McBride sisters used their passion to grow the largest black owned wine company in the United States, with a strong focus on inclusivity and sustainability. “Since 2005, The McBride Sisters’ mission has become clear — to transform the industry, lead by example, and cultivate community, one delicious glass of wine at a time.”

Black Girl Magic Rosé 2019 – Our Notes: 

Fruit forward with an easy finish. Perfect for a beach day. Lovely color.

Aroma: lily, apricot, floral, citrus, strawberry
Appearance: watermelon pink
Taste: black pepper, grass?, strawberry , raspberry, meyer lemon
Finish: slightly bitter, easy

Black Girl Magic Rose

Black Girl Magic Rosé

Charles Wine Company

Charles Wine Company was created in 2012 and is a small, boutique style family establishment sourcing grapes from the Sierra foothills in the Lodi Appellation of California. A strong focus on high-quality varietals and thoughtful winemaking creates an authentic offering of wines with a personal feel.

Paul Charles Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 – Our Notes: 

Young, could use a few more years in the bottle. Big, bold, and beautiful. Nice acidity and savory.

Aroma: cranberry, sage, currant, black cherry, spice
Appearance: brick red, deep red
Taste: charcoal, strawberry, cedar, slightly sweet and jammy, cassis
Finish: smooth, low tannin for a cab

Paul Charles Wine

Maison Noir

Maison Noir is a lifestyle brand, producing a line of T-Shirts and a wide variety of Oregon wines including distinctive Pinot Noir’s, a bright Chardonnay and a Red Blend with a punch. Award-winning Sommelier, André Hueston Mack, founded Maison Noir in 2001, sourcing grapes predominately from Oregon’s Willamette Valley. André approaches winemaking a little differently and focuses on creating a wine that “isn’t afraid to have a good time.”

OPP 2019 Pinot Noir – Our Notes: 

Traditional tasting OR pinot noir but with a bit of a bite. Smells delicious. Good on it’s own, even better with food. Very well rounded.

Aroma: leather, white pepper, smoke, current and cherry
Appearance: ruby
Taste: blackberry, red currant, tobacco, clove
Finish: smooth, balanced tannins, structured, dry

Other People's Pinot Other People's Pinot

And, there you have it!

Thanks for “joining” us for this first tasting by the Union family. Watch for more BIPOC-focused notes and tastings coming soon.

Brett Stenson Artist Spotlight: Behind the Design of Our New Cans


My process usually starts with some sort of trip or some sort of experience first, like, how do I develop a strong emotional connection to something I’m going to start drawing or carving? So it starts with coming up with what am I emotionally connected to? And then from there, I start sketching stuff, come up with the composition, come up with the idea.

Brett Stenson Artist Spotlight

Brett Stenson Artist Spotlight

If you go out and draw something that is laying in a stream, you’re going to see a composition that nature made, you didn’t make it up sitting at your computer, like you had to be subjected to it and look at it and accept it for how beautiful or weird or not that beautiful it looks and turn it into something that it is really interesting and cool on paper because if you do it cool, somebody is going to enjoy it so you don’t have to overthink it very much.

Brett Stenson Artist Feature

The idea behind the cans was based on having your own perspective when you’re standing in a river and being able to look down and see fish swimming in rocks and plants. So it almost puts you in a place of, oh, I’ve stood here before or I’ve been in this place before. I think what was cool about designing something that you had to spin and look at was that I wanted it to feel almost like an infinite continuous loop of a river, kind of like passing by as you spin it.

Brett Stenson Artist Feature

I feel like Union Wine and Underwood has such a great reach that they can show a lot more people in an unexpected way, you know, you think you drink it and you’re like, yeah, it’s wine, but it’s also made of water. If it’s not good water, it’s not going to be good wine. So you have to have great water. That makes great grapes. That makes great wine. Making artwork or making design work for people that are going out there and protecting trails, protecting forests, is my way of helping by making things that raise awareness for that stuff because I don’t necessarily have the knowledge or energy to go out and like, know how to protect a river or make it more fertile for fish to live in because that’s what biologists are for. So my design work is like my way of connecting to the things I care about.

Brett Stenson Artist Feature

Spring Brunch paired with Rosé

Spring Brunch with Rosé
While our gatherings indoors might still be small, that doesn’t mean you can’t go big with a delicious brunch spread. These recipes pair great with our Underwood Rosé, so if you’re going for a “rosé all day” type of day, these tasty dishes will keep you balanced.

First up—a Spring Quiche!

A Very Simple Crust

1 1/2 C flour

1 t salt

1/2 C (1 stick) butter chilled

cold, iced water (about 3T)

Add flour, salt, and sugar in the mixer. Mix until combined.

Cut butter into small cubes. Add a few at a time. Mix until texture is like a crumble.

While the mixer is on, slowly add cold water, a tablespoon at a time, to the dough until it forms a ball.

Flatten dough into a disc and wrap to be stored in the frig until firm and cold (about 1 hour)

Preheat oven to 425F. Roll out dough and fit into deep pie dish. Prebake crust using blind baking supplies (I used foil and dried beans) for 15 minutes.

While crust is pre-baking, start on the egg mixture.

Egg Mixture

10 Eggs

1/2 C Chevre (half mixed into eggs, other half scattered on top)

Wild Spring Onion (or you can use Ramps if they are available), chop up 2 to go into egg mixture, and slice 2 to vertically and thinly to arrange on top of the quiche.


Spinach Bunch

Salt and Pepper

Spring Quiche


Clean Spinach in a large bowl of water and dry.

Saute garlic and wild onion over low-med until slightly caramelized. Add cleaned spinach to garlic and spring onion. Cook until most is wilted. Set aside.

Whisk eggs, 1/4 C goat cheese, and 2 T of water together until blended. Add salt and pepper.

Add spinach and spring onion to the egg mixture.

Pour mixture into pre-baked crust.

Scatter the leftover goat cheese into chunks to float along the top. Lay the thinly cut spring onions along the top to float as well.

Turn oven down to 350F, bake until the crust is golden brown and the middle is firm, about 30 minutes.

Escarole Salad with fennel and strawberry, white wine vinaigrette

White Wine Vinaigrette

1 T White Wine Vinegar (Champagne/ Moscato)

2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and pepper




Lettuce or Escarole if you like more of a bitter taste


Whisk together the ingredients for the vinaigrette.

Slice 8 strawberries

Thinly slice 1/2 cup of fennel.

Wash, dry, and then tear apart lettuce leaves.

Toss all ingredients together in a large salad serving dish and pour the vinaigrette on top and toss again.

Rhubarb Loaf

(Recipe from King Arther Baking)

2 1/2 cups sliced rhubarb, plus 3 or 4 colorful stalks for garnish

1 3/4 C all-purpose flour

1 C sugar

1/2 t baking soda

1/4 t salt

1/4 t nutmeg

1 T lemon zest

1/2 C chopped walnuts

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 C vegetable oil

1 T coarse sugar for topping; optional


Put the rhubarb (minus your brightest red stalks for the garnish) into a 2-quart saucepan and cook over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally until it collapses and cooks down. Remove from the heat and cool; you should have about 1 1/2 cups. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and lemon zest (or lemon oil). Stir in the walnuts.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and vegetable oil. Combine with the 1 1/2 cups of cooked rhubarb.

Stir the egg and rhubarb mixture into the dry ingredients, mixing until the batter is evenly moistened. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, and sprinkle with sparkling sugar.

Wash the reserved rhubarb stalks and cut in half, lengthwise. Place cut-side down on top of the batter in the pan.

Bake the bread for 55 to 60 minutes, until a cake tester, toothpick, or paring knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the loaf from the oven and cool it in the pan for 15 minutes. Then remove it from the pan and place it on a rack to finish cooling completely before slicing.

Store the bread, well wrapped, at room temperature for three days; or sliced and frozen for up to 3 months.

Rosé Brunch

Strawberry Rosé Daze

Underwood Rosé Cocktail

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we welcome spring with open arms. There might be a day here and there when it’s pouring rain, or raining one minute and perfectly sunny the next. But then there is that day when it’s beautiful, low 60s, clear skies and we can feel the rain drying up and more warm days to come. For those perfect spring days, we have a cocktail to celebrate with.

Strawberry Rosé Daze

1 oz Tequila

.5 oz Aperol

.75 oz fresh lemon juice

.5 oz strawberry simple syrup

1 oz Underwood Rosé

Underwood Rosé Cocktail

Strawberry simple syrup

In a saucepan, add one cup water to one cup sugar and one cup diced strawberries. Simmer and stir until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat and stir for 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and let mixture cool to room temperature. Transfer through a strainer into a refrigerator-safe container for future use.


Stir tequila, aperol, lemon juice, strawberry simple syrup, rose and ice. Put a round or large ice cub in an old fashion glass. Pour in cocktail and top with a cut strawberry. Enjoy!

Underwood Rosé Cocktail

We suggest enjoying this cocktail while daydreaming about summer and listening to our Summer Daze Playlist.

Underwood Rosé Cocktail