Posts Tagged: Pinkies Down
It’s been a wild summer and we’ve been trying to keep up with all that is going on around us, while still hoping to provide some great recipes and ideas you’ll enjoy! This week we wanted to do a Summer Round-up of yours—and our—favorites from the last several months.
This recipe, our Radler brined rack of ribs, was a huge hit! I hope some of you tried it or will try it soon!
Who doesn’t enjoy a homemade popsicle during the hot summer months? We were particularly proud of these beautiful and tasty pops made with Underwood Rosé and fresh berries—our Pink & Polka Dot Ice Pops.
The times have certainly changed of late and we want to protect as many people as possible, starting with our employees. This post on how to get creative and make your own mask was educational and inspirational. Joanna is a pro at making fun and stylish masks and we were so happy she shared her sewing secrets with us.
And finally, who doesn’t love to follow along on other people’s adventures when they are as amazing as a day in the life of Cheney?! Cheney is a winemaker at Union and an active guy —it can be hard to keep up with him when he’s having fun. This post helps us enjoy the ride without going to too much trouble!
Those are our favorites. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did.
Take good care out there! Be careful and keep safe.
First things first. Keep your distance, wash your hands, and wear your mask. Please and thanks. That being said, for those who love the outdoors, (like most of us here at UWCo), there are still plenty of ways to get outside and recreate responsibly. Join us as we follow one of our winemakers, Cheney Vidrine, to do just that. We explore the activities that many Oregonians know and love. From going vert at Smith Rock, to cooling off in the rapids of the Deschutes River. Then, letting gravity take us home, mountain biking from Timberline Lodge to Government Camp. Get ready, it’s going to be a wild ride.
6:30 am. Saturday morning. Terrebonne, OR. The parking lot at the trailhead of Smith Rock State Park looks something like an REI yard sale. Climbers slowly unloading all kinds of devices for ascending the 30 million-year-old volcanic Tuff formations. Counting each glimmering piece of gear with precise selection. Through the morning light, a familiar face (after he removes his mask) makes an appearance. Our very own Cheney Vidrine. As he makes his way past the cars greeting folks left and right, I wave a hand. We exchange greetings and go over the plan for the next few days. Listing off activities such as river rafting and downhill mountain biking as calmly as someone would explain a walk through a park. It is obvious Cheney is in his element.
Back home, Cheney is one of our talented winemakers overseeing the daily ins and outs that are required to create our delicious wines. Here in the central Oregon outback, Cheney is one of the many outdoor enthusiasts. What better place to take all that enthusiasm than to the birthplace of U.S. sport climbing, Smith Rock? We walked down the trail and crossed over the Crooked River Bridge. Just a hop, skip, and a jump, and we were at our first stop; The Morning Glory Wall. As I watched with a confused look on my face at the knot tying and climbing doodad organizing, I asked Cheney how he got into climbing. He said “Climbing was 2007. I was trying to get into whitewater rafting, but couldn’t afford it. My grad school roommate took me climbing. I was hooked. It was my only sport for a decade.”
As I watched Cheney and his rock scaling comrades go up and down the old lava wall, I was mesmerized. It was a beautiful way to start the morning. As the sun snuck over the edge of the peaks, the temperatures slowly but surely began to creep up. Luckily, we had a few (low alcohol) Riesling Radler’s and Strawberry Coolers to bring the internal temps down. The temps climbed higher and faster than anyone rigged up, so we decided it was time to pack up and head to the water.
An hour and 20-minute drive took us to the town of Maupin, Oregon. It was time to inflate the rafts, dish out the life vests, and sink the drag bag (the best way to keep those wine cans cold). We met up with some more of Cheney’s outdoor rec squad. After introductions were made and vessels were chosen, we launched. The cold Deschutes waters have never felt better than on this hot July day. After making sure my life jacket would probably keep me afloat, I figured it was time to ask Raft Captain Cheney some more adventure life questions. “So, when did you get this raft?” I asked, as I dangled one leg over the side and attempted my smoothest paddle. Cheney looked up, smiled, and said “I started rafting/whitewater kayaking in 2018. That’s when I essentially won the lottery: The Grand Canyon permit lottery.” For those that are unfamiliar, this is an incredibly lucky permit to draw. Cheney definitely has some good sportsman’s karma. With an even bigger smile and chuckle, he continues. “I didn’t think I would pick up a permit for years. I immediately bought a boat and forced my river friends to show me their ways.” We continued down the winding river with the sun to our backs and Cheney having us paddle “right side forward” or “left side back.” Everything was warm, calm, and serene. That all quickly changed once we hit some large rapids and a few folks, (including myself), went flying out of the raft. Laughing and swimming back to the yellow point of safety, we continued on our way. I looked back at the end of the boat just in time to catch a can of wine tossed over from our fearless captain. Not a bad way to cool down. After some hours of floating, paddling, bailing, and boat trading, we made it to the end of our river trip. We aired down the rafts and piled into Cheney and his girlfriend’s Anaïs’ Sprinter to take us back to our vehicles. It was time to make camp, and more importantly, make dinner.
Day two. After a beautiful night spent under the Milky Way with Cheney and Co., we packed the rigs to head to our third adventure. Mountain biking down Mt. Hood. We took the back road through Tygh Valley and headed to Timberline Lodge. Once there, we found some parking for all the adventure mobiles. Cheney and Anaïs have a sprinter that they travel to all their adventures in, but it’s more like an REI on wheels. Complete with a kitchen, sink, and mini garage under the sleeping quarters. While assembling his mountain bike and dawning more protection gear than I saw in the last Batman flick, I hovered nearby. My curiosity must have been written on my face. Cheney leans over and says “Mountain Biking started in 2017. After years of many of my friends nagging me to buy a bike. I fought it because I didn’t want to climb less or hurt myself. I’m glad I finally gave in. It is the best!” It was time get off this mountain. Sophie, their trusty dog, joined in for the mountain run. We raced down the road to meet up with the two-wheeled human batteries at the halfway point. There were a few fun jumps that were hit with significant speed. There’s a saying in the mountain biking community; “the slower you go, the more likely it is you’ll crash.” Apparently, that is the truth because they were flying.
After all that adventure, the squad met up at the Government Camp Dairy Queen for some cold treats. It was a weekend for the books to say the least. Gravity was tested in a number of different forms. We flowed with and fell into some of the most beautiful waters the state has to offer. Whether you’re cracking cans under the Milky Way or sipping cold wine coolers from a raft, Oregon is one hell of a state. Remember to stay safe out there. Abide by the rules and respect your fellow humans. We’re all in this together. Let’s try to see as much beauty as we can. Until next time.
Photo credit: Austin White @austingwhite austinwhitephotography.com
Here at Union Wine Co. we think of ourselves as more of a family than just a place of work. We try to encourage and support everyone in their passions and side projects.
Allow us to introduce Amy Carr. By day, Amy is the Logistics and Compliance/Customer Service Supervisor. She has been a part of the Union Wine Company family for about 5 years, beginning at Amity Vineyards before moving over full-time to UWCo.
When Amy was only 12 years old, her father gave her a copy of Nick Hornby’s (best) novel High Fidelity, which introduced her to a main character who is always striving to share the classic music he loves and the new bands he discovers. And so, a seed was planted…
Fast Forward to early 2015. A few of Amy’s friends decided to found Freeform Portland, an entirely independent, community-sponsored, non-profit, freeform radio station. Going live the following year, they broadcast on 90.3 and also 98.3 FM from the NE Alberta Area. Officially they are a “low-power” FM station; their radio broadcast range is only about 5 square miles, but, lucky for us, we live in the digital age so everyone can enjoy their full array of programming at FreeformPortland.org/listen.
The DJs are free to play music from records, tapes, CDs or digital files. There are no commercials or talk programs. Generally, the only speaking you will hear are the DJs identifying their chosen songs during music set breaks, although there are some great “in studio” band interviews from time to time. All songs from every show are also listed on their website.
Two amazing things that FFP can boast are, 1., it is absolutely 100% volunteer run, and 2., it is absolutely 100% live programming, meaning no prerecorded shows. There is a live DJ playing music in the booth 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
At the station, Amy goes by the handle DJ Stellar Luna. Her show, “Nightlight” runs on alternating Mondays from 10 PM to midnight. Amy’s playlist differs every week focusing mostly on Neo Psychedelia, New Wave, Hip-Hop and Latin. Asked what some of her favorite bands are, Amy mentioned, in no particular order:
La Femme (which she plays at least one song by during every show)
Thee Oh Sees
Echo & the Bunnymen
Amy was drawn to the radio station for many of the same reasons that she was drawn to Union Wine Co.—each puts a great emphasis on authenticity and a truly meaningful reflection of the community.
As you might imagine, the broadcast booth is small but is filled with all sorts of amazing music, movie and cultural paraphernalia.
Recently we asked Amy to create our first official Spotify profile, beginning with a Union Wine Co. playlist, a constantly growing curated mix.
In addition, Amy has created playlists to match the vibe of our three labels:
Subscribe to them all now so you have the perfect soundtrack the next time you are enjoying our wines!
We want to thank Amy for sharing her time and passion with us, and allowing us a small glimpse into the amazing world of Freeform Portland. Hopefully this will inspire you to check out some of their programming.
(Amy’s IG is @amycoche)
In celebration of the 4th of July, we are kicking off a series of monthly Union Wine Co. Cocktails. This month’s cocktail is ironically called The Fourth. It’s a refreshing combination of our 2011 Alchemist Chardonnay with tea infused Aviation Gin and fresh herbs. It’s the perfect cocktail to have in hand while manning the hot grill this holiday. Try it out and let us know what you think. Happy Fourth and remember to keep it #pinkiesdown!
3 oz Aviation Gin
1-2 tea bags (we used a mixture of green and rooibos)
3 oz Alchemist Chardonnay
1 oz simple syrup
1 oz lemon juice
2-3 mint leaves
4-5 basil leaves
Infuse gin with tea for 1-2 hours.
Muddle the herbs in a cocktail shaker add ice and the ingredients above, shake and strain. Serve on the rocks or straight up.
Photography by Julia Saltzman