At the California/Oregon boarder, the roof on the old barn was painted “Wild Plum Winery.” There was a winery in what seemed to be the middle of no where. Did we stop? Definitely.
After pulling into the Stringer's driveway, we got out of the car. Silence. Stillness. Remote and beautiful. The old red barn door and green carpet of grass pulled us in. Inside the tasting room, owner and winemaker, John Stringer pours his own wines and goods.
The idea of using what the land has to offer appeals to me. For Stringers, the wild plum—not the grape—is the fruit of the region. John crafts the fruit into his own line of products.
Native to the high desert, these cherry looking plums are tart and thrive in the cold, harsh climate, at elevations of 4000-7000 feet. It's a short growing season in the high desert, and the plums are picked in September.
These native plums grow in the wild. The previous owner of the property took graftings of wild plums and planted orchards. Now John uses the estate fruit for his products. Stringer's is a family business. Roy and Joanne pioneered the business in the mid 80s. After their passing in 2013, Stringer's was fully passed onto their son, John, who continues the legacy.
For the Wine:
Wild Plum Wine, Semi-Sweet. This blush colored wine is a heady mixture of sweet and tart flavors. It has enough body to almost be a dessert wine, but is not quite as heavy or sweet. Pair and serve it with food as you would a sweeter Rose'. Or use it in a home-made vinaigrette.
We quickly move onto spirits:
My focus is typically wine. But if you have moderation under your belt, these could be nice to share with friends and family.
In the Bay Area, it's common to have a collection of tasting rooms in one area.
There is camaraderie and it draws tasters in.
But it takes guts, courage, and more than a hint of tenacity to fly solo, like John does, and make
wine from plums in the high remote California desert.
The fruit of each wine region in California offers something special.
Look for Pinot Noir, or cool weather Cabernet Sauvignon from Coastal wine grapes.
Central Valley grapes are the basis for beautiful Zinfandel.
The Foothills are an Eden for numerous varietals of wine.
Here's to your next wine detour, and your jaunt into something courageous!
Looking to try something new? Check out my feature on Canned Wines, portable & packable.
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