Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

SEP-OCT 2018

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Page 63 of 135

Describing an experience as "authentic" is currently buzzy in both culinary and travel industries. It is a somewhat malleable descriptor, as what is deemed genuine or original by one person can seem contrived to someone else. For better or worse, authentic is the word that bubbles to the top every time I try to convey my experiences traveling through Oregon's famed Willamette Valley winemaking region, where, with surprising frequency, my tasting glasses are filled by the winemakers themselves, who share their unique story as they pour. While there are certainly commonalities from one to the next—the notion of following a dream, taking a big leap of faith and moving to Oregon to build a winery from scratch—I never tire of hearing their tales of trials and triumphs as they learned the winemaking process from grape-to-glass. During my most recent visit, which was solely focused on the 6,490-acres that comprise the Dundee Hills AVA, I once again drank up the collective stories of those who have chosen to pursue their passion in winemaking, farming, hospitality, and art. ere is a strong sense of community among the more than 50 vineyards and wineries in the Dundee Hills, and this conviviality carries over to all aspects of the visitor experience. Over the next few issues we'll be sharing highlights of the trip, including discussions with winemaking pioneers who put Oregon's pinot noir on the map, to the new kids on the block who are looking to carve out their own unique niche. For our first installment, we've chosen to focus on Native Flora, which was among the first wineries I visited on my maiden voyage to Oregon's wine country several years ago. Founders/ owners Scott and Denise Flora arrived in Oregon from Hong Kong in 2000, and from the get-go they have made a point to challenge convention. eir vanguard approach to winemaking, as well as their highly personal tasting experience certainly left an impression on me. THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED Native Flora embraces a "renegade" approach to winemaking in Oregon's Dundee Hills AVA Written by Bridget Williams / Photography courtesy of Native Flora Scott Flora with a Babydoll Southdown lamb 62

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