A pair of travel writers for The Boston Globe, Diane Bair and Pamela Wright, recently featured our region in an article entitled, “In search of good pinot noir, truffles, and friend time in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.”
One of the activities the duo experienced was a “Bougie Truffle Tromp,” hosted by Stefan Czarnecki of Black Tie Tours in March. These events, limited to just a few months during truffle season in the Willamette Valley, are a huge draw for both locals and out of town visitors. Each features a winemaker-hosted lunch with wines paired with a truffle-based feast.
As it turns out, this particular day Bells Up wines were on the menu. Because of our location, the group met at our winery to take in the view before (and after) the excursion. And look whose view was the featured image in the article… (see above—header photo by Pamela Wright, courtesy of The Boston Globe). We were pretty stoked. Winemaker Dave poured several of our wines at the lunch.
Bair and Wright shared the following about the experience:
We joined Stefan Czarnecki, owner of Black Tie Tours, a company offering winery tours year-round and foraging tours when truffles are in season. Czarnecki has been foraging for most of his life. His father, Jack Czarnecki, is an expert mushroom and truffle hunter, and author of four cookbooks, including the James Beard-winning “Cook’s Book of Mushrooms” and his latest, “Truffle in the Kitchen.”
Willamette Valley, with its cool-ish climate, rainy days, and shady forests, is among the world’s best regions, outside of Europe, for foraging truffles. We drove a short distance to a private Douglas fir forest (Czarnecki has permission to forage here) and followed the dogs as they sniffed for buried truffle treasures. Success! We (the dogs) found a handful of small white truffles, dirty little nuggets worth triple their weight in gold. The excursion included an elegant lunch in a nearby barn, prepared by local chefs Erick Caballero and Alex Graham, paired with wines from Bells Up Winery.
There was a charcuterie platter overflowing with salumi, pates, breads, cheeses, olives, and fruit, paired with a full-bodied rose; root vegetable soup topped with shaved truffles, paired with Bells Up Jupiter estate pinot noir; a seasonal vegetable salad with a peppery Candide pinot noir; and grilled bone-in rib eye with herbed truffle butter, paired with a Firebird Syrah. Dessert was an Oregon black truffle flan with fresh shaved truffles.