Winery Review: Honeywood Winery

November 11, 2010

After our time drinking beer in Pacific City, OR, we drove back home via Salem, OR so that I could go to Honeywood Winery and try some wines.

Honeywood Winery is Oregon’s oldest winery, which opened in 1934, a year after the end of Prohibition. Honeywood has a few grape wines, but mostly specializes in fruit wines.  At the moment, they appear to have 60 different wines.

The building is mostly a warehouse, and you can’t access or see the wine production area. The tasting room is a small area just off of the large gift shop, which is full of wine related items, teas, condiments, etc, though there is nothing available to try. Honeywood makes gift baskets pairing the wine with these other things. The tasting area is a little dated with brown appliances, but it adds to the atmosphere.

Honeywood Winery offers five tastings for free, and they use small cordial like glasses. I started off with the Rhubarb Wine, partly because we had bought a bottle of Hoodsport Rhubarb Wine, which we found to be very bland and not at all like rhubarb. Honeywood did theirs right, as it did taste like rhubarb, even the sour aftertaste. I liked it. Next, I tried their Cranberry Supreme, which was okay, but it finished leaving an apple aftertaste, as I’m sure they used apple juice to dilute the too strong cranberry. My husband had the Currant Noir, which was a Pinot Noir wine with currants added, and it ended up being our favorite tasting. He followed that up with the Sweet Red Wine, which was made out of 100% concord grape juice, and it tasted like concord grapes. I had the Honeysuckle Peach next, which was a white wine with honey, peaches, and spices added. It was pleasant. Then I made a huge mistake – the wine server placed some crackers in front of us that were covered in a bit of cheese powder, and I really couldn’t taste much of anything afterwords. I thought the Pear wine was okay, and I said that the Pineapple wine was very syrupy, which is actually the words my husband was thinking about the Pear. The Red Currant wine was also sweet and syrupy, and we didn’t much care for the Cranberry L’Orange.

We bought a bottle of the Currant Noir and then left, discussing the tastings at Honeywood, a bit from Blue Heron French Cheese Company wine tasting the day before, and our favorite fruit wine from Shallon Winery.  The thing about Honeywood was that everything was too sweet, which is one of the things Shallon Winery complains about when it comes to other fruit wines. Here we were, spoiled by Shallon Winery, experiencing the too sweet phenomenon, and thinking, “Wow, no wonder more people are not drinking fruit wines.” I’m really going to have to pay attention to that in my own fruit winemaking. My husband is also suspicious of the flavored crackers, instead of traditional neutral oyster crackers, as a way to numb your palate to the sugar, therefore improving your impression of the wine.


One Response to “Winery Review: Honeywood Winery”

  1. […] Honeywood Winery in Salem, OR has three cranberry wines, though I find them heavy in apple filler. […]

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