The Scoop: Couples looking for a unique date experience can tour Left Coast Estate winery in Oregon. They can walk through beautiful vineyards and taste a variety of its diverse wine options. Many guests enjoy seeing the vineyard’s unique cave and sampling cheese and charcuterie on educational tours. Those who can’t travel to the winery can have Left Coast Estate wines delivered to their homes.
Left Coast Estate winery is situated in the Willamette Valley, a 150-mile-long stretch of fertile land along Oregon’s Willamette River. The winery includes nearly 500 acres of rolling hills in one of the country’s best regions for wine production.
Taylor Pfaff, the second-generation owner of Left Coast Estate, enjoys welcoming couples to the vineyard for dates. He also said he sees couples visiting the vineyard as part of the winery’s legacy. His parents, who opened the vineyards in 2003 after many years of planning, are still an integral part of the operation and enjoy sharing it.
“When my parents were newlyweds, they moved to Paris. For the first time, they were exposed to the magic of food and wine ingrained into culture,” Taylor told us. “They fantasized about one day starting their own vineyard and sharing some of that magic with their visitors.”
The Pfaffs finally realized their dream of opening a winery 25 years later. They’re still excited to welcome guests to the vineyards whenever possible because of their love for the land and wine production.
Couples can stroll through the fields of grapes, taste wines, and even visit the sparkling wine cave on-site. They can also interact with the chickens and ducks that roam the grounds.
Left Coast Estate has become even more of a family affair over its 18 years in operation. Taylor, the Pfaffs’ youngest son, earned his MBA in Wine and Spirits and took over operations in 2016. His sister Cali is the winery’s Creative Director and Landscape Architect. The Pfaffs’ daughter-in-law Christina even helms the vineyard’s annual charity race.
The older generation of Pfaffs is still actively involved, caring for animals and gardens and serving as brand ambassadors to welcome families and couples on dates.
Building an Expansive Wine List
In addition to caring for the land, the Pfaffs developed a wide range of sustainable wines, including reds, whites, and bubbles. The grapes for those diverse wines grow in different elevations, soil and row compositions, so that the same area can produce many types of wines.
For instance, the Bench section of the vineyards is at 295 feet elevation, faces east, and produces pinot noirs. The Left Bank section is at a slightly higher elevation at the far corner of the estate and produces chardonnay.
Couples on a date can spend an entire day at Left Coast Estate, as it has nine different vineyard sections to explore. They can also bring children who can run around while their parents have wine, and the winery welcomes dogs, too.
“We welcome everyone to visit us at Left Coast, and we have a wide range of visitors. The setting is very relaxed, and we frequently encounter small-world scenarios as guests discover previously unknown connections between themselves and each other or our staff,” Taylor said.
Couples can also book private dates at the vineyard, and a popular option is the Sparkling Cave Tasting Experience. The team leads guests through an educational experience in which they learn about traditional and sparkling wines and sample cheese and charcuterie.
Another option is the 45 North Experience, which offers food and wine pairings for guests. It is designed for groups of up to 10 people and lasts about 90 minutes.
Left Coast Estate’s commitment to welcoming guests and developing wines is evident in the reception it receives from wine lovers. In 2017, the winery was voted Oregon’s top tasting room of the year, and in 2020, it earned a designation as the Oregon Winery of the Year by Wine Press NW.
Couples Can Have Products Delivered to Their Door
If couples can’t travel to Oregon, they can still have Left Coast Estate wines delivered to their homes for a special date night. Couples can choose from 24 wine varieties, depending on their preferences.
One of the winery’s most popular varieties is its Pinot Noir. The 2016 Right Bank Pinot Noir is characterized by its flavors of dark cherry, black licorice, coffee, smoke, bacon, and tobacco.
“On the palate, dark fruit and spice meld into volume and weight followed by a lengthy, wet-slate finish,” reads the description on the vineyard’s website.
“The Pinot Noir grape is incredibly versatile, and we even make a hugely popular White Pinot Noir, which is a white wine from a red grape,” Taylor told us.
The winery also produces Chardonnay, including the 2019 Truffle Hill Chardonnay.
In the chardonnay, “honeysuckle and butterscotch are accented with fruity aromas of nectarines and lemon peel. The palate is rich and round with flavors of dried nectarines, orange marmalade, and baking spice with a mineral finish,” according to the vineyard.
Couples can join one of the vineyard’s four wine clubs, which sends them specialty wines bi-annually or annually. If a couple joins the Sparkling Society, for instance, they’ll receive six bi-annual releases of sparkling wines. These clubs also offer other benefits, including discounts on purchases and special tours when visiting the vineyard.
Left Coast Estate: Supporting a Family Legacy
The Pfaff family plans to preserve its Left Coast Estate legacy for years to come by committing to the land. The Pfaffs said they feel connected to the Willamette Valley and aim to develop sustainable practices that will keep it viable for generations to come.
With that goal in mind, the family had the winery certified as sustainable through international accreditation standards. The winery includes up to 200 acres of ecologically focused areas, including 100 acres of old-growth white oak forests, the most threatened habitat in the area.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has partnered with the winery to “provide the technical expertise for the restoration as well as help us to match any funds we are able to raise ourselves with Federal and State grants. The forest will be a permanent wildlife refuge in the center of our estate and create habitat for native plants, wildlife, birds, and insects as well as improving the watershed,” the Pfaffs note on their website.
Left Coast Estate also generates most of its electricity through solar sources after receiving a grant from the state in 2008.
The Pfaff family welcomes guests to explore the vineyards and the trail system they’ve developed throughout the forests. Couples can also stroll through its seasonal gardens and landscaped areas in between wine tastings.
The Pfaffs said they are proud of what they have created and excited to welcome guests.
“Left Coast Estate is one of the most beautiful vineyards in Oregon. We’ve put all of our love into the land,” Taylor told us.