by Emmalyn McCarthy
If you’re interested in a winery that combines the passion for art with its wines, Saffron Fields Vineyards in Yamhill, Oregon, is the place to go.
A unique experience in the wine country of Willamette Valley, Oregon, Saffron Fields Vineyards has everything to inspire your own creativity. The tasting room itself is architecturally remarkable, much of it constructed of reclaimed wood from the mid-20th century Tillamook Burn, one of Oregon’s largest-ever wildfires. The room shares the space with an art gallery of the owner’s personal collection. Take the wine tasting outside to enjoy a firepit with an up-close view of the surrounding koi pond. The grounds feature a Japanese garden designed by world-renowned designer Hoichi Kurisu whose artisanal crafting reflects the winery’s own philosophy of creating unity with your surroundings.
The wines capture the nuances and flavors of their estate vineyards while their Spectrum and Willamette Valley labels use fruit from beyond their estate. The Estate pinot noir and chardonnay are revered by fans and are the most popular for visitors. Reflecting their commitment to stewardship, the vineyard is LIVE- and Salmon Safe-certified, so Saffron Fields can produce delicious, flavorful wines while restoring and protecting the environment.
This summer, Saffron Fields Vineyards is celebrating art with a show, Gaia 2023: Forged With Flame. This is the second year the vineyard has thrown a collaborative show with three popular Northwest artists which works to bring together ceramic, wood and steel sculpture in the breathtaking wine-country setting. The element of flame or fire appears in all of these works and brings together the large-form ceramic sculpture of Katy McFadden, the powerful wood techniques of Rick Crawford and the forged and fabricated metal and wood forms of Phil Seder.
The artists’ works reflect our deep connections with Nature, just as the roots of the grape vines reach deep into the earth to create the fine wines produced on site. Katy McFadden uses her art to communicate the importance of nourishing the environment and to foster understanding between individuals. Through his art Rick Crawford explores his interest in the natural world, and shares some of the various cultures he has visited as well as ancient tribal iconography. Phil Seder shares his animal and human multimedia forms made of steel, copper and wood; he has participated in CollaboratioNZ, an international arts collaboration in New Zealand, along with Crawford.
To share her excitement for this event, art collector and owner Angela Summers says, “I see fine art as a perfect blending ingredient to develop the full experience of enjoying the art of fine wine. We hope that Gaia 2023 will continue to build on the success of last year’s show that featured stunning original pieces both in the tasting room and surrounding gardens.”
This show will run in August and September 2023 with a special Artists Reception Saturday, August 12. For more information visit saffronfields.com. To plan your stay in Willamette Valley, visit willamettevalley.org.