It’s Harvest time. Fall’s “be there soon”. A magical transitional period that pairs the mourning of summer with the excitement of fall. It garners its own special flavors, many of which we’ve distilled into our Harvest Festival Series. Among our favorites are Oregon’s own hazelnuts and Pinot Noir, brought to life in two incredible flavors - Pinot Poached Pear Sherbet and Plum & Chocolate Hazelnut Shortbread (v).

Willamette Valley is home to some of the world’s best Pinot Noirs. Nestled in the Dundee Estate Hills, Sokol Blosser Winery has access to some of the best volcanic soil - ideal for making these delicious, fruit-forward wines. Similar to Salt & Straw, Sokol Blosser seeks to create an experience around their menus. With Oregon’s first ever tasting room, the Blosser family understood early on the beauty of expanding their community and their business through taste (something we wholeheartedly agree with). 

With wine’s harvest season falling in line with our September menu, it only made sense to highlight the incredible fruity, mildly spiced flavors of an Oregon pinot within this month’s flavor line up. But what makes Pinot Poached Pear Sherbet extra special is the pinot we ultimately included in the recipe. Following a particularly dry 2018, Willamette Valley vineyards were met with ample rain and moisture in 2019, yielding insanely juicy grapes come harvest time. Experts refer to this season as “near perfection” - making Sokol Blosser 2019 Pinot Noir the wine to feature in Pinot Poached Pear Sherbet. Its juicy fruitiness, natural notes of nutmeg, and slight earthiness make the perfect companion for sweet pears.

wine grapes
Photo Credit: Andrea Johnson 

Another one of Oregon’s most magical byproducts is hazelnuts. These special nuts are another Harvest season gem, hailing from Willamette Valley, the source of nearly 99% of the world’s hazelnuts. Yeah, Oregon is perfect for them. 

Their subtle, creamy, and nutty profile makes the ultimate pairing for so many bold flavors. For our purposes, they also add incredible texture to ice cream. This season, we developed Plum & Chocolate Hazelnut Shortbread (v) featuring Oregon-grown hazelnuts. The deep and tart plums are counterbalanced by coconut cream, with a textural pop of flavor from hazelnuts and bitter dark chocolate. The hazelnuts add a sweet nuttiness, tying a bow on this complex new flavor.