Nourish and Flourish: Flavors of the Season
ECO-FRIENDLY DESTINATION STEAMBOAT INN, SOUTHERN OREGON
Many of the current advances in vineyard management, clonal selection, and winemaking are advanced at the Steamboat, resulting in a landmark contribution to the remarkable success with Pinot Noir in Oregon and California.
Steamboat Inn has been its legacy for good, locally sourced fresh foods from farmlands, rivers, and the ocean. In keeping with the wilderness fishing experience, the camp cooks at the old fishing camps along the North Umpqua outdid themselves to ensure that the anglers’ good fishing would be matched by the quality of the food they enjoyed. This became known as the Fisherman’s Dinner and served several important purposes. The anglers would gather around the dinner table each evening to exchange information on the flies and the methods that had been successful on that day in luring the river’s native summer steelhead. These dinners created a unique community of like-minded people and forged life-long friendships.
The Fisherman’s Dinner tradition was carried forward by Sharon Van Loan and then Manager Patricia Lee. They incorporated the best of both the traditional fishing camp cooking with new, healthy approaches to preparing fresh foods. This dynamic culinary duo also raised the bar in the food and wine world. In addition to creating a wholesome dinner every day for their guests, their combined talents brought forward the amazing wines being produced in Oregon. For decades, the Van Loans and Lee hosted the Winemaker Dinner Series that would entice visitors from all over the world to the destination.
The Steamboat Inn has also been the host of the Steamboat Inn Pinot Noir Conference since 1979. It is held each July and brings together a wide range of guests. The mission of this symposium is to bring together vintners from Oregon and all over the world to share their knowledge of winemaking. According to Winepress Northwest, attendees do some fishing; however, it is the blind tasting of unfinished Pinot Noir wines, the discussions that result, and the camaraderie over dinner and the time shared that has led to the Pinot Noir renaissance in America. Many of the current advances in vineyard management, clonal selection, and winemaking are advanced at the Steamboat, resulting in a landmark contribution to the remarkable success with Pinot Noir in Oregon and California.
Travis and Melinda fell in love with the history of the Inn, one of the reasons they bought it. In addition to their love of good food and fishing, they are committed to keeping the traditions of the Inn in place while growing with the times. “We want the Steamboat Inn to be a place that everyone is welcome–particularly families with children.” says Melinda. There will still be the fine dining element along with choices that will allow more flexibility. That was Lee’s biggest recommendation when we bought the Inn.” The Woodwards are working very hard to keep these traditions alive and modernized for their guests. They have many exciting things planned for the future. The Woodwards welcome you to visit.