When we think of wine tasting, we try to capture a fleeting moment of pleasure as we sip and gurgle. We use words not often used in our day-to-day manner to try to capture the experience, even if they seem like crude tools. We test the “nose”, we watch the “legs”, we taste the “rich tones of cherry and oak.”
In many ways the same struggle to describe the fleeting flavor of a new wine occurs when we try to describe driving electric. The car is silent, save for a high end background noise, a whine, a powerful register not out of place. The tire treads seeth, growl and roar along the roadbed, keeping pace with the speed. The car responds like a horse with spurs to its side, instantly, and it accelerates with a straight build-up of speed like nothing we have felt before. We wait for the hesitation of gears but find only more power. A Tesla’s acceleration is like experiencing the recoil of a high velocity rifle for the first time. There is no smell but the smell of other cars. Sitting in traffic, we are like an athlete between events, quiet, alert and ready, but not wasting any energy in the moment before the true test. We try to explain it, this driving electric, but like a rare vintage, it is best left for each person to actually experience. When it comes to driving a vehicle we are all unlikely connoisseurs as we have spent prodigious amounts of our lives performing the task. Our muscles and minds harbor sophisticated impressions of what it is to “drive”. Trying to reduce it down to language only displays how crude and blunt an instrument is vocabulary.
But this post is not actually about Oregon wine. Its about the unlikely combination of wineries and electric charging stations.
As Oregon strives to push the EV envelope and make effective use of its existing charging infrastructure, Travel Oregon has created an opportunity for our wineries to participate in attracting Eco-Tourist dollars. The plan is simple- any winery that installs chargers and is a sustainable business can be placed on an EV itinerary.
I have personally visited four wineries – with five more to come- and found much enthusiasm to install chargers and attract the EV crowd. Winery owners seem to appreciate, more than other industries, the long-term impact of electrifying transportation on the climate- which more and more is messing with their harvests and forcing them to plant their vines at higher elevations. EVs are good for their business and good for their vineyards. So, check out the Black Walnut Inn, or Elk Cove, or Sokol Blosser when you next want to try a tasting room with a view. And as you partake of the fruit, think about how you’d describe the drive to get there- a powerful electric whine with a clean finish.