Nothing makes me happier than having our wines shipped to you. In many special ways, it’s like watching your kids go off to school. Each wine has had the opportunity to spend some time in the bottle and we’re now seeing just how remarkable and individualistic they truly are. The 2019 vintage continues to grow, gaining bulk, sophistication, and personality daily. It’s an Oregon vintage through and through, with real Willamette Valley bones. There’s juicy acidity, fresh fruit and wonderful complexity.
Our 2020 wines are nearly racked to tank, where they’ll live until we bottle them in December. Today, the enrapturing smell of Chardonnay is in the cellar air as we nudge it from barrel to tank. Already, we are witnessing concentration and drive in this vintage and we can’t wait to share it with you.
This year’s growing season has been dry with some irregular heat spikes. Fortunately, our vineyards are rooted deeply in the soil and are therefore incredibly resilient. The vines are tough as nails and thanks to a chemical-free farming philosophy, the resident microbes are making sure of that. Years like this, our biodynamic efforts in the field really pay off. The soil-microbe sprays we apply allow our vines to take on just the right amount of moisture, even in drought-like conditions.
Presently, the clusters are going through veraison. As a winemaker, that means you try to book out those very last vacations and read an extra book or two to your kids at night knowing that harvest is just around the bend. The clusters are medium to small and there are lots of beautiful, tiny berries. Dense, colorful, and flavorful wines are surely on the horizon. These are my favorite vintages, ones with an abundance of beautiful attributes and balance in the fruit. It’s hard not to be very excited. We’ll be ready for whatever Mother Nature dishes up between now and September harvest.
Harvesttime is practically hypnotic in the Willamette Valley. The sun de-intensifies as cool mornings kick off each day. The air feels incredibly invigorating. It’s easy to imagine why wine grapes like to call this place home. We hope that you can visit soon and relish in the beauty and bounty this wonderful place has so much of.
The 2019 Vintage
The 2019 harvest is synonymous with so many deeply Oregonian things. When one thinks of the Beaver State, they tend to imagine salamanders, ferns, pine trees, fresh and bouncy forest floors underfoot and rain. This pretty much sums up the vintage, at least the rain aspect.
Having just over two inches fall through harvest was something we played hopscotch with. We have grown accustomed to warmer, drier vintages as of late. The wet conditions rinsed off the fruit and gave the vines one last gulp of water as color and maturity in the clusters caught up with sugar levels and acidity.
The 2019 vintage wines are ethereal and showcase the soul of what Oregon truly is. We operate within a wine region that builds on acidity and tension with cool weather to allow complex development. The vintage is one I like to call “old school” in Oregon wine, and we could not be happier for you to experience it for yourself. At first sip you’ll hear the pure rains drumming on the rooftop and see evergreens standing tall in the distance, if only in your mind.
Fruit from our Red Hills Vineyard Pinot Noir is planted on a southern-facing slope that ranges in elevation from 360 to 570 feet. The vines are densely planted and rooted to a gentle slope at the north end of the Dundee Hills. These conditions lead to a consistent Pinot Noir with many layers of flavor, mouth watering tannins, and a lengthy finish. We are excited to have this release available to members and are amazed by the quality of this vintage.
The second wine featured this month is our 2019 Eileen Pinot Noir. The Eola-Amity Hills sub-appellation is home to many highly coveted wine purveyors. Here in the Willamette Valley, we are a tight-knit community sharing many of the same growing techniques and sustainable farming practices. The fruit for our Eileen Pinot Noir comes from our comrades over at Cristom. Each vintage, we trade grapes with each other to increase our knowledge of the surrounding vineyards. Our teams have worked closely with each other for almost two decades and look forward to this tradition each year. We are pleased with the outcome of this release and can’t wait for you to take a sip of this fresh and delightful wine.
Last but certainly not least, is the release of our 2018 25th Anniversary Pinot Noir. This limited release is has quickly become a favorite. Our winemaking team crafted this wine with fruit sourced from our Arcus Vineyard in celebration of our 25th anniversary in 2018. The dark fruit characteristics are illuminated by the succulent tannins and fresh finish. Cheers to you, our loyal members and to many more years of producing great wines.
This summer, our team has been awaiting the arrival of the Pinot Noirs featured in this month’s release and are excited to share them with you. We look forward to your next visit. Cheers!
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