Posts Tagged ‘Willamette Valley’

Willamette Valley named 2016 wine region of the year



By Michael Russell | The Oregonian/OregonLive ; photo credit David Krug

America at large is starting to pick up on something Oregonians have known for years.

Earlier this month, Wine Enthusiast magazine named the Willamette Valley its 2016 wine region of the year, noting the valley’s impressive outside investment while praising its Burgundian-quality pinot noir.

In a twist for Oregon, the magazine’s award focuses on the Willamette Valley’s history, starting with the first Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris plantings from Eyrie Vineyards’ David Lett, then retelling the tale of Eyrie’s South Block Pinot Noir placing in the top three at 1979’s prestigious Gault-Millau French Wine Olympiad. As for the present, the magazine references the glut of money to flood the region, first from France, and more recently from California.

“No producer has jumped in more aggressively than Jackson Family Wines. Beginning with its 2013 purchase of 1,385 acres of established vineyards, the company has quickly built a portfolio, purchasing Penner-Ash and WillaKenzie. Jackson Family Wines also bought Solena’s winemaking facility and vineyard (though brand ownership remains with Laurent Montalieu) and is now developing Oregon headquarters and winemaking facility in McMinnville.”

Earlier this month, The Oregonian/OregonLive toured the Willamette Valley, offering this guide to where to stay, eat and drink in advance of the many winery open houses over Thanksgiving weekend.

“A weekend of tasting, delectable food, music and more” – Oregon Wine Press

Thanksgiving in Oregon Wine Country

A festive weekend of tasting, delectable food, music and more awaits you throughout Oregon Wine Country.  Here’s a comprehensive list of wineries, activities, days, hours and locations. Enjoy!

Pre-Thanksgiving Weekend

A.F. Nichols (at Medici)
Nov. 19–20 (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.) Come taste a selection of our current Pinot Noirs alongside our fellow winemakers at Medici Winery. No fee.
28005 N.E. Bell Road, Newberg
971-219-9561 |

Nov. 19 (noon to 5 p.m.) Tasting ADEA wines and Dauntless Wine. Small bites to enjoy with the wines. Fee: $20.
26421 Highway 47, Gaston
503-662-4509 |

Airlie Winery
Nov. 19–20 (noon to 5 p.m.) Food paired with wines, holiday specials, new releases, including 2012 Nudge (Port-style wine) and 2012 BeckenRidge Pinot Noir. Fee: $10 (shared with food banks).
15305 Dunn Forest Road, Monmouth
503-838-6013 |

Alloro Vineyard
Nov. 19–20 (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Join us Pre-Thanksgiving Weekend when we will provide a sneak peek of our 2015 estate and Riservata Pinot Noir (won’t be released until the summer of 2017). We will be pouring these wines along with our current releases and also have some charcuterie to nibble. Fee: $15.
22075 S.W. LeBeau Road, Sherwood
503-625-1978 |

Anam Cara Cellars
Nov. 19 (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) From turkey to sweet potatoes, to cranberries and pecan pie, and just about everything else … we have paired the perfect selection of wines for the big day. Join us to taste through our six-bottle Thanksgiving Wine Sampler, then take this special collection to the big dinner, and you’ll be the favorite guest. Fee: $15 (waived with any wine purchase).
306 N. Main Street, Newberg
503-537-9150 |

Antica Terra
Nov. 19–20 (three seatings daily by appointment) We are hosting intimate, seated tastings daily at the family table in our barrel room by appointment only. All futures available at a 15-percent discount these days only. Reserve your place at the table. Visit our website or call 503-244-1748. Fee: $30.
979 S.W. Alder Street, Dundee
503-244-1748 |

Read More…

Visit Oregon’s Willamette Valley




Taste wines from 35+ producers growing fruit in the Yamhill-Carlton District in one afternoon!  This is a great chance to learn more about the growing region through the wines and winemakers themselves.

Tickets are $40 ~ and well worth it!

Participating wineries:

Anne Amie Vineyards, Ken Wright Cellars, Elk Cove, Laurel Ridge Winery, Belle Pente, Atticus Wine, Angela Estate, Solena Estate, Ghost Hill Cellars, The Four Graces, Marshall Davis Wine, Monksgate Wines, Stag Hollow, Gran Moraine, Big Table Farm, WildAire Cellars, Soter Vineyards, Bud’s Bloom, EIEIO, Willakenzie Estate, Fairsing Vineyard, Boedecker Cellars, Adea Wine Co, Beacon Hill Winery & Vineyard, Carlton Cellars, Carlton Hill, Et Fille, J.L. Kiff Vineyard, Kramer Vineyards, Lemelson Vineyards, Lenne Estate, Panther Creek, Penner-Ash Wine Cellars, Roots, Saffron Fields, Tendril Wine Cellars, Twelve, and Wahle Vineyards.

Participating Restaurants:

Cuvee, The Horse Radish, Martha’s Taco, the Barlow Room, Joel Palmer House, and La Rambla.

Manual Punch Downs – hand and foot

This may be the most grueling phase of harvest: the sea of manual punch downs to move through a couple times a day.  It has been days, weeks even of processing fruit safely to fermenter.  Everyone is exhausted.  Bodies are sore; you can see the weariness in eyes, but the show must go on.  Once fermentation has started, and the must starts to heat up with activity, winemakers start “punch-downs”.  This process involves using a sanitized tool to submerge the cap of grapes that rises to the top of the tank.

Read More…

Harvest 2014 is upon us

As of this week, harvest is officially underway in the Northern Willamette Valley.

That’s not to say that everyone is picking.  We brought in a few tons of Chasselas Dore and Muscat Ottonel at just under 18 brix over the weekend, but everything else is still out there enjoying the last days of pristine sunshine before we bring the fruit in to the winery.  Picking at 18 brix will give wonderfully bright, low alcohol wines, which is why those varietals are generally harvested so much earlier than the rest.  The aromas of freshly fermenting Muscat Ottonel in the production room serve as an aperitivo to what will surely come, quite soon.  Clipping clusters of Chasselas in the Dundee Hills last week, the guys recounted their memories of when they last picked this early – noventa y dos – 1992.  That is not to say that this year’s harvest is quite as early as ’92, which began September 5th, and progressed very steadily in order to avoid pH and sugar levels rising up dangerously high.  No, this early pick was relaxed, fun and a good couple weeks before anything else will come – a ‘family pick’ to kick off the season.  The flavors in the grapes were soft, and the bright acids and low sugar levels will produce refreshing wines at under 10% alcohol.