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Kramer Vineyards

 

 
Kramer Vineyards
 
November 30, 2020 | Kramer Vineyards

Visiting Kramer Vineyards During Covid-19

Are you open for wine tasting?

We are open for tasting starting Thursday, December 3. Please note, all wine tasting, wine by the glass, and bottle service is outside only. Our covered patio has heaters, but it still gets chilly on the hill in the wintertime, so dress accordingly. Also, per the state guidelines, groups are limited to 6 people from 2 households. 

Are you still offering curbside service?

Yes. Our tasting room is open for bottle sales and wine club pick ups 11 am to 5 pm, Thursdays – Mondays. There’s no need to make an appointment. We’ll greet you on the patio and get you what you need.

Do you have a no contact pick up option?

Yes. Call us before you come up to make arrangements, or call us from the parking lot, and we’ll bring the wine to your vehicle. The tasting room number is (503) 662-4545.

Can I have my wine shipped?

Yes. Shipping is included on orders of $100 or more to OR, WA, and CA; and $150 or more to orders to the rest of the contiguous US where wine shipments are allowed.

Are you taking Harvest Host reservations?

Yes. Please call (503) 662-4545 to check availability.

How are you guys doing during through all this?

We’re just fine, all things considered! It’s very strange not getting to visit with our regular guests. But otherwise, there’s plenty of space and things to do on the farm! We are more concerned about your wellbeing and our community than we are for ourselves right now. Drink small, eat small, buy small, and we thank you for your support.

Have a question we haven't addressed here? Contact us.

Time Posted: Nov 30, 2020 at 3:36 PM
Kramer Vineyards
 
May 28, 2020 | Kramer Vineyards

Game of Clones Q & A

These vines have the same DNA

What is a clone?

An organism or cell, or group of organisms or cells, produced asexually from one ancestor or stock, to which they are genetically identical. In viticulture, clones are cut from a “mother vine” to grow new vines. These cuttings are genetically identical to the original vine and one another.

If new grapevines are from a “mother vine” and are genetically identical, then how are there different clones?

Spontaneous mutation! The genome for Pinot Noir was mapped in 2007. In the process, it was discovered that Pinot Noir has many "jumping genes." This refers to parts of the DNA code that move, creating gaps that cause mutation. If you've ever seen an ear of corn with a rainbow of kernels, it's the same mechanism at work. Pinot Noir is thousands of years old, with hundreds of mutations that have successfully been identified and reproduced. These mutations are what we’re referring to when we discuss clones. Most of these clones are from France, but unique clones have been identified in Switzerland, California, and Oregon.

Jumping genes are present in almost all living cells. 50% of the human genome are jumping genes; up to 90% of the maize genome are jumping genes!

All clones of Pinot Noir

You probably have to be an expert to notice clonal variations, right?

Not really. Consider this: Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc are clones of Pinot Noir! They are mutations of Pinot Noir where the part of the DNA that determines skin color jumped, creating clones that are so distinctive, we think of them as different grape varieties altogether. If you can tell the difference between white and red wine, your palate is expert enough to explore clones further. (For more on this topic, see Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir Blanc: What's the Difference?)

Neat, but what does this mean for my wine?

Quite a lot! We grow nine clones of Pinot Noir at our estate vineyard. We observe many differences between the clones in the field, from cluster shape, to skin thickness, ripening time, and flavor profile. There are many more clones of Pinot available, although not all are suited to our cool climate. In addition, not all clones are ideal for red wines! The clones grown in Champagne for sparkling production are rarely the same clones planted in Burgundy for red wines.

Here are the three main clones in our vineyard, and the subjects of our single clone Pinot Noir series:

The nine clones of Pinot Noir from our estate vineyard.

Pommard

  • From Pommard, Burgundy
  • Medium-sized clusters, often with shoulders
  • Produces balanced, elegant wines suitable for aging
  • One of the first clones of Pinot Noir brought into the US
  • The first clone of Pinot Noir planted at Kramer Vineyards in 1984
  • Major component in our Estate, Cardiac Hill, Rebecca’s Reserve, and Heritage Pinot Noir wines

Dijon 115

  • One of the numbered clones from the University in Dijon, Burgundy
  • Early ripening, small berries with intense flavors. Produces wines with finesse.
  • One of the earliest Dijon clones available to us.
  • First planted in 1992 along with Pommard in the Rebecca’s Reserve block. Also a component in Cardiac Hill and Estate Pinot Noirs, depending on vintage.
  • Our selection of this clone was based on the advice given to us by a winemaker from Burgundy who claimed it was rising in popularity there.

Dijon 777

  • Also one of the numbered clones from the University in Dijon, Burgundy
  • Early ripening. Produces small clusters and berries. Wines have rich color and more tannins, with a very spicy profile.
  • First planted in 2001. Usually blended into the Estate Pinot Noir.
  • In 2019, we field grafted 0.6 acres of Muller-Thurgau over to 777, tripling our acreage.

Keep in mind--grapevines are extremely sensitive to vineyard site, and the same clone will express itself uniquely when planted in different locations. We see this in our own 22-acre vineyard. The vine's response to its environment is essential to understanding the concept of terroir. While clonal selection is significant, it's one of many variables that influence a wine's personality.

If you wish to explore this subject further, check out our single clone Pinot Noir in the online store >> 

 

 

Time Posted: May 28, 2020 at 5:22 PM
Kramer Vineyards
 
May 23, 2020 | Kramer Vineyards

Five Fizzy Facts About our Celebrate Bubbly

Our first sparkling wines were launched in 2001 under the Celebrate label. Those early releases were made from Müller-Thurgau and Pinot Gris. The collection has since expanded to include Pinot Noir, Grüner Veltliner, Carmine, and rosé. As the program grows, we highlight how this series of sparkling wines differs from the vast majority of bubbly available on the market today:

The Kramer estate vineyard.

They are 100% varietal wines.

Most sparkling wines are blends. Such cuvées may include base wines from multiple vineyard sites, grape varieties, and/or vintages. By contrast, our Celebrate wines are made from the grapes that we grow in our estate vineyard, from single grape varieties, and all are vintage dated.


The Celebrate sparkling wines are often made from under-the-radar grapes.

Although 96% of the Willamette Valley consists of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, or Chardonnay, our cool climate has the potential to grow dozens of other undiscovered varieties. We’ve found Müller-Thurgau, Grüner Veltliner, and Carmine all make wonderful sparkling wines, and are among our bestsellers in the tasting room.

They ferment once.

For traditional or Charmat method sparkling wines, the wine is fermented once in bulk, then again in the bottle or in a tank. This second fermentation creates the bubble, and raises the alcohol level 1 to 1.5%.  That amount sounds small, but it's a monumental shift in balance, and effects every winemaking decision from the early harvest through bottling. The fruit for force carbonated wines can be harvested a little later, for wines with increased ripeness and flavor development. These wines actually taste like the grapes they're made from! 

The Celebrate Pinot Gris has true varietal character

Keith Kramer is a hands-on vineyard owner

We get the bubbles in the bottle through a force-carbonation technique developed by owner Keith Kramer.

Most force-carbonated sparking wines are injected with carbon dioxide on the bottling line, resulting in coarse, soda pop like bubbles. We believed a smaller bubble was possible with force carbonation, and starting in 2004, owner Keith Kramer developed the system we use today. A week before bottling, the wine is transferred into a custom tank that chills the wine down, while gradually raising the pressure. This slow infusion of sparkle into the cold wine results in fine, plentiful bubbles.

They aren't trying to be Champagne, and that's a good thing.

There’s nowhere else in the world that has our rare combination of geography, geology, climate, ability, and enthusiasm to innovate. While we are inspired by other regions and wines, there's a limit to how much we can learn from them. Our site, winery, and culture inevitably produces fruit with a signature that's unique. Our best wines capture these qualities, and sometimes that means we have to blaze our own trail.

Celebrate Rosé of Pinot Noir

Click here to shop our Sparkling Wines >> 

Time Posted: May 23, 2020 at 3:31 PM
Kramer Vineyards
 
May 14, 2020 | Kramer Vineyards

The Other 4%: Beyond Pinot Noir

Noble varieties make up the majority of the vineyard acreage in the Willamette Valley, but new and emerging grapes are also part of our story.

The Willamette Valley is world famous for Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay, but this region is more rich, diverse, and complex than any one variety. Pinot Noir is righfully our signature grape, but there's much left to explore.

When we started our vineyard in 1984, we planted Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Riesling. As we matured as winegrowers, we wondered about the potential of other cool climate varieties. Our curiosity is what led us to plant the relatively unknown Müller-Thurgau. That endeavor has been wildly successful, inspiring us to grow our collection of esoteric grapes to include Carmine, Grüner Veltliner, Marquette, and Pinot Meunier. 

Müller-Thurgau, planted in 1986; 2.25 acres

In the early 1980s, owner Keith Kramer took a vineyard management class with a fellow who was especially excited about Müller-Thurgau for Oregon. "He wouldn't shut up about it, so we bought some when we had the opportunity in the mid-80s," he says. The wine was a hit, so vines at our estate soon followed. We've found it to be very productive at our site, yielding flavorful fruit even in the most challenging vintages. We’ve made wines in a range of styles from dry to off-dry, semi-sweet to dessert, even sparkling. Both the sparkling and still wines have become quite popular and are usually the top sellers in the tasting room. In 2018, Wine Enthusiast recognized us as a Notable Müller-Thurgau Producer in the US.
Flavor profile: Peach, starfruit, lychee, passionfruit, mango, lime, gooseberry, and sweet basil.
Current releases2018 Celebrate Sparkling Müller-Thurgau2018 Müller-Thurgau Estate.

 


 

 

 

 

Grüner Veltliner, planted in 2010; 0.5 acres

We planted Grüner Veltliner with the intention of making a crisp, dry, and expressive white wine. The signature white grape of Austria, Grüner is famous for its peach and white pepper notes, and great versatility for pairing with food. Early harvests yielded fruit with high acidity that made more sense for our sparkling program. Starting in 2017, we began to divide the harvests between the cooler east side for sparkling, and the warmer west side for a still wine. Fun fact: Grüner Veltliner produces clusters that are ten times the size of Pinot Noir!
Flavor profile: Lemon, lime, cucumber, peach, white flowers, freshly cut grass, green apple, and pear.
Current releases2018 Celebrate Sparkling Grüner Veltliner2018 Grüner Veltliner Estate

 

Carmine, planted in 1989; 1 acre

Carmine was created in 1946 at UC Davis by Dr. Harold Olmo. This cross of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, and Merlot was developed to grow in the cooler, coastal regions of California. Olmo's vision never caught on as intended, and in the 1970s, these vines traveled north to Courting Hill Vineyard in Banks, Oregon. The vineyard owner, and Oregon wine legend Jim Leyden, introduced Keith Kramer to this grape variety, gifting him our first Carmine vines in 1989. We've learned much about this late ripening, thick-skinned grape, both in the vineyard and the winery. Our Carmine wines are dark red in color, and typically have herbaceous aromas and peppery notes. It has inherited a lot of flavors from its Cabernet Sauvignon grandparent, principally dark fruit, dark chocolate and the occasional hint of mint. 
Flavor profile: Dried cranberries, maraschino cherries, cinnamon, anise, bell pepper, and cracked peppercorns.
Current release2015 Carmine 'Big Red'

 

 

 

 

Marquette, planted in 2010; 0.5 acres

Developed by the University of Minnesota in 2006 for extremely cold climates, Marquette is a complex hybrid. What caught our attention is that Pinot Noir is on the family tree. It took seven years for any wine to come from this effort, as the cool Willamette Valley is too warm for Marquette. The plants are several weeks ahead of everything else in our vineyard, resulting in some unique challenges, from inclement weather during critical growth periods, to early ripening (for more on this subject, see 27 Blocks: Harvest in a Bottle). To balance out Marquette's big personality, we coferment it with grapes sourced throughout our estate vineyard.
Flavor profile: Cherries, blackcurrants and blackberries, tobacco, leather
Current release27 Blocks

 

Time Posted: May 14, 2020 at 3:12 PM
Kimberley Kramer
 
May 7, 2020 | Kimberley Kramer

27 Blocks: Harvest in a Bottle

About 10 years ago, my dad started talking about planting a grape called Marquette. He was excited about this variety because it’s related to Pinot Noir and rumored to be darker in color; I was skeptical. We already had obscure grape varieties in our vineyard, like Carmine and Müller-Thurgau. Did we really need another grape that nobody knows? By the time we had the debate, my Dad had already put the order in for the vines. It takes 3-4 years for young grape vines to start producing, so I had time to mull over what to do with this new fruit.
 
The first modest crop was harvested a few years later, producing just a few gallons of dark red wine that was very high in alcohol, with disjointed acidity. I wasn’t excited for future harvests. This isn’t to disparage Marquette, but this variety was developed to grow in Minnesota, and even our cool climate in the Willamette Valley is much too warm for it. This mismatch presents multiple challenges. First, when the Marquette blooms in the late spring, we’re still in the rainy season. This leads to poor fruit set. The other issue is with ripening. In too warm a climate, Marquette achieves very high sugars weeks ahead of everything else, and acidity that’s out of balance. Further, this early ripening fruit draws birds.
 
So when my Dad delivered several totes of Marquette grapes before harvest was underway in 2017, I didn’t know what I was going to do at first. It was such a low volume of grapes with wonky chemistry. I was concerned the fermentation would be prone to spoilage, and the wine would be out of whack. Then I remembered that in 2013, when our harvest was small, we combined parcels of Pinot Noir we might not have otherwise for practical reasons. Honestly, I wasn’t invested in the quality of this fruit, so I added grapes wherever I could find them—young vine Pinot Noir, field samples of the Müller-Thurgau, a few buckets of Chardonnay that wouldn’t fit in the press. I figured the chemistry of the other grapes would mellow out the Marquette, and at least I could get enough grapes to punch the mass down properly. By the end of the harvest, I had a bin full of fermenting fruit, with all 9 grape varieties from the 27 Blocks in our estate vineyard.
 
Harvest ended, we pressed the wines and barreled them down for the winter, and I kind of forgot that this mish-mosh even existed.

Sorting Marquette in 2019

 

 


Barrel tasting the Marquette & More

The following spring, when we were racking and blending the Pinots, I came across these three barrels marked “Marquette and More.” I wondered how this Frankenstein wine would taste. I grabbed a wine thief to take a sample and gave it to my dad Keith. He swirled the glass, rolled it around his mouth, and said, “What Pinot is this?” Incredulous, I grabbed a second sample, and presented it to my mom Trudy ‘ruthless palate’ Kramer, who said, “What Pinot is this?” I realized at that point I might need to reconsider my opinion regarding the place of Marquette in our vineyard.  
 
We sat down and tasted the wine again as a family, trying to figure out what is was. Mom and Dad were excited to have a Marquette based blend that tasted so balanced and fruity, and I was frustrated that I was wrong. To make things worse, I didn’t really know what the composition of the wine even was, because I just kept adding grapes to the vat during a chaotic harvest and didn’t keep records. What is this wine?? My sister Becky, queen of pointing out the obvious stated, “Well Kim, it’s a single vineyard red wine.” She was right, and that’s when I started to understand what we had created.
The making of 27 Blocks starts with our early-ripening fruit—Marquette and young vine Pinot Noir. As the harvest continues, we'll continue to add other grapes as they ripen. This may include clusters we pick to evaluate maturity, fruit from a plant that was passed over by the crew, or the last buckets of the day. If there are grapes that don’t have a place otherwise, 27 Blocks is that place. This is a wine that is cumulative, fermenting a little bit more with the addition of new grapes over the weeks that harvest unfolds. In this way, 27 Blocks is harvest itself. 
 
The distinction between a wine that’s co-fermented and a blend is important here—27 Blocks is a wine where different grapes are fermented together. A cofermented wine is like a stew, where the chef builds layers of flavors that integrate, and deepen with time. This is quite different than a blend, where finished wines are combined. In my cooking analogy, a blend would be more like a salad by comparison.  
 
So, what is 27 Blocks? It’s a wine that taught me to be open to new ideas. It’s the story of our harvest in a bottle. It’s a red wine made from all the grapes that we grow throughout our vineyard. It’s delicious, easy to drink, and great with food. It’s a lot of things, and it’s only something that we can make. And I think that’s pretty great. I hope you do too.
 
For details on the 2018 release, click here >>

 


The label is a patchwork quilt, representing the blocks of grapevines in our vineyard.

 

Time Posted: May 7, 2020 at 5:01 PM
Kramer Vineyards
 
March 9, 2020 | Kramer Vineyards

Meet Piquette: Wine Just Got Cooler

Oregon sparkling wine house modernizes the ancient spritzer

Piquette is a refreshing vinous drink with lower alcohol; fizzy and tart, with pure effervescence and natural fruit flavors, it’s the perfect alternative for a balanced lifestyle.

This spring, Kramer Vineyards launches Piquette, a nearly forgotten old-world beverage made from grape pressings and water. Known for its innovative sparkling wine program with offerings including sparkling Grüner Veltliner, Kramer saw an opportunity to offer something different.

Piquette might be as old as wine itself. The earliest stories are of Iora, an ancient Greek or Roman drink made from wine grape pressings that were rehydrated, pressed, fermented, and diluted further. Another story is that French vineyard workers were served a version of Piquette at lunch, so as not to interfere with their afternoon productivity.

 

 

“I saw a creative challenge in capturing so many trends with Piquette. It is the intersection of rosé, sparkling, low sugar, lower alcohol, single serving packaging—and it’s adjacent to the cider, craft beer, and hard seltzer categories.” said second generation winemaker, Kim Kramer.

Kramer was inspired to revive this beverage of the farm hand during the harvest of 2019. To make the Piquette, Kramer upcycled the pressings of their Müller-Thurgau grapes. The skins and pulp were reserved and rehydrated with well water, allowing the release of sugars and flavors. After steeping for four days, the grapes were pressed again, along with marc from a red ferment, giving the liquid a rosy glow. The must fermented in stainless, and was bottled November 2019, finishing fermentation under a crown cap to create the gentle sparkle. Fermented dry with just 7.5% alcohol, this crisp, easy-to-drink refresher pairs well with just about every sunny occasion.

Kramer Vineyards Piquette will be released on March 19, 2020. 

Kramer Vineyards is a family owned and operated winery, now in its second generation. For 36 years, they have been growing grapes at their sustainably farmed vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA. Kramer specializes in producing cool climate white, red, and sparkling wines at their property in Gaston, 30 miles west of Portland.

 

Time Posted: Mar 9, 2020 at 5:22 PM
Kimberley Kramer
 
February 5, 2020 | Kimberley Kramer

What makes the 2018 Müller-Thurgau so exceptional? Feet! Seriously.

An old world technique resets the bar for our most popular white wine

We’ve been growing the German-Swiss cross Müller-Thurgau since 1986. Over the years, we’ve made wines in a range of styles from dry to off-dry, semi-sweet to dessert, even sparkling. Both the sparkling and still wines have become quite popular and are usually the top sellers in the tasting room.

While Müller-Thurgau is widely planted in Germany, it also does quite well in the Alto Adige of northern Italy. These vineyards are planted at high elevations, with close spacing. In reading the online winemaking notes, we noticed a couple of key production differences. First, the wines are fermented and aged in concrete or old oak casks. Concrete is an area of interest, but not an investment we're ready to make quite yet. Second, the grapes are crushed before pressing.

 


Müller-Thurgau just before harvest

 

 


Foot crushing the Müller-Thurgau

 

We found the idea of crushing Müller-Thurgau very intriguing. As a rule, we whole cluster press our white wine grapes. Whole cluster pressing reduces the extraction of harsh tannins. These compounds may impart bitterness or astringency on the palate. However, Müller-Thurgau is a grape that is naturally low in tannins. Further, we wondered if crushing the grapes might result in a wine with more varietal expression. However, we don't own a machine that crushes grapes, so how would we experiment with crushing the fruit? Taking another cue from the old world, we decided to adopt a low-tech solution: feet.

During the harvest of 2018, we invited folks up to the vineyard on the day of the Müller-Thurgau pick to help us with this very important task! The harvest started at dawn, finishing around noon. We lined up the bins of grapes on the crush pad, and after a foot sanitizing dip and rinse, people climbed into the boxes one by one and went to work. It only took about 15 minutes, but squashing grapes with your feet is a quite a workout!

We noticed a difference between whole cluster pressing and crushing immediately; the press yield was 14% higher in the crushed fruit. During primary fermentation, the tanks produced a cornucopia of tropical aromas. After fermentation, we noticed the wine was quite flavorful, which is unusual for Müller-Thurgau at that stage. We continued to observe amplified flavor through the spring, finding the variety’s trademark peach and starfruit profile, but also lychee, passionfruit, mango, lime, gooseberry, and sweet basil.

Based on the flavor profile of the 2018 Müller-Thurgau, we decided to crush in 2019 as well. Now that we have another vintage for comparison, we're convinced that crushing is the best protocol for this variety. The 2018 Müller-Thurgau Estate will be released February 6.

 

Time Posted: Feb 5, 2020 at 3:03 PM
Kimberley Kramer
 
January 13, 2020 | Kimberley Kramer

What Wines We’re Looking Forward to in 2020

Piquette

Made from rehydrated grape pressings, Piquette is a lower-alcohol beverage full of fizz and fruit. We read about this nearly forgotten beverage of the ancient farm worker during harvest and decided to give it a try with Müller-Thurgau. Grape solids usually go to the compost pile after pressing, but there’s still sugar and flavor in those skins and pulp that can be extracted after a few days of steeping in water and pressed again. We were delighted to find this humble drink to be tart and citrusy, with a gentle sparkle on the palate. The finished alcohol is 7.5%, perfect for a sunny midday refresher.

Bottled in single-serving 12-ounce longnecks and sharable 750 mL sparkling formats, the Piquette will be released on the first day of spring, March 19.

The Kramers bottling the Piquette November, 2019

The Pétillant-Naturel label features a porcupine, a reference to the wild nature of the style.

Pétillant-Naturel

Also known as méthode ancestrale, this is the oldest method of sparkling production, in which the wine is bottled before primary fermentation is complete, finishing in the bottle. The active yeast consumes the residual sugar from the grapes, generating pressure, resulting in a gentle fizz with loads of yellow fruit flavors. Typically, the wine is not disgorged, and will have a cloudy appearance from the spent yeast in the bottle.

We released a small 20-case lot of Pinot Gris made in this style over the summer, and it sold out quickly. Between the strong response in the tasting room and our desire to grow in our knowledge of sparkling wines, we have increased production this year. Look for the 2019 Pétillant-Naturel Pinot Gris this spring.

2017 Single Clone Pinot Noir Series

We’ve been bottling standalone clones of Pinot Noir since the 2014 vintage (click here for more explanation). In 2017, we expanded the collection to include five clones: Pommard, Wädenswil, 115, 667, and 777. These are wines we make for ourselves, to learn more about clonal selection and expression, and we’ve been pleasantly surprised that these wines have gained a following over the last few years. We’ll be releasing the elegant 2017s throughout the spring and summer and will host a comparative tasting on April 25 & 26 (reservations recommended).

 


We grow nine clones of Pinot Noir--note their distinctive cluster shapes

 

Time Posted: Jan 13, 2020 at 4:37 PM
Kimberley Kramer
 
September 24, 2019 | Kimberley Kramer

Q: How does September rain effect the grapes?

2019 September Rain: Above Average, NBD

The short answer is that the grapes are doing just fine. We’re still about 15 inches behind in rainfall for the calendar year, so the vineyard has absorbed the recent rain quickly. It’s been 104 days since bloom, and the Pinot Noir looks full, healthy, and on track to harvest in a couple of weeks.

The only crop damage we're seeing so far is due to sunburn, and that happened long before September.
--Keith Kramer, owner

The concern with excess rainfall just before harvest is twofold: first, water has the potential to puff up the fruit, diluting sugars, acids, and flavors. In extreme cases, the skins can split, leading to rot. While crop losses due to rain-fueled disease is always a consideration in this region, our farming team keeps this in mind throughout the growing season, taking steps to promote good air flow and an open canopy.

The most challenging harvest in this regard was in 2013. Typhoon Pabuk dumped inches of rain on us over a single weekend when there was Pinot Noir still ripening on the vine. Good farming practices, meticulous sorting, and thoughtful winemaking produced some truly stunning wines that year. Plus, the drama of a once-in-a-hundred years storm made for some great conversation. This year hardly compares to that vintage, as the rain has been much lighter, spread over several weeks.

It’s not unusual for the Willamette Valley to receive an inch or two of rainfall in September. Looking at the monthly totals since our first harvest in 1989, preharvest precipitation is something of an annual event. It’s clear that 2019 is above average, but not record-breaking. The amount of rain this year is closest to 2010, and it’s tempting to draw a comparison to one of our favorite vintages. While the weeks leading up to the harvest are defining ones, it’s only part of the story.

If we layer Growing Degree Days into the discussion, a different picture of vintage 2019 begins to emerge. Growing Degree Days (GDDs) are a measure of heat accumulation throughout the growing season.

It’s interesting to note that classic “warm” vintages like 2004, 2006, and 2009, are on par with our current “mild” summer in terms of GDDs. Of the three, the most apt vintage comparison might be 2004. ’04 is remembered for a warm and dry summer, followed by September rain. What comes up less in this conversation, is that the weeks during harvest in October were beautiful that year. 

The best vintages in Oregon are rarely the easy ones

We've been farming this property for 35 years. In that time, we've experienced a vast range of harvest conditions--wet, dry, humid, cool, early, and late. The vintages we find compelling often have rainy Septembers: 2004, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2017.

 

Time Posted: Sep 24, 2019 at 1:01 PM
Kimberley Kramer
 
July 1, 2019 | Kimberley Kramer

Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir Blanc: What's the Difference?

The short answer is that Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir Blanc are both white wines. However, one is a white wine made from white grapes, whereas the other is a white wine made from red grapes.

Pinot Blanc

A clone of Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc is the result of a mutation where the DNA sequence that dictates skin color jumped, creating a gap in the code. This is how all mutations in grapevines occur--some are more easily observed than others for future propogation. Like other clones of Pinot Noir, Blanc has its own personality, both in the vineyard and in the glass. Although Pinot Blanc favors cool climates, it's late ripening.

Flavor Profile: lemon, pear, apple, apricot, almond, stony minerality

 

 

 

Pinot Gris

Pinot Gris is also a clone of Pinot Noir where the DNA color sequence jumped partially, resulting in the mauve hues we observe at harvest. 

Flavor Profile: apple, pear, honey, flint, spearmint, citrus, peach

Pinot Noir Blanc

A white wine made from a dark-skinnned grape, the Pinot Noir clusters are pressed immediately after harvest, limiting the color extraction and flavor influence from the skins. For red wines, the skins are usually present for the duration of the fermentation; for rosé, the skin contact is limited to a few hours or days. 

Flavor Profile: apple, peach, clover, honeydew melon, jasmine

 

 

Time Posted: Jul 1, 2019 at 5:38 PM