As the sun-soaked days of summer draw to a close, the anticipation at Kramer Vineyards is palpable. We stand at the cusp of harvest season, a vibrant journey that brings to life the essence of our winery. Join us as we delve into the intricacies of preparing for this magical time—a period filled with excitement, dedication, and the promise of exceptional wines.
At Kramer Vineyards, the excitement is palpable as we approach the sparkling harvest, set to commence after Labor Day. Our vineyards are lush with promise, each grape variety reaching its pinnacle of perfection. With the delicate flavors and effervescence they embody, these grapes will soon be carefully hand-picked to become the heart of our exquisite celebratory wines.
The sparkling harvest holds a special place in our winemaking calendar, as the ripeness benchmarks for this style differ from other wines. We seek grapes with less sugar, vibrant acidity, and delicately developed flavors, ensuring our sparkling wines boast the perfect balance of brightness and finesse.
As we count down the days to this effervescent spectacle, our team is meticulously preparing to capture the essence of the harvest and craft unforgettable sparkling wines that will delight your senses. Stay tuned for more insights into our vibrant journey as we approach this exhilarating season of winemaking artistry.
As September unfolds, our focus shifts to the crown jewel of the harvest—the Pinot Noir. The soul of our winery, these grapes carry the stories of our vineyards and the spirit of the Yamhill-Carlton AVA. As the sun gently kisses the clusters, we prepare for the labor of love that lies ahead. The Pinot Noir harvest, scheduled to begin around September 30, is a symphony of flavors waiting to be composed.
At Kramer Vineyards, the eagerly awaited harvest season is not merely a seasonal event but a living testament to the rich traditions we hold dear. As we approach this momentous time, our winemaking team draws upon decades of experience and expertise to meticulously fine-tune our harvest plan.
Every detail is considered, from the timing of the pick to the precise handling of each cluster, as we navigate the art and science of winemaking. This carefully crafted plan is our guiding light, ensuring that no aspect is overlooked and every grape is treated with the utmost care and respect.
Behind the scenes, our dedicated team works tirelessly, fueled by passion and a deep connection to the land. The vineyards are abuzz with energy and anticipation as we prepare to capture the essence of the harvest and transform these remarkable grapes into extraordinary wines.
Throughout the generations, we have held true to our traditions, honoring the land and the vines that have flourished under our stewardship. Our harvest plan bridges past and present, embodying the wisdom passed down through time while embracing the innovation and vision that will shape the wines of the future.
As we embark on this vibrant journey, we invite you to join us in celebrating the spirit of tradition and craftsmanship that goes into every bottle of Kramer Vineyards wine. Together, we raise our glasses to the harvest season—an extraordinary time connecting us to the heart of winemaking artistry.
Preparing for harvest is a celebration of unity as our team comes together with shared purpose and dedication. From vineyard to cellar, the spirit of teamwork resonates through every task. Each hand plays a part in nurturing the vines, selecting the perfect clusters, and preserving the grapes' essence through the winemaking process. Together, we craft wines that embody the heart and soul of Kramer Vineyards.
As the days grow shorter and the leaves take on their autumn hues, we stand at the threshold of a transformative journey. The harvest season at Kramer Vineyards is a vibrant ode to nature, tradition, and human ingenuity. From the sparkling harvest to the cherished Pinot Noir, each grape tells a story of the land, the people, and the magic that lies within every bottle. Join us on this extraordinary journey as we prepare to embrace the harvest with open arms and hearts filled with passion. The adventure awaits, and we invite you to share in the splendor of harvest at Kramer Vineyards. Cheers to the beauty of this coming season!
Pinot Noir grapes have thinner skins than other red wine grape varieties, resulting in a lighter color. Additionally, Pinot Noir grapes naturally have a lower level of anthocyanins, the pigments responsible for the red color in wine.
The cool climates of the Willamette Valley, where Pinot Noir grapes thrive, play a crucial role in the wine's lighter body. The slower ripening process in these cool temperatures leads to grapes with amazing flavor, lower sugar content, and a more lightweight body. The unique combination of soil composition, drainage, and other terroir elements also contribute to Pinot Noir's character, adding further nuances to its flavor profile.
At Kramer Vineyards, we have been exploring whole cluster fermentation since 2012. Through extensive trials conducted in 2014, 2015, and 2017, we gained valuable insights into this winemaking technique and its impact on the color, body, and flavor profile of our Pinot Noir—whole cluster fermentation results in wines with less color intensity but greater depth and complex, layered flavors. The wines may be tight initially, but they fill out and develop a more rounded body after bottle conditioning.
We utilize gentle pump-overs, punch-downs, and délestage during the fermentation process. These techniques help extract optimal flavors and tannins from the grape skins while maintaining the desired elegance and balance of our Pinot Noir. By carefully managing the maceration process, we can achieve the ideal level of color extraction without compromising the wine's finesse. These methods can also be applied more aggressively to increase skin contact and facilitate color extraction.
Some winemakers employ cold soaking, which involves macerating the grape must at lower temperatures before fermentation. This technique allows for gentle color extraction and flavor development. Extended maceration, where the grape skins remain in contact with the fermenting juice for an extended period, can also enhance color and flavor extraction, resulting in deeper hues and more intense characteristics.
Blending darker wines into Pinot Noir can enhance color stability and create desired color profiles. This practice varies widely based on region and labeling laws. While blending is not part of our winemaking process for Pinot Noir at Kramer Vineyards, it is a technique some winemakers use to achieve specific color outcomes.
In some cases, winemakers may use grape concentrates to adjust the color of the wine. These concentrates intensify color and can be added in small quantities to achieve the desired hue. The use of concentrates is a subject of debate in the winemaking community, with varying opinions on their impact on the overall wine quality.
The choice of oak barrels and aging duration also enhance the expression of terroir and color in our Pinot Noir. We age our wines in French oak barrels of various ages, with a maximum of 25% new barrels in the mix. This approach allows the subtle integration of oak-derived flavors while ensuring the fruit and terroir characteristics remain at the forefront.
Winemakers have various tools and techniques at their disposal to manipulate the color of their wines. These include fermenting at higher temperatures, aggressive cap management techniques, harvesting riper fruit, and the use of extended maceration, cold soaks, blending, and concentrates. Each technique offers opportunities for color manipulation, and winemakers choose the methods that align with their winemaking philosophy and desired outcomes.
When pairing Oregon Pinot Noir, many Northwest foods beautifully complement the wine's flavors and nuances. Consider these delectable options:
The rich and buttery flavors of salmon harmonize perfectly with Oregon Pinot Noir. Whether grilled, roasted, or smoked, the salmon's luscious texture and subtle sweetness complement the wine's fruit-forward character. Pinot Noir Blanc also accentuates the natural flavors of the fish.
The abundance of wild mushrooms in the Pacific Northwest pairs wonderfully with Oregon Pinot Noir. Earthy and savory, mushrooms like morels, chanterelles, and porcini enhance the wine's earthy undertones and add complexity. Try a truly harmonious combination of mushroom risotto, flatbread, or a mushroom tart with a glass of Pinot Noir.
Succulent elk dishes are a delightful pairing with the structure and elegance of Oregon Pinot Noir. The lean yet flavorful meat of elk resonates with the wine's characteristics, creating a harmonious balance of flavors. Whether prepared as a roast, steak, or in stew, elk complements the wine's nuanced profile.
Roasted duck or quail offer a delightful pairing with Oregon Pinot Noir. The richness and juiciness of the meat, along with its slightly gamey flavors, complement the wine's medium body and red fruit notes. The wine's acidity helps cut through the meat's richness, creating a harmonious balance of flavors.
These Northwest ingredients showcase the region's bounty and perfectly complement the flavors of Oregon Pinot Noir. Hazelnuts' nuttiness and buttery texture complement the wine's earthy and fruit-forward profile. With their sweet-tart burst of flavor, Marionberries harmonize perfectly with Pinot Noir's fruitiness. Thanks to its rich and tangy flavors, Tillamook cheese, renowned in Oregon and beyond, pairs exceptionally well with Pinot Noir. And finally, with their earthy and aromatic qualities, Oregon truffles create a luxurious pairing, adding depth and complexity to the tasting experience.
We invite you to join us on a journey through the science and artistry of Pinot Noir. Experience the beauty of our vineyards, taste the exceptional wines we craft, and discover the nuances of color, body, and flavor. Whether through our wine club, guided vineyard tours, or private tastings, you'll gain a deeper appreciation for the science behind Pinot Noir's lighter color and body and the influence of the Willamette Valley's cool climate and terroir. Indulge in the exquisite world of Kramer Vineyards and savor the beauty of our terroir.
At Kramer Vineyards, sparkling wines aren't just for weddings or New Year's Eve celebrations. We'll inspire you to infuse the joy and effervescence of our sparkling wines into your everyday life. From intimate gatherings to casual brunches and moments of personal celebration, we'll provide ideas and suggestions to make every day sparkle with Kramer Vineyard's unique charm.
Let me share a delightful story from my time as a harvest intern in Burgundy, where I discovered a charming custom that forever changed my perspective on sparkling wine. In Burgundy, the land of prestigious vineyards and rich traditions, sparkling wine holds a special place in both grand celebrations and everyday moments of togetherness. Whether it's the joyous La Paulée, the extravagant celebration marking the end of the grape harvest, or simply being a guest in someone's home, it is customary to open a bottle of champagne and serve a salty snack, embracing the effervescence and creating unforgettable memories.
Inspired by our Burgundian friends, we have embraced the essence of this tradition at Kramer Vineyards and incorporated it into our tasting room. As soon as you step through our doors, you are greeted with the effervescent joy of sparkling wine. We believe that every day holds its own reasons to celebrate, and what better way to honor those moments than with a glass of sparkling wine in hand?
Everyday Gatherings: Whether it's a cozy dinner with loved ones or a relaxed get-together with friends, incorporating sparkling wine adds a touch of elegance and celebration to these intimate moments. Toast to cherished connections and create lasting memories with our exquisite sparkling wines.
Brunch Delights: Elevate your brunch experience by serving our sparkling wines alongside delectable dishes. The effervescence and vibrant flavors complement a variety of brunch favorites, from eggs Benedict to freshly baked pastries. Sip, savor, and let the sparkle enhance your leisurely mornings.
Personal Milestones: Life's achievements, big or small, deserve to be celebrated. Raise a glass of Kramer Sparkling Wine to honor personal milestones, whether it's a promotion, graduation, or simply a moment of personal triumph. Let our sparkling wines be the companions that add a touch of glamour and significance to your journey.
Incorporating sparkling wine into your everyday life is about embracing the enchantment of the present moment. Here are a few ideas to infuse everyday moments with the charm of Kramer Vineyard's sparkling wines:
Pet-nat and street tacos are a winning combination!
Beyond New Year's Eve, Kramer Vineyard's sparkling wines are here to elevate your everyday life. By incorporating the joy and effervescence of our wines into intimate gatherings, casual brunches, and personal celebrations, you can infuse every day with a touch of sparkle. Experience the unique charm of Kramer Vineyard and discover how our sparkling wines can enhance your special moments. Visit our website to explore our exquisite collection and start making every day sparkle with Kramer Vineyard's sparkling wines. Cheers to a life full of joy and celebration!
Welcome to the world of Oregon sparkling wine, where proper storage, opening, serving, and stemware selection are key to preserving the integrity and enhancing the experience of each effervescent sip. At Kramer Vineyards in the north Willamette Valley, we take great pride in sharing our expertise on these essential aspects. Join us as we unlock the secrets of Kramer Vineyard's sparkling wines and discover the unique character that Oregon brings to the world of bubbles. In this blog post, we'll explore the art of storage, graceful bottle opening, impeccable serving techniques, and stemware that elevates the enjoyment of our Oregon sparkling creations.
To properly store your bottles of Oregon sparkling wine, creating an ideal environment that allows them to age gracefully and preserve their vibrant flavors is crucial. Consider the following factors:
Mastering the Technique of Opening Bottles of Sparkling Wine
Opening a bottle of Oregon sparkling wine is an art that adds to the anticipation and enjoyment of the moment. Follow these steps to open your sparkling wine like a pro:
By incorporating the tea towel, you can enhance your grip on the bottle, especially if it has become slippery due to being in an ice bath or condensation. This extra precaution ensures a controlled and safe opening, allowing you to enjoy the experience of opening an Oregon sparkling wine bottle.
As the cork is released, the aromas and flavors of our Oregon sparkling wine come to life. Take a moment to appreciate the effervescent bubbles dancing in the glass, indicating the wine's exceptional quality. The initial burst of bubbles reveals the wine's freshness and liveliness, creating a captivating visual display.
Just like still wines, sparkling wines transform as they warm slightly and have some air contact in the glass. This evolution can be a fascinating journey as the wine's aromas and flavors develop and unfold.
Savor each sip and allow the wine to evolve in the glass. Notice how the aromas become more pronounced, the flavors become more nuanced, and the texture becomes more expressive. Initially energetic and effervescent, the bubbles may mellow slightly over time, revealing a more delicate and refined effervescence.
Each glass offers a unique glimpse into the wine's character, showcasing the meticulous craftsmanship and the distinct terroir of Kramer Vineyard. Embrace the evolving nature of the wine as it warms and breathes in the glass, allowing it to reveal its true depth and complexity.
By taking the time to appreciate the wine's evolution in the glass, you can fully immerse yourself in the captivating experience of our Oregon sparkling wines and discover the intricate layers that make them truly special.
Serving our Oregon sparkling wines at the right temperature is crucial to fully appreciating their flavors, aromas, and effervescence. Ensuring the bottle is chilled to the optimal temperature can enhance the tasting experience and unlock the wine's true potential.
To bring out the best in most sparkling wines, we recommend serving them at a temperature between 41°F (5°C) and 45°F (7°C). This range helps preserve the bottle's effervescence and showcases the wine's fresh citrus notes and lively acidity. It's a great serving temperature that allows the wine to express its vibrant character.
For vintage Champagnes and extended tirage sparkling wines, you can slightly adjust the serving temperature to around 45°F to 50°F (7°C to 10°C). This subtle increase in temperature can enhance the development of toast and biscuit notes, adding complexity to these special wines.
While it's important to consider these recommendations, serving temperature is a personal preference, and you may find slight variations that suit your taste. The key is to avoid over-chilling, as excessively low temperatures can diminish the flavors and nuances of the wine. If your bottle feels too cold, allow it to rest at room temperature for a few minutes to gently warm up before serving.
By serving our Oregon sparkling wines at the recommended temperatures, you can fully appreciate their vibrant flavors, delightful aromas, and effervescent charm, ensuring a gratifying and memorable tasting experience.
The selection of stemware for sparkling wines is highly personal and often sentimental. Our recommendations aim to enhance the enjoyment of our Oregon sparkling wines, but ultimately, you should use the stemware that brings you the most joy, whether it be a coupe, flute, glass, or tumbler. The shape of the glass can influence the release of aromas, the display of bubbles, and the overall tasting experience. Here are some recommendations for different types of sparkling wines:
Choosing the right stemware enhances the visual appeal and allows you to fully experience our Oregon sparkling wines' aromas, flavors, and effervescence. Enjoy the captivating dance of bubbles and savor every sip in the glass that complements your chosen wine.
A gentle and steady approach preserves the effervescence when pouring our Oregon sparkling wines. Tilt the glass at a slight angle and pour the wine slowly down the side of the glass, allowing it to cascade gently. This technique minimizes agitation, preserving the bubbles and preventing excessive foaming. When finished serving, seal the bottle with a sparkling stopper to hold the pressure for your next glass.
In the picturesque Willamette Valley, Kramer Vineyards proudly crafts exquisite Oregon sparkling wines that captivate the senses and reflect the region's unique terroir. By mastering the art of storage, opening, serving, and selecting the right stemware, you can unlock the full potential of our Méthode Champenoise creations. Ready to embark on your sparkling wine journey with Kramer Vineyards? Explore our exquisite selection of Oregon sparkling wines and experience the magic of bubbles in every sip. Visit our sparkling wine collection to discover our wines' exceptional craftsmanship and unique character. Cheers to living your best sparkling life the Kramer way!