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willamette Valley wine oregon

Fall in the Vineyard at Stoller.

There’s something magical about being in a wine region when it’s time to harvest. The vines are plump with grapes ready to be picked while the canopy of leaves are changing from dark green to bright orange and red. In Oregon’s Willamette Valley, the soil is just as vibrant ranging from yellowy-red silty clay to the distinctive dark red of Jory volcanic soil. If you’re lucky enough to be at Stoller Family Estate at the time, you’ll be hard-pressed to find more spectacular vineyard views.

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Lenné Estate: Worth the Wait

Lenné Estate: Worth the Wait


Posted on Oct 23, 2019

yamhill carlton willamette valley oregon

Lenné Estate

If you were to ask virtually any winemaker what makes good wine, his or her answer will likely be that it starts with good fruit. Ask what is needed to grow good fruit and the answer will be poor soil. Poor defined by a wine grower is rocky soil, even better if it’s on a slope. Both allow for drainage which makes vines struggle to gather both nutrients and water, which in turn results in concentrated, flavourful  and high-quality berries. Tucked at the top of a hill in Oregon’s Willamette Valley sits Lenné Estate—a winery that lives, and almost died, because of its poor soil.

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yamhill carlton willamette valley

Guillaume Large

Oregon is now squarely on the radar of top winemakers from Burgundy. Domaine Drouhin Oregon started it all when Burgundian powerhouse Maison Joseph Drouhin acquired property in 1987 in the Willamette Valley and started producing wine. Since then, several big names in Burgundy have started or make wine at wineries in Oregon: Evening Land and Lingua Franca are both projects started with Dominique Lafond of Comtes Lafond; Isabelle Dutarte of Burgundy makes the wine at Oregon’s DePonte Cellars as well as running her own label Callabus Cellars, a project she shares with Domaine Drouhin’s Veronique Boss-Drouhin; and Bruno Corneaux who studied enology and viticulture at the University of Burgundy in Dijon with Veronique Boss-Drouhin has started Domaine Divio. In 2013 a big event happened when another Burgundian powerhouse, this time Maison Louis Jadot, purchased two vineyards in the Willamette Valley and created Résonance. On a recent trip to the Willamette we heard the Résonance story firsthand from its very talented winemaker, Guillaume Large.

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Chehalem Mountains AVA willamette valley

Alloro Vineyard

Oregon’s Willamette Valley is widely considered one of the world’s premier Pinot Noir producing regions. Among its 7 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) is the Chehalem Mountains AVA which sits just under 20 miles southwest of Portland, stretching 20 miles long and 5 miles wide. 53 of the Willamette Valley’s 700+ wineries live here including such well-respected names as Adelsheim, Ponzi and ROCO. A recent new discovery for us was Alloro Vineyard, a winery on a living farm that brings the best things in life to the table along with an invitation for anyone to come have a seat.

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Pinot Noir: A Primer

Pinot Noir: A Primer


Posted on Oct 2, 2019

Oregon Willamette Valley wine country

Pinot Noir grapes on the vine.

Pinot Noir makes, in our view, one of the most unique wines of all. This in spite of the fact that it is notoriously difficult to grow and can be maddeningly inconsistent from one vintage to the next. Yet, it is generally priced higher on average than other wines and in fact tops the auctions in terms of the prices it can fetch. Perhaps more than any other wine, it attracts the most ardent followers.

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Australian wine communicator

Tyson Stelzer

Almost three years ago we interviewed Tyson Stelzer. To give you some background about Tyson we opened our article with “If you’re interested in wine and the name Tyson Stelzer doesn’t sound familiar living in the northern hemisphere, trust us it soon will. His resume presents very notable credentials including current International Wine & Spirit Wine Communicator of the Year. Not just content to being a wine writer, he uses all mediums to reach wine enthusiasts worldwide including authoring numerous articles and books, speaking at wine events worldwide, as well as hosting his own television series.”

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