Thursday, October 1, 2015
Hello all! Today's #ThursdayToursPDX is about to bring so much wine expertise and knowledge into your life you'll all be scrambling to get your sommelier on! With wine country know-how, under-the-radar labels and insider knowledge your label collection is about to expand!
I am especially excited to learn all of this because on Sunday Erin, myself and some of our girlfriends are heading to Dundee for wine tasting at Hyland Estates, Dobbes and Argyle. And we are using Bridge City Limos to get around safely! Because, #WinosGonnaWine! Safety first!
Now for today's contributors. Andy Young is the youthful mastermind behind St. Reginald Parish and specializes in the illustrious Oregon Pinot! Right now he is working on a sparkling Pinot Rose that will be released at the end of 2017 - pretty much my dream child, and it doesn't even require being dry for 40+ weeks! He has even teamed up with Salt & Straw to make a wood+wine ice cream. In Portland we call that 'Street Cred'!!!
Over on Bakery Bingo Jenna from Endless Eats is sharing her wine country secrets. In addition to her fun blog and gorgeous Instagram, she also works in events and marketing for Ava Gene's, Roman Candle Baking and Woodsman Tavern! Yes, we brought in some Portland Foodie Powerhouses this week!
My name’s Andrew Reginald Young and I am the proprietor / winemaker at St. Reginald Parish. I’m a 5th generation Louisianian that’s also lived in Tennessee, Texas and the UK. I’ve been dabbling in making wine since 2010 and in 2013 produced 52 cases of a blended Pinot Noir called Congregation. 2014 will bring back the Congregation Pinot Noir as well as two single vineyard Pinots. 2015 will bring two Pinot rosés, two Pinot Gris (full-fermentation skin contact and a one year barrel-aged white-style), a Pinot Nouveau, the Congregation Pinot and two to four single vineyards, depending on how things turn out. Whew; that’s a mouthful!
As far as what I like to drink and where I like to go… Well it’s tricky in the Willamette Valley as a lot of the producers I really respect are a ways away from having a tasting room. These are people making somewhere between a hundred to a few thousand cases of wine. There are a few ways to remedy this: Wine tastings at shops like E&R, Europa, Vino, and Liner & Elson, plus the occasional open house where these wines are made.
Photo Courtesy Andy Young
For the last couple years I’ve produced my wines at the winery atop of Medici Vineyards. I really love it there not only because the location is stunning, but because there are several amazing winemakers all working in harmony in that space. I’ll actually start with the one of us that has their own tasting room and then talk about some of the other guys:
Chris Burg of Roots Wine Co. is not only my mentor and the guy that gave me my shot at making my own wine, but he’s the epitome of a grower / producer in Oregon. His eight acre, organically-farmed vineyard off of Laughin Rd. near Willakenzie serves as the cornerstone of a program that focuses on single vineyard Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Melon de Bourgogne with forays into Chardonnay, Grenache and Syrah. If you’re interested in native-fermented, highly-intentional wines, visit his tasting room which is literally flanked by his house and his vineyard. It also has a dual Pac-Man / Gattaca machine on free play, which adds levity to the gorgeous setting.
I like to think of Medici as having a bit of a Lord of the Flies vibe about it. Just a bunch of dudes all about to kill each other over the use of a hose or tank, but that also hang super tough and open great bottles together at lunch. Some, if not all of us, will be doing a tasting together there the weekend before Thanksgiving. I have a great respect for all the young men in that space putting their asses on the line to produce something special. Here’s a couple I know well:
Joe’s first vintage on his own was also 2013, but he's earned some serious chops at wineries such as Felton Road in NZ, Kosta Browne in California and Owen Roe here in Oregon. There is a lot of talk about “natural wine” these days, but Joe is the real deal. Little to no sulfur, organic vineyard selection and absolutely no additives, fining or filtration. He just released a co-ferment of Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir that is not to be missed. Beautiful stuff from a multi-generational Oregonian.
Alex Nichols crafts incredibly lovely Pinot Noir from some of the best vineyards in Oregon. The fact that he started his own label in his early 20’s after graduating from OSU with a fermentation science degree is simply astounding to me. When Alex isn’t working on his own stuff he’s over at Argyle making bubbles as their full-time enologist. Come to the tasting and talk to him about blending wine. It’ll make your head spin.
Folks outside Medici
Kate Norris of Division Wine Co. is a force of nature. The woman not only runs SE Wine Collective and Division, but also has a catering business and recently started a new label called Gamine. I recently drank some of her Syrah right out of the bottle (as in no glass) and I’ve got to say, it was everything Syrah should and could be: White pepper, flowers, dirt. That’s the cool thing about Northern Rhone-styles to me; when done right they balance masculine and feminine really well. No doubt this will be at SEWC. Have it with a light-weight hard cheese while thinking about drinking enough of it to karaoke later that night.