A TOUR of OREGON WINES
The influence of vintages and philosophies from around the world combined with expressive grapes contribute to the multiple personalities of Oregon wines! Taste and See….
The state of Oregon in the United States has established an international reputation for its production of wine, ranking fourth in the country behind California, Washington and New York. Oregon has several different growing regions within the state’s borders that are well-suited to the cultivation of grapes; additional regions straddle the border between Oregon and the states of Washington and Idaho. Wine making dates back to pioneer times in the 1840s, with commercial production beginning in the 1960s.
American Viticultural Areas entirely within the state are the Willamette Valley AVA (with 6 nested-AVAs) and the Southern Oregon AVA with (5 nested-AVAs). Parts of the Columbia Gorge, Walla Walla Valley, and Snake River Valley AVAs lie within Oregon. Pinot noir and Pinot Gris are the top two grapes grown, with over 59,452 short tons (53,934 t) harvested in 2016. Oregon winemakers sold just under 3.4 million cases in 2016.
With 725 wineries in Oregon, a tourism industry has developed around wine tasting. Much of the tourism focuses on the wineries and tasting rooms in and around the Yamhill Valley southwest of Portland. It is estimated that ecotourism contributed USD $207.5 million to the state economy in 2013 excluding sales at wineries and tasting rooms.
Wine has been produced in Oregon since the Oregon Territory was settled in the 1840s; however, winemaking has only been a significant industry in the state since the 1960s. After the fall in 1904, the Oregon wine industry didn’t start to rebuild until the 1960s, when California winemakers opened several vineyards in the state. By 1970, there were five commercial wineries, with 35 recorded acres. The accolades continued into the 1980s and the Oregon wine industry continued to add both wineries and vineyards.
Quady North, Grenache Blanc 2016 — $34 / $10
Our second vintage of Grenache Blanc. Our concept for this wine was to make a “first white” in our portfolio. We were looking for something that was crisper, brighter, tighter than the Pistoleta or our varietal Viogniers. Over the last several vintages, we have honed in on the qualities that designate physiological ripeness. We are focusing on the emergence of stonefruit notes and looking for a slight yellowing on the skins. Tasting Notes: Perfumed, with notes of meringue and blossoms. Steely, crisp and linear. Fruit Handling: We picked at about 22.6B, and then whole cluster pressed and settled before fermentation. Fermentation: Fermentation was done using “Aroma White” yeast in stainless steel tank, fermented at about 50F until dryness. We blended in a small amount of Viognier from “Mae’s Vineyard” to add some texture and body. The wine was racked and fined with bentonite. Bottled in February
Quady North, Pistoleta 2017 — $32 / $9
This is our 8th vintage of “Pistoleta”; our signature Rhone White blend. The 2017 blend is approximately 42% Viognier, 29% Marsanne, 23% Roussanne; 5% Grenache Blanc and 2% Vermentino (Rolle). As in other years, most of the wine is co-fermented to naturally optimize wine chemistry. In the end, we adjust the blend by adding additional Viognier and Grenache Blanc, as needed. 2017 was a warm, even year characterized by intense forest fires in the mountains around the Southern Oregon valleys. To combat the possible effect of smoke, we pressed extremely gently, and minimized skin contact. We also paid close attention to the timing of leaf removal, and of crop loads. The result was a balanced crop that achieved ripeness at moderate sugar levels, allowing to wine to return to its traditional 12.5% abv. Stone fruit flavors, including apricot and nectarines predominate, with notes of honey and citrus. The wine runs the edge of crispness and unctuousness, with a lip-smacking quality.
Quady North, Rose 2017 — $26 / $8
Several years ago, we realized that in order to make a significant amount of really good dry Rosé in the Southern French style, we would need to plant and grow for rosé. We selected classic rosé varieties like Grenache, and planted them on their own roots in cooler sites, to encourage more vigor, later ripening, and naturally higher acidity. We pick early, at around 20B, this keeps alcohols low. Early picked Grenache adds the “citrus skin” notes to the flavor profile. The blend varies slightly from vintage to vintage, depending on the ripening patterns and yields of the various sites. The 2017 blend is approximately 55.1% Grenache, 39.2% Syrah, 3.5% Mourvèdre, 1.6% Vermentino and 0.4% Counoise. Tasting notes include aromas of unidentified wildflowers and flavors of peach and stone fruit.
Quady North, Bomba 2016 — $38 / $11
The 2016 Bomba is an early release blend of Grenache. We pick the Grenache at the earliest stages of ripeness, emphasizing red fruit, while avoiding high levels of alcohol. Fermentation is done with whole berries and pressed slightly sweet, punching down by hand. To emphasize ripe fruit and bright flavors, we aged this vintage in large, neutral French Oak for only 10 months. Tasting Notes: Underlying notes of raspberry and cherry accompany a juicy, bright quality. Our goal with this wine has always been to create an approachable, fruit driven red that we could release early and could be enjoyed with simple, comfort foods like pizza or pasta with fresh tomatoes.
Quady North, GSM 2015 — $38 / $11
We love our GSM program. As true Rhône aficionados, we are striving to emulate our favorite wines from this region, the sturdy, rustic, everyday drinkers that go so well with food. 2015 was a great year for the GSM. It was warm and even, and it was a particularly great year for Mourvedre, with a long ripening period. Tasting Notes: Round, bright, with subtle spices and warm, red fruit notes. Fruit Handling: 100% whole berry, cold soaked 48 hours Fermentation: Fermented in small, 1-ton tanks, punched down, gently pressed at 0 B.
Quady North, Syrah 2014 — $38 / $11
2014 was a beautiful vintage. Small yields and warm, moderate temperatures made for great conditions. We also moved into our new facility that year, which allowed us to improve our focus and added additional capabilities, with upgrades in fruit and wine handling. Steelhead Run is the coolest, most moderate vineyard in our portfolio. This is largely due to the tempering influence of the brisk Applegate River that adjoins it. The wines from Steelhead are subtle and refined, capable of extended aging. We make our single vineyard Syrahs by fermenting whole berries in one ton insulated bins, then pressing off near dryness. They age in a combination of small, new French oak, and larger, more neutral French Oak barrels, racking just once in 18 months.