Vineyard: Sunnyside Vineyard
Appellation: Willamette Valley AVA (maybe “South Salem Hills” AVA…someday)
Harvest Date: October 11, 2018
Assemblage: Own-rooted, 34-year old Gewürztraminer
Aging: 3.5 months fermentation, 236 days total skin maceration
Final Alcohol: 13.5%
Production: 73 cases
Our Thoughts: The grapes for this wine come from Sunnyside Vineyard, lovingly tended to by wife-and-husband team Luci and Tom, who have farmed the property since the early 1980s. The Gewürztraminer was planted in 1984, arguably one of Oregon’s worst vintage in its viticultural history, including a Mother’s Day snowstorm that killed off thousands of young cuttings). The vines that survived dug their roots deep into the brilliantly red volcanic soils of the hillside, and their perseverance over the decades speaks to the quality of the fruit they produce.
Harvest occurred on October 11, and after sorting of any botrytis-affected berries, clusters were destemmed into an egg-shaped fermenter. We knew we wanted a long period of skin-contact for the grapes, but as time went on it felt more and more right to just let them ride and see what happened. Nearly nine months later, 236 days to be exact, we finally pressed off the lot into a mix of Oregon and French oak barrels to settle for another two months before bottling unfiltered and unfined.
This is an “orange” wine that literally, no joke, smells and tastes of oranges. And rose water, apricot skins, fresh-dried hay, and late-August sunsets over Oregon’s coast range.
Suggested Retail Price: $30