May 2017

Winemaker Jeff Herinckx

What’s happening at the winery
We’ve had some nice, sunny days. The temperatures are not nearly as warm as they were last year at this time, and it’s still rainy on occasion, but this growing season seems to be progressing as we’d expect in Oregon. Last year, and the year before, temperatures were much higher than average. We saw bud break in the early part of May, which is typically when we see it, in years when temperatures are near average.

We recently bottled some Syrah, Barbera and our Frambrosia, and we also just announced the winner of our Rose Festival label contest. It is the tenth straight year that we’ve sponsored this contest, and we continue to be amazed by the quality submissions we receive year after year.

Our bottling process
We own our bottling line, so we have the flexibility to bottle in small batches and on an as-needed basis. Over the years, I’ve learned how to do a lot of the repairs and maintenance on it myself. We generally bottle just one variety at a time, unless we are bottling two small batches of red wines (for the wine club, for example). We always sterilize between batches of red and white wine. We have a 1,900 gallon tank for bottling, which is perfect for us, because that’s exactly how much wine we’ll run through our line in one day. 

The supplier for our labels is familiar with what will work on our equipment, so we don’t typically have difficulties with labeling. Our line isn’t compatible with angled bottles, for example, so you’ve probably noticed that we always use straight bottles.

Pinot Report
Our Rose Festival wines this year will be the 2015 Pinot Noir, the 2014 Pinot Gris, and our 2016 Rosé of Pinot Noir. Rosé has become quite popular here – it has been popular in France for quite some time. In fact, we are finding it more and more difficult to source clear bottles, which are preferred so as to showcase the wine’s beautiful color, because so many wineries are producing it now.

We are about to do tastings of our 2016 Pinot Noir, one vineyard at a time. This will allow us to determine if we’re going to make a Reserve selection. If not, we’ll blend it together.

What’s going on in May
Speaking of bottling, we have more to do this month. We’ll bottle Niagara, some Muscat, and also some Gewurztraminer. Oak Knoll celebrated its 47th anniversary May 18th, which means that I’m celebrating 34 years here. Time flies when you’re having fun!

Save the date for the last Thursday in June – the 29th – because Toast to the Tunes will be back for another great summer of concerts, we’re really looking forward to this year’s lineup.

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