Winemaker Jeff Herinckx
What’s happening at the winery
We had a hot spring, but an average summer, temperature-wise, so far. I’d say that we are only about one to two weeks ahead of an average year, which is quite different than the past two, very hot, growing seasons we had here in Oregon. When temperatures get into the 90s or above the vines basically shut down - photosynthesis stops. The grapes get too ripe, too quickly. It’s been nice to see moderate temperatures so far this summer. Ideal temperatures vary depending on the variety. For Pinot Noir, for example, we hope for warm days in the 80s and cool nights into the 60s. The contrast in temperature allows the fruit to cool which helps to develop flavor.
We did lots of bottling last month, including some varieties we’ve never offered before: Muscat, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chenin Blanc. We also bottled Gewurztraminer, Deviant, and Niagara. We worked with Chenin Blanc back in the early 1980s when it was part of a white blend, so I’ve worked with it before, but we’ve never bottled it varietally.
We are introducing a new look
Our labels have been redesigned, and you’ll probably see those new labels in stores later this summer. Some of the wines in the tasting room, like the Chenin Blanc, have the new labels on the bottles, so you can check them out if you come visit us. The labels now come in three distinct colors for those designated by valley, those designated as Reserve, and those that have been bottled specifically for restaurants.
Our Reserve designation is used in one of two ways: either the wine is from a single vineyard, or it’s a blend of different vineyards with the best of our selection identified as Reserve.
What’s going on in July
This month, we plan to bottle the Riesling and the White Pinot Noir. This is our third year bottling White Pinot. You may remember from last year that it differs from Rosé in color and flavor because we don’t press the White Pinot grapes – we just use the free run as the juice for this wine. Since the fruit doesn’t soak on the skins, there is a little bit of red color present initially, but the color settles out and it truly looks like a white wine. Since it’s fermented in stainless steel, it tastes like a white wine.
Toast to the Tunes is back in full swing this summer, with big crowds at each concert. We’re happy to see that this fun concert series now has a regular following. We’ve added a special Country Night Out concert, as well as more Paint Nites, to help round out the summer activity schedule here at the winery.
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