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Archive for July, 2008


This was the Fourth Annual Portland Indie Wine Festival event. Small, independent producers are the heart and soul of Oregon’s world-class wine industry, and Indie Winemakers attended, searching for the next generation of winemakers emerging from cellars all across the state.

Wineries that produce less than 2,000 cases each year are invited to submit wines for this event. All wines for the festival are selected by a panel of judges in a blind tasting competition held six weeks before the festival. The top scoring wines determine the 40 wine producers and the wines to be poured at the festival.

Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir were the two most often represented varietals at this event. Most of these winemakers also owned their own vineyards. I often heard the comment of wanting full ownership of the winemaking process from vineyard management to bottling. Here is a list of noteworthy wineries we visited:
Alexana Winery– A new addition to the Revana Family Vineyard, this winery is focused on Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir from Dundee Hills and Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley’s famous Shea Vineyards.  Tried the 06 Pinot Noir.  Light in color, this wine had more herbal characteristics with a bit of raspberries on the palate.
Appolloni Vineyards– Food friendly wines. The white wines are made in traditional Italian-style: dry, with great fruit, and crisp clean flavors. Because of its location in the northern Willamette Valley, the winery focuses primarily on growing and producing pinot noir.
Arbor Brook Vineyards – Situated on the southern flank of Yamhill County’s famed Chehalem Mountain near Newberg, Oregon, ArborBrook Vineyards specializes in Pinot Noir.
Boedecker Cellars – Winemaker family that sources grapes from some of the finest vineyards in Oregon. Great Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  They seem to be an up and coming winery.  Tried the 05 Willamette Valley Stewart Pinot Noir.  Yum! ok, here’s a bit more definition: this wine has aromas and flavors of red cherry and raspberries.  Nice long finish with a great acid backbone.
Capitello Wines – Winemaker that sources his grapes has a cold fermented, “de-alced” Pinot Gris. Has a Pinot Noir that sells out quickly.
Grochau Cellars – In addition to Pinot Noir, this winemaker produces Sauvignon Blanc, Tempranillo and Syrah.  Tried the 06 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. This is a big Pinot!  Lots of red fruit flavor backed up by heavy tannins and a lush finish.
Mad Wines Company– No website, this winemaker is really indie! His wines are in high demand and impossible to get, unless you’ve know him. Marcus is a great guy who’s passion for winemaking is based on his focus to keep production small so he can ensure quality. The wines I tried had that focused fruit flavor and mid-pallet velvety feel that makes for a very enjoyable wine to pair with food.
Stag Hollow Vineyards -Known for their estate-grown Pinot Noirs from the Yamhill-Carlton District AVA. Tried their 2005 Yamhill-Carlton District Reserve Pinot Noir. While tasting great now, this wine will improve with another year, or two, in the bottle. Red fruits that are subtle and blend well with the acid backbone.

– more to come!

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