Author Archive

Innovation and Inspiration from California

The secret of great Burgundies is the amazing diversity of characteristics, carefully selected by many generations of French winemakers. Over the years, this treasure trove of diversity was brought to California by visionaries such as Paul Masson and Ernest Wente. In 1979, I began my winemaking career at Carneros Creek Winery in the Napa Valley. Here I was introduced to the great wines of Burgundy as well as a 1/2 acre plot of Pinot noir clones from many of the best known Pinot noir vineyards in California. Realizing the amazing bequest that was sitting in front me, I intended then and there to make this a pursuit of my lifetime.

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2019, A Treasured Vintage

Every so often a vintage comes along which is so special that it is not to be missed. 2019 was one of those years!

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Silent Fall

One of our fall rituals has traditionally been battling songbirds, who arrive in the vineyard en masse in October to feast on our newly ripened grapes. But climate change and catastrophes in our environment have started to take their toll on our feathered friends.  This year there was no need for bird deterrents, large migrations of robins and cedar waxwings over our vineyard seem to have disappeared.

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Introducing Cidre 2020

We thought 2020 would be an excellent year to embark on a new fermentation endeavor: making traditional cider from Alan Foster’s legendary White Oak cider orchard. The result is a dry cider with a round fruity body that dances on your tongue with apple tannins and a liesy finish and a nose filled with aromas of apple blossom and roses! 

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White Oak Orchard and Vineyard

Alan Foster, owner of White Oak Orchard in the Ribbon Ridge AVA, planted one of the finest cider apple and pear orchards in Western America in 1989. More recently he added 2 acres of Pinot noir and about 1 acre of the noble Nebbiolo grape variety which we use in our Ribbon Ridge Pinot noir and Nebbiolo blend.  Read on to hear about our newest project using Alan’s fruit.

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Fire and Wine Part 3

At this point in late January 2021, we are thrilled to  report that not a single lot of wine, either red or white, has been affected with smoke taint from the fires last fall. We are looking at low alcohol, intensely fruity, delicious wines coming out of the 2020 vintage, though in smaller quantities than is typical.

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Introducing our Fall Releases

We have just released one of the best vintages in our Oregon experience! 2018 was a vintage of extraordinary acidity and perfect Autumn weather and we think the wines are exquisite.

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Fire and Wine: Part 2

Now that fermentations have finished, we can truly assess whether smoke exposure has affected our wines. Due to a well-timed drenching rainstorm, careful winemaking techniques and a crop consisting of small clusters, we are happy to report that our finished wines are free of smoke taint!

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Fire and Wine

Our vineyards were edging relatively close to ripeness as smoke from the fires in the Cascade foothills hit the Willamette Valley on Sept 8. So we waited anxiously as the sun disappeared and the air cooled and the grape vines went into a kind of dormancy. Thankfully, on the night of September 17th an epic storm out of the North Pacific finally came rolling in with thunder and lightening and what turned out to be a massive amount of rain which helped extinguish the fires and renew our hopes for the coming vintage.

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FIELD GRAFTING AT CLOS ELECTRIQUE

Armed with a You Tube video, 2 grafting knives, and advice from an old hand at grafting apples, we learned a field grafting process called t-budding. By grafting scion wood from our stellar Clos Electrique Pinot noir clones onto inferior Dijon clone vines, we will harvest an entire new vineyard block of kick-ass old red Burgundy in just two years!

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