WASHINGTON — Merriam-Webster defines “pioneer” as 1: a person who is one of the first to settle in an area, and 2: a person who begins or helps develop something new and prepares the way for others to follow.
Chenin Blanc In 1971, when just a few hardy farmers where trying to figure out what grapes to grow in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, Ginny and David Adelsheim looked out over an open field of orange and purple wildflowers and dreamed of one day planting a vineyard in the area.
Late Harvest Chenin Blanc (dessert Wine) Little by little, they built a home, planted vines by hand and, finally, in 1978, produced their first commercial wines. Along the way, a partnership with Lynn and Jack Loacker allowed the Adelsheims to increase the scope of both their winery production and their vineyard holdings in the Chehalem Mountains, without compromising their vision of producing wines that showcase the sense of place.
Cabernet Shiraz India
What began 20 years ago as a home hobby for Scott Steingraber, owner and winemaker at Kriselle Cellars, has morphed into a 30-acre vineyard, winery and tasting room with stunning views of Sams Valley.
Sauvignon Blanc Before becoming a full-time winemaker, Steingraber was a bridge builder. His last major construction project was the Tacoma Narrows Span. Steingraber believes that building bridges and making great wine involve many of the same qualities and processes.
Chenin Blanc Like most winemakers, Steingraber believes that where he and his wife, Krisell, the winery’s namesake, grow their grapes directly influences the flavor of the wine. Most of their vines are planted on the ancient bed of the Rogue River. The soil is predominantly river rock (cobbles), which retains heat and reflects it upward toward the vines, hastening new growth in the spring. Southern Oregon shares a similar latitude with some of the great wine-making regions of Europe, and Kriselle’s cobbles are similar to the cobble vineyards of Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
Late Harvest Chenin Blanc (dessert Wine)
Is the Natural-Wines Movement a Good Thing? It might be the way wine was meant to be, but that doesn’t mean it’s good.
Rosé The cult of the winemaker is endemic within the broader culture: It’s why famed wine consultants can make millions of dollars and travel around the globe consulting on projects from Walla Walla to Mendoza. Wine writers and sommeliers do love to talk about the terroir of wines, but we also like to discuss the technical minutiae of that wine’s production, the work of the winemaker.
Sauvignon Blanc Contrasted against that image of the winemaker-as-hero is the idea that perhaps we should get out of Mother Nature’s way. So-called “natural wine” has become the newest in a growing constellation of wine styles that promise little in the way of winemaker intervention—but does that term mean anything, and are those resulting wines any good? Let’s unpack the term just a bit: natural wine sits alongside terms like organic and bio-dynamic that have some generally agreed-upon principles but little actual legal meaning. An organic winemaker can’t use commercial fertilizers or pesticides, but that doesn’t mean sugar or acid isn’t added to balance the wine once it’s in the winery. Bio-dynamic wines adhere to the basic principles laid out by Rudolf Steiner: The whole of the vineyard is a living organism, and thus certain rhythms and rituals are observed. Both schools have adherents all over the world, for ethical reasons and because many winemakers believe the wine is better.
In every wine country, vintners anxiously scan the skies all year, hoping weather challenges will still let them make great, or at least good, wine.
Cabernet Shiraz French wine makers in Chablis lit fires earlier this year to protect their vineyards from irreparable frost damage.
Rosé So far, 2016 has been a very rough year for Europe's vintners, with one weather catastrophe after another. Hailstorms in Barolo. Spring frosts, then mildew, in Champagne, and equally disastrous weather events in Burgundy, Chablis, and Beaujolais. In some instances, 70 per cent of the crops were lost. Some tiny growers may go out of business.
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