Monday, October 7, 2013

IN PHOTOS: Montinore Estate, Willamette Valley, Oregon

On my visit last week to Oregon wineries, I had a first hand look at the deluge that interrupted the 2013 Willamette Valley harvest for a few days, but the harvest appears to be a good vintage. Grapes were picked all over after I left.

Here are some photos from my trip to Montinore Estate on a rainy Sunday (a week ago). Montinore figures prominently in my new Biodynamic® Wine Finder app, with lots of affordable Alsatian and Pinot Noir wines, along with high end, small lots of Pinot Noir from Montinore's best vineyard blocks.

Enjoy this virtual visit. Many thanks to the tasting room staff for their hospitality and to Ben Thomas, Montinore's red wine winemaker, who took me on a brief tour.

On a very rainy day last week
With 240 acres in vine, Montinore is the largest Oregon producer
of wines made from Biodynamic® estate vineyards (roughly 40,000 cases)
and the second largest biodynamic producer in the U.S.
(after Grgich Hills in Napa) - it's an ocean of grapes

Arrive at harvest time and you can take home
a bottle of fresh, biodynamic wine grape juice - a real treat
Ben Thomas makes Montinore's red wines (including four single vineyard
designate Pinot Noirs and two other estate Pinot Noirs) - here he
shows his collection of native yeasts from different vineyard blocks;
each yeast will be paired with the grapes from those blocks -or perhaps he'll pick
a few favorites - the things a Biodynamic winemaker thinks about! (*Because they
primarily use native yeasts)
Where wine starts - with freshly picked grapes!
The cellar at Montinore: originally it was created to hold sparkling wine.
 Today it houses a wide variety of white Alsatians and red Pinot Noirs
On a day when it's raining cats and dogs outside, the tasting room sofa
looks like a good place to sip and stay awhile. It also has great views.

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