Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Biodynamic Bubbles: Montinore Estate Releases First Demeter Certified Sparkling Wine from U.S.

Affordable, Handcrafted Biodynamic Bubbles: Vivace

Montinore has just debuted a sparkling, sweet white wine, handcrafted from its Alsatian varietals. Named Vivace, Montinore released it on Saturday, selling it online and in its tasting room. 

It's an Oregon original - sourced from white Alsatian varietals, grown on Montinore's 80 acres of Gewürztraminer, Muller Thurgau, Pinot Gris and Riesling. (The winery's other 120+ acres are devoted to Pinot Noir.) 

Montinore made 2,000 cases of this inaugural vintage. Vivace is made via the charmat method, in which CO2 is injected into the wine. (This is how most Proseccos are made, and it's the reason why Prosecco is much more affordable than Champagne.) 

Montinore also has plans for another sparkling wine - one made via the traditional method - which will be released in 2019.

Vivace is Demeter certified as "Made with Biodynamic Grapes," which means no pesticides, insecticides, herbicides or fungicides (save sulphur, which is approved for organic and Biodynamic farming) are used on the vineyards. It also means the vines' immune systems and health were aided by herbal teas made with anything from chamomile to yarrow along with the obligatory silica spray. 

In the winery, the maximum allowable level of sulfites for this type of Demeter certified wine is 100 ppm.

Montinore is the biggest producer of Demeter certified wine in the U.S., making 40,000 cases a year. Its largest production wine - the Montinore Red Cap Pinot Noir - is regularly listed by Eric Asimov (the NYTimes wine critic) in his 20 Under $20 articles. 

Montinore makes about 20% of all the wines from Biodynamic vines in the U.S. And unlike many other Biodynamic producers, it is (almost) 100% estate and nearly 100% Biodynamic. (The founder, Rudy Marchesi, has a small Italian wine passion project - making a few wines from Italian varietals he doesn't grow - as an homage to his Italian heritage). 

Inside the glass: citrus notes on the nose - lemon, lime and orange blossom, with a touch of ginger - and apple, melon and citrus on the palate.  

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