Origin: Oregon, USA
Grape: Pinot Gris
In 1971, the Sokol Blosser family planted grapes on just five acres in the Dundee Hills. As one of the pioneering wineries of the region, Sokol Blosser has played a key role in developing and shaping the now- prominent Oregon wine industry. The winery is family owned and operated, with the second generation now at the helm: siblings Alex and Alison Sokol Blosser. The estate has grown to more than 86 acres under cultivation, and the winery works to create wines of world-class quality, produced in a sustainable manner, which reflect the distinctive flavours of the grapes, soil and climate.
Pinot gris, pinot grigio or Grauburgunder is a white wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. Thought to be a mutant clone of the pinot noir variety, it normally has a grayish-blue fruit, accounting for its name but the grapes can have a brownish pink to black and even white appearance. The wines produced from this grape also vary in color from a deep golden yellow to copper and even a light shade of pink, and it is one of the more popular grapes for skin-contact wine. Pinot gris is grown around the globe with the "spicy" full-bodied Alsatian and lighter-bodied, more acidic Italian styles being most widely recognized. The Alsatian style, often duplicated in New World wine regions such as Marlborough, Tasmania, South Australia, Washington, Oregon and South Africa tend to have moderate to low acidity, higher alcohol levels and an almost "oily" texture that contributes to the full-bodied nature of the wine.
Dundee Hills is contained within the Willamette Valley AVA. It is located 28 miles southwest of Portland and 40 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. Rising above the low, flat floors of the surrounding Willamette and Chehalem Valleys, the Dundee Hills offer spectacular views, including Mt. Hood and Mt. Jefferson’s majestic snowy peaks. The Dundee Hills area is effectively an island protected from great climatic variations by surrounding geographic features. The Coast Range to the west lessens the effects of the Pacific Ocean’s heavy rains and windstorms, causing a rain shadow over the Dundee Hills area. The region receives just 30 to 45 inches of annual precipitation, most of which falls in the winter months outside of the growing season. Because of their slope and elevation, Dundee Hills vineyards benefit from warmer nights and less frost and fog than the adjacent valley floors. It is known for its rich, red volcanic Jory soil, which was formed from ancient volcanic basalt and consists of silt, clay and loam soils. They typically reach a depth of 4 to 6 feet and provide excellent drainage for superior quality wine grapes.
The cool spring helped push harvest out, but the hot summer helped make sure the grapes were ready to go with little delay. The harvest was not too compressed because we did have a few rain events which helped break up the harvest. We picked over a 6-week time period, which is a week or so longer than normal due to the rain events. The crop was huge, but it was ripe, and very clean which bodes well for quality. In fact, the crop was one of the largest we have seen since 2014. Long hours in the cellar to bring all the fruit in, and not a lot of family time during September and October.
The grapes were carefully hand harvested at 20-24°Brix. When necessary the clusters were sorted by hand to remove any flawed bunches. Our Pinot Gris is gently whole cluster pressed to minimize the extraction of bitterness from the skins. The juice was chilled and allowed to settle for 2 days then moved off the heavy sediment and transferred to stainless steel fermentation tanks.
The fermentations were slow and cool with the purpose of retaining aromatics lost in a quick hot fermentation. The Pinot Gris is aged in stainless steel tanks with Malolactic fermentation restricted for continued retention of the delicate floral and fruit aromatics and bright acidity. The wine remained in contact with its fine lees and stirred multiple times during the aging process to broaden the palette and develop weight without high alcohol or sugar. This 2017 blend is made entirely from Sokol Blosser estate grown fruit."""