Amity Vineyards

Owner(s) Myron Redford, Viki Wetle
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Amity Vineyards

Myron Redford became interested in wine at a young age working at Washington's Associated Vintners (now Columbia Winery). He bought a small vineyard in Amity, Oregon in 1974 and had his first vintage in 1976. He released a Beaujolais Nouveau-style Pinot Noir in 1977. He was part of the first wave of pioneering vintners in Oregon's Willamette Valley which included David Adelsheim, Dick Erath, David Lett and Dick Ponzi, and was one of the organizers of the first International Pinot Noir Celebration. Redford introduced a Gamay Noir varietal-designated wine to Oregon in 1988 and debuted sulfite free wine from organically grown grapes in 1991. He also has been a proponent of Pinot Blanc over Chardonnay in Oregon.

Redford and Viki Metle met in 1980 when Wetle visited the winery to participate in a harvest party. Redford's mother invited her to stay for dinner and she never left. The harvest party has remained an annual tradition since 1978 and centers on a small block of estate Riesling.

Redford now farms 15 acres of vineyards and has contracts with many family growers in the Willamette Valley. He adheres to organic practices in his vineyard. He is a respected veteran vintner who oversees a 10,000 case production of 17 wines including Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, Gewürztraminer and Riesling. The Pinot Noirs include Amity Cuvé, Willamette Valley, "Eco" Pinot, Estate, Winemaker's Reserve and a few single-vineyard offerings.

Darcy Pendergrass, who has been Redford's assistant at Amity since 2001, became the winemaker in 2008 with Redford in a senior consulting position. As Redford's protege, Pendergrass upholds his winemaking traditions including minimal manipulation and limited oak aging.

Redford was an advocate of little or no new oak in vinifying Pinot Noir and his early Pinot Noirs were somewhat austere and acidic. In recent years, he has embraced more modern tastes and his Pinot Noirs show more extraction, ripeness and less acidity. His white wines have always been lauded for their purity and vibrancy.

Amity Vineyards is one of the few Oregon wineries to have a tasting room open year round. The wines are available on the website as well. 18150 Amity Vineyards Rd, Amity, OR (Yamhill County). 503-835-2362.

Reviewed Wines

2010 Amity Vineyards Estate Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.8% alc., pH 3.58, TA 0.56, 145 cases, $40. Aged in 33% new French oak barrels. · Very light garnet color in the glass. Shy aromas of red fruits, spice and sandalwood. Light weight cherry and cranberry flavors that are slightly green (under ripe) with an underpinning of tarry oak. Gossamer tannins add silkiness and bright acidity brings vim to the wine. No change with extended time in the glass. Decent. Reviewed February 27, 2013 ARTICLE »

2007 Amity Vineyards Amity Cuvée Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13%, $20. From 6 dry-farmed vineyards in the northern Willamette Valley including clones Dijon 115, Wädenswil, Pommard and Upright. Myron Redford and Darcy Pendergrass are the winemakers. · On the nose there are strawberries, cherries, juicy fruit gum and a touch of cardamon spice. Light-weighted and nicely spiced red fruits with some cedar and grapefruit zest flavors, soft tannins and zingy acidity. Reviewed March 26, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Amity Vineyards Sunnyside Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 203 cases, $40.The Sunnyside Vineyard was planted in 1970 and is LIVE certified. The owners are Tom and Lucy Wisniewski. Fruit from this vineyard been a part of the reserve Pinot Noir at Amity in the past. Aged 10 months in oak. · Beautifully weighted and composed with generous flavors of fresh berries including cranberry, and cherries. Floral and fruity in the nose and silky in the mouth. Impeccable balance, and a perfect companion to grilled lamb. Reviewed September 15, 2008 ARTICLE »

1999 Amity Dijon 115 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

More generous fruit and structure with a little port aroma showing up. Again, dry and rustic. Reviewed March 23, 2008 ARTICLE »

1999 Amity Upright Clone Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

From older clones with upright growth pattern - Gamay Beaujolais planted in 1970, Ponzi clone (?Martini) planted in 1974. · Old wine patina. Cigar box and wet leaves on the nose. A rustic wine with dwindling fruit and plenty of acidity. Reviewed March 23, 2008 ARTICLE »