|Owner(s)||Ste. Michelle Wine Estates|
|Link to this site|
Dick Erath was one of the early pioneers of Oregon's wine industry. He came to Oregon in the late 1960s, driven by the belief that the future of Pinot Noir was in the Willamette Valley. Erath was an electronics engineer from California whose interest in Oregon was piqued after he obtained some grapes from Richard Somner's early plantings and made wine at home. Early on he partnered with Cal Knudsen to form Knudsen-Erath. They built a winery together in the Dundee Hills and released many acclaimed wines. In 1988 Erath bought out Knudsen and later brought on Rob Stuart as winemaker. The current winemaker, Gary Horner, joined the winery in 2002. Erath was sold to Ste. Michelle Wine Estates in 2006 with both Dick Erath and Gary Horner still at the winery.
The winery sources grapes primarily from vineyards in the Dundee Hills where the winery is located. Winemakers Dick Erath and Gary Horner craft both an Oregon blend (over 80,000 cases) and single-vineyard Pinot Noirs (Prince Hill, Leland, Fuqua, Juliard in most recent vintages). There is also an Estate Selection and top of the line La Nuit Magique.
The winemaker since 2003 is Gary Horner. Trained as a pharmacist, he decided to leave his pharmacy career for winemaking and moved his family to Oregon's Willamette Valley in 1988. He participated in UC Davis' wine education program, gained experience at numerous Northwest wineries, and had his own label, Destiny Vintners.
The winery's tasting room is open from 11-5 daily. Private tours and tastings are also available by appointment. 503-538-3318.
2012 Erath Prince Hill Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., pH 3.56, TA 0.75, 1,203 cases, $50. This wine represents a tie both to the winery’s past and to its future. Prince Hill Vineyard is owned and managed by Erath’s founder, Dick Erath, who first planted the vineyard in 1983. Currently, Erath uses a majority of the fruit from Prince Hill as the centerpiece of its range of single-vineyard Pinot Noirs. Aged 12 months in 100% French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose leads with hi-tone aromas of red cherry, strawberry and sandalwood. The delicious cherry and strawberry flavored mid weight core explodes on the palate and lingers on the finish for an eternity. Juicy and vibrant, with well-matched tannins, this superb wine really stands out from the pack. Score: 94. Reviewed September 29, 2015 ARTICLE »
2007 Erath Oregon Pinot Noir
13.0% alc., $19, screw cap. A blend of different vineyard sites in Oregon. 95% micro-oxygenation, 5% French oak barrels. · Moderately light red color. Scents of cherries, oak and green herb garden carry over to the flavors which are crisp, fresh and tart. Fairly austere and light with no detectable tannin. Reviewed March 26, 2009 ARTICLE »
2006 Erath Estate Selection Dundee Hills Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., $36. A blend of the best wines from several sites, mostly Knight’s Gambit Vineyard. Aged 15 months in 40% new French oak. The winemaker is Gary Horner. · Super ripe chewy dark fruit with a hint of raisin, cinnamon and oak. Plush mouth feel with prominent ripe, sweet tannins. Reviewed December 17, 2008 ARTICLE »
2006 Erath Winery Prince Hill Vineyard Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 2,079, $45. Sourced from 25 year-old vines planted in Jory soils. · Very appealing aromas of dark Bing cherries and baking spices. Nicely weighted cherry fruit glides over the palate with notes of brown sugar and chocolate. Softly textured with a clean finish. I could spend some time with this one. Reviewed January 1, 2009 ARTICLE »
2005 Erath Prince Hill Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
12.5% alc., $38. · Shy and very barnyardy nose with some demure red fruit, cotton candy and brown spice. The fruit is closed down and a bitter stemminess pervades the flavors. Reviewed September 15, 2008 ARTICLE »