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Roots Wines & Vineyard

Owner(s) Christian Berg, Hilary Berg
Web site
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Roots is a family affair owned by Christian (Chris) and Hilary Berg. Hailing from Racine, Wisconsin and raised in Idaho, Pennsylvania and Illinois, Chris, who has a degree in English from University of Kansas, became interested in wine when his parents bought a manufacturing company in Tualatin, Oregon and moved west from Illinois. The Berg family acquired a 20-acre property near Yamhill in the Yamhill-Carlton District located in the same hillside area as Shea Vineyard. In 1999, they planted a 7-acre estate vineyard primarily to Pinot Noir with a small amount of Pinot Gris. Pinot Noir clones 113, 114, 115 and 777 were established on Willakenzie soil at about 600 feet elevation.

Chris gained experience in winemaking at Archery Summit Winery. In 2001, Chris and Hilary moved to the Yamhill property and took over management of the property when their parents retired to Wickenburg, Arizona. They launched their winery, Roots, using a term derived from the French word racine which means “roots.”

2002 was the first vintage produced a whopping 72 cases of Pinot Noir under the Roots label. In 2003 a reserve bottling, Racine, was introduced and in 2004, a third label, Klee, was added, which pays homage to Bauhaus artist-in-residence Paul Klee. By 2006, the estate vineyard was in full production and grapes were bought (Cherry Grove Vineyard, Apolloni Vineyard, Leroy Vineyard and 49 Rows Vineyard) to produce a total of 2,000 cases under the three labels. Chris also sources grapes for non-Pinot Noir wines from the Walla Walla and Columbia Valley regions of Washington. Production in 2012 reached 4,000 cases.

Chris Berg’s idea is to make affordable wines and he has accomplished that with his five 2007 Pinot Noirs priced at $25 and the 2006 Racine at $50 (but available as low as $35). Beyond the prices though, Chris’s wines are impressive and deliver plenty of pleasure. The wines are produced in small quantities and often sell out quickly the the winery mailing list, local tasting rooms, and some retail distribution.

Reviewed Wines

2010 Roots “The Dude” Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., 50 cases, $35. Sourced from Saikkonen Vineyard in Ribbon Ridge. · Light reddish-purple color in the glass. Attractive scent of fresh cherries and baking spice. Light, juicy and elegant, but a bit shallow and flat with modest flavors of cherries and raspberries backed by soft tannins. May just be tight, but it doesn’t wake up my palate. Decent. Reviewed November 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Roots Estate Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 125 cases, $35. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. The aromas of black cherries and sandalwood leap from the glass. Very tasty with a moderately rich core of dark red and purple berry preserves finishing long with a good shaft of acidity and notes of cranberries and pomegranates. A generous wine that is very user-friendly. Very good. Reviewed November 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Roots Fairsing Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., 46 cases, $35. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Bright aromas of black plum sauce, blackberries, cola and oak. Earthy and smoky with a firm backbone of rugged tannins, featuring dark berry and plum flavors. Good. Reviewed November 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Roots Johnson Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 45 cases, $35. · Moderately light reddish-purple hue in the glass. Dark red cherries and berries are featured in this wine that has a savory bent as well with hints of spice, briar, herbs and dried flowers. Delicate with supple tannins. Charming and easy to drink. Good (+). Reviewed November 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Roots Saffron Fields Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 74 cases, $35. · Evocative perfume of black cherry pie glaze with hints of oak and slate. Delicious, deeply flavored essence of perfectly ripe dark cherries nicely spiced with a complimentary note of oakdriven mocha. Striking flavor on entry, expanding in waves on the palate, and finishing with a taunting, memorable intensity. Still great two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle when I finished the bottle with dinner. Exceptional. Reviewed November 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2007 Roots Crosshairs Cuvée Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 275 cases, $25. Sourced from Leroy Vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains AVA and Cherry Grove Vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton District AVA. · Moderately light garnet color. The aromas explode in the glass over time revealing black cherries, baking spices, herbs and forest floor. Light in weight and elegant in style with an earthy undertone. Softly textured with gossamer tannins and a good acid spine. A feminine styled wine with enough cleavage to please. Reviewed August 5, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Roots Estate Yamhill-Carlton District Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 175 cases, $25. · Pleasing scents of, strawberries, tutti-fruity and spice. Substantial red cherry and red berry core with an underpinning of earthiness, spice and Dr. Pepper. Minimum dusty tannins make the wine very approachable now. Seems like a Yamhill-Carlton wine masquerading as a Dundee Hills wine. This wine really brings it for the price of a Jackson and is recommended. Reviewed August 5, 2009 ARTICLE »