Featured Winery: Lumos Wine Company
This issue features the outstanding and sensibly-priced Lumos 2017 vintage wines. These wines, first released
as a fall offering in October 2019, are ready for enjoyment now.
Dai Crisp and his spouse PK McCovy, both Oregon State alumni, launched the Lumos Wine Company in 2000.
Crisp was first exposed to viticulture in 1986 when he assisted his parents in planting a small, 10-acre vineyard
on their farm in Wren, Oregon. He began his professional viticulture career at Croft Vineyards in 1990 and
since 1999 has been managing Temperance Hill Vineyard, a 100-acre site in the Eola-Amity Hills appellation
that is regarded by many, including myself, as one of Oregon’s premier “grand cru” Pinot Noir vineyards.
Secure in the feeling that he could successfully grow premium grapes, Dai decided to start his own label.
The name “Lumos” is derived from The Sorcerer’s Stone (The Philosopher's Stone in England) by JK Rowling.
Dai and PK wanted a name that referred to magic or light and they discovered a name that referred to both in
this book. As parents, they read this book out loud to their children and these reading sessions became an
important family ritual, helping to make reading important to a new generation. Lumos refers to photosynthesis
and magic, that is sunlight into wine.
Dai grows all the grapes used in Lumos wines in USDA/Oregon certified organic vineyards including the
family’s home Wren Vineyard in Philomath (15 acres planted to Pommard Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Dijon
Chardonnay), the ‘Rudolfo’ Logsdon Ridge Vineyard (10-acres planted solely to Pinot Gris located just north of
Corvallis) and the Temperance Hill Vineyard.
Four of the Pinot Noir wines in this spring 2020 release are from the Temperance Hill Vineyard. This cool, late-ripening
site located at 680-900 feet elevation was planted mostly to Pinot Noir first planted from 1981-1983 by
owner Edward Koo. The vineyard is directly exposed to the Van Duzer Corridor leading to large daily
temperature swings that result in good flavor development and bright acidity. Soils are shallow, lean, and basalt
in type. Row spacing of the original plantings is 12’ x 8’ with 454 vines per acre.
The original vines are on high wires with a hanging trellis. They are divided into three blocks: Front and The
Flats (Pommard clone) and West Field (Wädenswil clone). All of the old vines are severely afflicted with
phylloxera and trunk disease. 40% or less of the roughly 38-year olds are still producing fruit. More recently
planted Pinot Noir clones in the Temperance Hill vineyard include 113, 114, 115, 667, 777, 943 and Swan. The
blocks vinified by Lumos include the North (Pommard), the Pumphouse (113,114,115) and The G (777). All of
these blocks are on grafted rootstock.
Temperance Hill Vineyard grapes are also sourced by many of Willamette Valley’s most notable wineries
including Adelsheim, Belle Pente, Brooks, Domino IV, Evesham Wood, J.K. Carriere, Love & Squalor, Penner-
Ash, St. Innocent and Walter Scott.
Lumos wines are vinified in McMinnville by winemakers Dai Crisp and Julia Cattrall. Dai was the initial Lumos
winemaker but in 2007 Julie was hired and now guides the winemaking. Dai and his son Boone still collaborate
on the direction of winemaking. Over time, there has been a move to a less extractive approach that together
with other techniques have given the wines more focus and depth. No animal by-products or GMOs are used
in the winemaking process so the wines are vegan friendly.
The Lumos tasting room is located on the Crisp family farm in Wren, Oregon. A bit out of the way in Southern
Willamette Valley but worth the trip. A cabin left standing on the property from the H bar H Dude Ranch that
occupied the property in the 1940s was converted into a charming tasting wine. A vineyard cabin on the farm is
available for Lumos Wine Club members and through VRBO. Lumos wines are sold through the winery’s
website store at www.lumoswine.com. Dai and PK below.
2017 Lumos Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 260
cases, $45. Vineyard is dry-farmed and 100% certified organic and Salmon Safe. This bottling is made from the
best barrels among all the different lots. It generally includes most, if not all of the clones but there is no
formula. Dai, Boone and Julia blind taste all the barrels and then arrive at a Temperance Hill Vineyard
designate. Additional trials are then assembled by Julia and are evaluated blind. 1/3 whole cluster fermentation
(layer cake method with whole clusters in the center), native yeast fermentation, primarily pump-overs with
minimal punch-downs, and aged 15 months in French oak barrels.
Moderate garnet color in the glass. The
pleasing aromas of black cherry, baking spice and toast gain traction over time in the glass. Delicious midweight
flavors of black cherry and blackberry framed by uplifting acidity and tame tannins. Very open and giving
with a compliment of oak in the background and some graphite-infused fruit on the finish.
2017 Lumos The G Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.0% alc., 97 cases, $48. Also named
“Guam” because this block is located in the farthest corner of the
vineyard. Clone 777. 1/3 whole cluster fermentation (layer cake method
with whole clusters in the center), native yeast fermentation, primarily
pump-overs with minimal punch-downs, aged 15 months in French oak
This wine is a candidate for decanting, becoming my favorite
wine in the 2017 lineup when tasted the following day from a previously
opened and re-corked bottle. Superb intensity of fruit aromas including
darker cherry and berry. Structure and power to spare, staining the
palate with a charge of earth-toned blackberry fruit. A soft mouthfeel
creates a velvet hammer of flavor. Echos of spiced dark fruit linger on
the finish. An excellent cellar candidate.
2017 Lumos Pumphouse Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
alc., 84 cases, $48. Clones 113, 114 and 115.1/3 whole cluster fermentation (layer cake method with whole
clusters in center), native yeast fermentation, primarily pump-overs with minimal punch-downs, aged 15
months in French oak barrels.
Moderate garnet color in the glass. Reserved aromas of cherry, dark red berry,
spice and floral perfume pick up intensity with time in the glass. Dense yet energetically fruited in a mid-weight
plus style, with impressive fresh-off-the-vine expression of black grape, black berry and black currant flavors.
Silky in the mouth with modest tannins and a finish awash in umami and fruit.
2017 Lumos Upper Bench Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 69 cases, $48.1/3 whole cluster fermentation (layer cake method with whole clusters in the center),
native yeast fermentation, primarily pump-overs with minimal punch-downs, aged 15 months in French oak
Moderate garnet color in the glass. A nose to kill for with hi-tone aromas of dark cherry and spice.
Gracious in the mouth, with a pleasing infusion of dark red berry and cherry fruit flavors backed up with silken
tannins and gregarious acidity. Excellent harmony, finishing long and savory.
2017 Lumos North Wren Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 96 cases, $48. Pommard
clone. 1/3 whole cluster fermentation (layer cake methods with clusters in the center), natural yeast
fermentation, primarily pump-overs with minimal punch-downs, aged 15 months in French oak barrels.
Moderate garnet color in the glass. This wine leads with the most seductive Pinot aromas of black cherry,
cinnamon spice, sage and damp earth. Mid-weight in style, with engaging flavors of black cherry, dried herbs
and vanilla. Completely satisfying, with a silky texture, minimal tannins and a cherry-fueled finish. Better than
2017 Lumos Julia Temperance Hill Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Gris
13.5% alc., 77
cases, $24. Released April 2020. Named for winemaker Julia Cattrall.Tank and barrel fermented. Coldstabilized,
Moderate golden yellow color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of pear,
lemongrass, yellow melon, caramel and white flower. Engaging flavors of white stone fruits with a hint of
coconut and the grassy character found in Sauvignon Blanc. Refined, with a moderately plush texture and an
upbeat, uplifting finish.