PinotFile: 11.9 September 5, 2017

  • On Pinot Trail in Willamette Valley Pt II
  • Checking In On Small Wineries in the Willamette Valley
  • Oregon Pinot Briefs

On Pinot Trail in Willamette Valley Pt II

The modern Oregon industry was built by families creating small wineries that catered to customers on a very personal level. That tradition still exists widely in Oregon today despite the influx of rich investors and the corporatization of wineries through acquisitions.

The pioneers, many of which came from California, established the welcoming spirit that engaged visitors in their endeavors. The resultant growth in new vineyards and wineries over the past fifty years has been remarkable, and by the end of 2016 there were 725 wineries and 30,435 planted vineyard acres. Visitors to Oregon wineries currently contribute over $207 million to the Oregon economy.

As many readers know, I like to champion the small, family owned producers because their background stories and dedication is unrivaled. Pinot Noir responds to meticulous farming and winemaking, and the smaller producers often provide this caring approach.

This past July, I spent several days in the Willamette Valley calling on small wineries, several of which I had never visited although they had been kind enough to send me their wines for review. I looked in on other wineries that I had not visited in some time.

The Willamette Valley appellation, established in 1984, is subdivided into six appellations: Chehalem Mountains, Ribbon Ridge, Yamhill-Carlton, Dundee Hills, McMinnville and Eola-Amity Hills. 82% of Oregon’s Pinot Noir is planted in the Willamette Valley. All appellations are reachable within 45 to 90 minutes by car from Portland. Most visitors to the Willamette Valley use lodging in Newberg, Dundee or McMinnville as their base of operations although there are numerous B&Bs scattered throughout the Valley. The best way to approach winery visits is to concentrate on one appellation a day to minimize driving. Some wineries are an adventure to find and will take you on seldom traveled country roads. Some of the more southerly wineries are located in the Willamette Valley appellation but outside the six sub appellations and take additional time to reach. Refer to map of the Willamette Valley below.

Most small wineries require an appointment to visit. This is preferable because you most likely will receive a very personal experience. All the Willamette Valley wineries are open Memorial Day and Thanksgiving Day weekends. Remember, it rains a lot in the Willamette Valley in the winter, so you may want to plan a trip from Memorial Day through October.

A large regional map can be obtained from the Willamette Valley Wineries Association at An interactive map of the region is also available on this website: A downloadable PDF “Guide to Willamette Valley Wineries is available also at

Numerous touring companies operate in the Willamette Valley but they often neglect the smaller, family owned wineries hidden throughout the region. Helicopter tours are also available, but again, the focus is on the larger wineries.

If you are planning a trip to visit wineries in the Willamette Valley, you can contact me at and I would be happy to give recommendations and assist you in obtaining appointments. I need to update the list of some recommended wineries to visit in the Willamette Valley at

Checking In On Small Wineries in the Willamette Valley

Chehalem Mountains

VIDON Vineyard, Newberg

This small, family owned vineyard and winery has a very interesting story. Named for proprietors Vicky and Don Hagge, Vidon produces 100% estate grown Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Viognier, Syrah and Tempranillo. Don Hagge is a retired space scientist whose career included particle research with Ernest Lawrence and time at NASA. Vicky and Don founded Vidon Vineyard in 1999 when the initial Pinot Noir plantings were established. Planting continued through 2001 and included grafting over the “828” clone vines to Erath 95 clone.

In July 2017, shortly before I visited the winery, Don announced that molecular biologist David Bellows joined Vidon as head winemaker, doubling the number of science PhDs in the Vidon Cellar. With this boost in brainpower for the winemaking team, 85-year-old Hagge plans to turn the primary winemaking to Bellows, and focus on sales and general business operations. Bellow began working harvests in the Willamette Valley in 2011 and currently teaches wine-related science courses at Chemeketa Community College.

Together, Hagge and Bellos run Vidon’s cellar like a science lab, emphasizing quality and predictability of results. Because the barrel room at Vidon is small, Hagge has experimented with using compact Australian plastic tanks and French oak staves for aging his wines. The winery also uses no corks, preferring sterile glass stoppers to avoid all risk of taint while minimizing variability. Hagge built a unique bottling line for glass stoppers as well as a proprietary argon gas wine preservation system for the tasting room.

Bellows kids that the winery is one big science experiment, and “Now if we can just find a harvest intern with a PhD in organic chemistry, we will be set.”

The intimate tasting room and pavilion (pictured) are open 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on winter weekends and holidays, and Thursday through Monday the rest of the year. Midweek tastings are available by appointment. Visit the website at

A few recent vintages of Vidon Pinot Noir and Chardonnay have been reviewed previously in the PinotFile: Here are brief notes on wines tasted at the winery in July.

2016 VIDON Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Chardonnay This wine was tasted both from an oak puncheon and a plastic Flextank. The differences were noticeable: the Chardonnay from the Flextank was more aromatic, fruitier and brighter, while the Chardonnay from the oak puncheon was less fruity, softer, with subtle oak highlights. The Estate Chardonnay combines wines from the two aging vessels.

2016 VIDON Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Viognier $20, screwcap (unreleased). Pale yellow gold color in the glass. Typical tropical fruit aromas of Viognier. Pleasing tropical fruit notes on the palate that is fresh and not cloying. Juicy acidity runs through the background. 88.

2015 VIDON Vineyard Estate Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Chardonnay Reviewed 5/6/17. 88-89. Steely and a bit nutty, with a good cut of acidity on finish.

2015 VIDON Vineyard Estate Apollo Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Chardonnay Reviewed 5/6/17. 91-92. Noticeable citrus drive, rounded, with good balance and finish.

2015 VIDON Vineyard Estate Melange Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 13.9% alc., 360 cases, $30. A blend of all clones in the estate vineyard. Aromas of blueberry, cherry and peppery herbs. Bright with vivid flavors of cherry and blueberry backed by a touch of herbal oak. 89.

2012 VIDON Vineyard Estate Mirabelle Clone 115 Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 15.0% alc., $40. Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. The nose lacks aromatic charm, featuring onluy woodland path and woody aromas. Highly concentrated black fruit sap that lacks character and nuance. A bold intensely fruited finish. Syrah-like in character. 87.

2011 VIDON Vineyard Estate Barrel Select Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 13.9% alc., 99 cases, $80. Aromas of earthy flora, peppery spices and herbs. Light to mid weight flavors of earthy black fruits with accents of tea, leather and oak. Noticeable dry tannins on the finish. 91.

2015 VIDON Vineyard Estate Explorer Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Tempranillo 13.4% alc., $50. Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Pleasing aromatics with hi-tone aromas of dark berry melange. Forward drinking core of blackberry and spice flavors with a deft touch of oak and a generous finish. 90.

2014 VIDON Vineyard Estate Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Syrah 13.6% alc., $40. 5% Viognier. Moderate dark garnet color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of black raspberry and spice. Full-bodied essence of black raspberry and blackberry fruits with a riff of dark chocolate. Big, but balanced tannins and an intensely fruity finish of notable length. 90.

2015 VIDON Vineyard Estate Saturn Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Syrah 13.6% alc., $50. Dark garnet color in the glass. The nose is rather primary, displaying jammy black fruit aromas. More reserved than the 2014 bottling with more oak showing at this stage. Impressive fruit concentration with heft, but complimentary tannins and a grand finish. Truly age worthy. 91.

Note: Oregon cool climate Syrah is a little known gem. I have tasted a number of Syrahs from the Willamette Valley and have found them to be excellent. Syrah just can’t get any respect and these wines often languish without their due.

Privé Vineyard, Newberg

Those that are regular readers of the PinotFile know that I have been a big fan of the Pinot Noirs produced by Tina and Mark Hammond from their 2-acre vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains. The due work in tandem with Mark managing the vineyard and Tina making the wine. Tina is a self-taught winemaker with a natural talent for crafting Pinot Noir.

The vineyard is planted to Pommard clone on 37-year-old rootstock in Jory soil. Three wines are bottled: “le sud” from the south 1 acre, “le nord” from the north 1 acre, and “Joie de Vivre,” a reserve etched bottling. The wines are typically de-stemmed and aged in 100% new Seguin Moreau French oak barrels.

The Hammonds started with a tiny winery that suited their very small production. Through the years, some grapes have been sourced and Syrah has been added. A new larger and visually charming winery was added in recent years (see photo below) and the old winery was converted to a tasting room and event center.

The wines are sold only through dedicated members of a mailing list. Limited appointments are available for tasting because there is so little wine produced. Visit the website at

I have tasted almost every release of Privé Pinot Noir going back to 2003 (the first vintage was 2001). Included here are some reviews of past vintages that I recently sampled.

2006 Privé Vineyard le sud Yamhill County Oregon Pinot Noir

13.4% alc.. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass with no rim bricking. Complex array of aromas including black cherry, spices including cardamom and cinnamon, dark chocolate, sweet oak and earthy flora. An impressive wine in a very warm year, showing a sleek core of black cherry, raspberry, spice and smoke flavors. Polished, with immersed tannins and some finishing generosity. The fruit is a bit too far on the ripe side, but otherwise this is a beautiful wine that has aged magnificently. Drink now to 2022. Score: 93

2008 Privé Vineyard le nord Chehalem Mountains Oregon Pinot Noir

13.0% alc.. · Dark garnet color in the glass. Exotic perfume that gathers intensity and spice over time in the glass, sporting aromas of blackest cherry, violets, burnt tobacco, warn leather and earthy flora. Aging beautifully with years ahead, offering a mid weight charge of black cherry and blackberry fruits with added notes of spice, cola, BBQ rub, tobacco, herbs and earth. A complex wine with merged tannins and a slight citrus note on the finish. Holds up well over time in the glass. Drink now to 2028. Score: 95

2010 Privé Vineyard Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

13.0% alc.. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of muddled cherry, spice, vanilla and mocha lead to a middleweight fresh and vivid core of woodsy black cherry fruit. Sleek with resolved tannins and a compliment of tobacco and chocolate oak-driven notes in background. Fades a bit over time in the glass. Drink up. Score: 90

2010 Privé Vineyard le nord Chehalem Mountains Oregon Pinot Noir

13.0% alc.. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Very sexy nose featuring aromas of black cherry, dark red rose, mulch and vanilla. Light to mid weight in style with a grandiose core of black cherry fruit with a complimentary oak flourish. Impressive intensity from entry to the lengthy finish with enough tannic backbone to carry the wine another five years. Drink now to 2022. Score: 92

2011 Privé Vineyard le sud Chehalem Mountains Oregon Pinot Noir

13.2% alc.. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The nose offers a combination of black cherry and toasted oak aromas. Light to mid weight in style, with a good attack of black cherry and blueberry fruits framed by a touch of oak. The wine enters better than it finishes. Nicely balanced and pleasurable if unassuming. Score: 90

2011 Privé Vineyard Joie de Vivre Yamhill County Oregon Pinot Noir

13.0% alc. #38 of 108 bottles. · Dark garnet color in the glass. The nose leads off with an array of black stone fruits. Mid weight plus in style, with a hefty load of sappy black fruits and a muscular tannin load to match. The wine builds in intensity over time in the glass and sports a very long finish. Still a stodgy black fruited demon that offers little more than fruit even when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Drink now to 2022. Score: 91

2012 Privé Vineyard le nord Chehalem Mountains Oregon Pinot Noir

13.6% alc.. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. The black cherry, black raspberry and boysenberry fruits have a mild highly ripened, roasted quality. Mid weight plus in style with impressive richness of flavor, yet light on its feet. The fruit is well framed by nutty oak and firm tannins. Rather seamless and velvety in texture. Drink now to 2023. Score: 93

2012 Privé Vineyard le sud Chehalem Mountains Oregon Pinot Noir

13.8% alc.. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Appealing scents of black cherry, bittersweet dark chocolate, coal and underbrush. A delicious bombastic wine with great balance between richness of flavor and energetic verve, offering mid weight plus flavors of black cherry and boysenberry. So luscious, so satiny, so dreamy. This wine has the tannin structure to easily be a 15-year wine. Drink now to 2027. Score: 96

2013 Privé Vineyard le nord Chehalem Mountains Oregon Pinot Noir

12.9% alc.. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The nose is very shy and weedy with a hint of red cherry and berry. Lighter weighted, elegant and straightforward with a core of cherry fruit accented with baking spices. The fine-grain tannins are mellow and the wine shows good harmony, but it is austere and the fruit trends toward under ripeness. Score: 88

Bells Up Winery, Newberg

Located a very short distance from Privé Vineyard, this newer winery was established by David and Sara Specter in 2012. David pursued a winemaking career after a legal career beginning in 2009. He trained under Bryan Weil, the winemaker at Alexana Winery and Myron Redford of Amity Vineyards. Neighbors Tina and Mark Hammond of Privé vineyard have served as mentors.

The first wines were from the 2013 vintage, all produced from sourced grapes. The 9-acre estate vineyard is planted to five clones of Pinot Noir will come into production in the 2019 vintage The first estate Pinot Noir Rosé will be released from the 2017 vintage. The wines have shown more promise in each succeeding vintage. The tasting room is in a former barn and open by appointment. Visit

2016 Bells Up Prelude Willamette Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir 13.1% alc., pH 3.41, TA 0.64, 75 cases, $22. Released April 1, 2017. Clones 115 and 777 (50% each). Average harvest Brix 23.9º. Fermented in stainless steel, then brief aging 5 months neutral French oak barrels with full malolactic fermentation. Moderate ruby red color in the glass. Aromas of strawberry, watermelon and peppery herbs. A savory, herbal style with fortuitous acidity. 88.

2015 Bells Up Titan Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 13.3% alc., pH 3.52, TA 0.61, 108 cases, $40. Release fall 2017. Yamhill-Carlton Dijon clones 115 and 777 (58%) and Pommard (42%). Harvest Brix 25.1º. Aged 7 months in French oak barrels, 30% new. Light garnet color in the glass. soaring aromas of cherry and spice. Well-crafted in a mid weight style with copious blueberry, cherry and Asian spice goodness framed by proportioned tannins. 92.

2015 Bells Up Villanelle Tonnelier Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Reserve Pinot Noir 13.3% alc., pH 3.57, TA 0.60, 54 cases, $54. Sourced from a 3.5-acre vineyard with sedimentary Willakenzie soil. 100% free-run juice.Equal parts Dijon 115 and 777 (15-year-old vines) aged for 7 months in French oak barrels. Light ruby red color in the glass. Engaging aromas of blueberry and cherry echoed on the palate. Juicy and vivid with inviting spice and coffee notes in a mid weight style with a grand finish. Easy to like now but has the goods to age. 93.

2015 Bells Up Firebird Summit View Vineyard Walla Walla Valley Washington Syrah Vinified in same manner as Pinot Noir. Moderate purple color in the glass. A big and bold wine in character for Syrah but not excessively so or jammy. Blue and purple fruits are well spiced. Intense attack and finish. More tannin than one encounters with Pinot Noir, but not imposing. 90.

Ruby Vineyard & Winery, Hillsboro

This is a newer winery not as yet on many pinotphile’s radar, but it has significant historical foundations and a new winemaking team that should bring the winery prominence.

In 1973, John and Beth Hiestand planted own-rooted Wädenswil 1A clone from the South Block of Eyrie Vineyards acquired from David Lett. The cuttings were rooted next to the barn on the property and planted the following year.

In 1979, Bill Beran, a physicist planted the bulk of the vineyard, 7 acres, to own-rooted Pommard, Riesling and Chardonnay. The white wine vines were grafted to Dijon 115 Pinot Noir in 1990. Organically farmed from the beginning, the vineyard was planted on Laurelhurst (Laurelwood) soil, a combination of Jory and Willakenzie soil types. Bill and Sharon Beran converted the diary barn to a winery and launched Beran Vineyards & Winery with their first vintage in 1997.

The property was first homesteaded in 1875 by John McFee. Abijah Hendricks homesteaded a parcel of land near Carlton, Oregon after arriving on a wagon train in 1843. In 2012, his great-great grandson, Stephen Hendricks, a lawyer and fifth generation Oregonian, returned to his roots in the Willamette Valley, acquiring the Beran Estate Vineyard and winery and establishing Ruby Vineyard. Currently the vineyard has 7.5 acres of old vine Pinot Noir dating to 1973-1979 and 1.8 acres of newly planted vines (cuttings of Wädenswil 1A taken from old plantings and 3 Dijon clones of Chardonnay).

Winemaking at Ruby since the 2016 vintage is under the direction of consulting winemaker Eric Hamacher and assistant winemaker Andrew Kirkland. Eric has 22 vintages under his belt in Oregon, 12 of those at Carlton Winemaker’s Studio. Andrew worked in wine retail in Seattle and New York and was exposed to many great wines. His recent winemaking experience came at Brittan Vineyards.

Current capacity is 3,500-4,000 cases per year. Current wines offered include Chardonnay, Rosé of Pinot Gris, and four 2015 Pinot Noirs. I tasted through the 2015 Pinot Noirs in the tasting room with Eric and Andrew and then barrel tasted several 2016 Pinot Noirs in the winery. It is clear that this winemaking team is enthusiastic about the potential of this iconic vineyard and the 2016 wines will be special.

The tasting room at Ruby is open six days a week (closed Tuesdays) with private tastings available with the owner or winemakers by appointment. Visit The historic winery retains its dairy farm roots (see photo below).

2012 Ruby Single Clone Wädenswil Chehalem Mountains Oregon Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $125. 40-yearold Wädenswil clone vines planted in Laurelwood soil. Indigenous yeast fermentation. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Seductive perfume of cherry, spice and sandalwood. Lighter weighted flavors of red cherry, cranberry and oak-driven notes of smoke and tobacco. More elegant and engaging than many Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs from the 2012 vintage, with silky tannins and easy drink ability. The oak overlay is a bit imposing. Score: 90

2015 Ruby Flora’s Reserve Chehalem Mountains Oregon Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., 50 cases, $N/A. Composed of Wädenswil 1A clone planted in 1973. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Exotic aromas of red cherry, rose petal and spice. Seamless in character, with mid weight flavors of cherry, raspberry and spice lifted with a bright acid spine. Mildly perceptible silky tannins and an engaging and juicy finish. Score: 93


Big Table Farm, Gaston

Brian Marcy and Clare Carver moved to Oregon from Napa, California in 2006 and bought a 70-acre property that became both a winery and working farm. The Oregon adventure was inspired by their desire to grow grapes, make wine, and to have the space for all of Clare’s animals. They named the farm and winery after the goal to provide a gracious and welcoming table, with a cornucopia of handcrafted food and wine. Now, after ten years, Brian and Clare have developed the land into a working farm with cattle, horses, pigs, goats, chickens, and bees, and have built a winery and barn.

I first met Brian and Clare at Pinot Days in Santa Monica, California in 2010 (see photo below) and have been a fan of their wines ever since. Brian’s winemaking experience at Turley Wine Cellars, Neyers Vineyards, Blankiet Estate and Marcassin shows in the stellar wines.

In the Big Table Farm fall release newsletter, Brian summarizes his winemaking goal. “My overreaching winemaking goal is and has always been to make delicious wine. Complexity, age-worthiness and interest are also important for wine, but if the delicious is not there, then all else is unimportant. I mostly use my own palate....taste and try and taste again a multitude of times.” He goes on to say, “Small wineries like ours where the owner is the winemaker are in a unique position artistically. We have no outside investors, owners or partners looking over our shoulders and the wines can truly reflect a singular focus. I certainly check in with Claire to make sure I am not crazy, but she likes my wine too.”

Brian couldn’t afford a de-stemmer when the winery started in 2006 and liked the results so much with whole cluster fermentation for Pinot Noir, he has continued with whole bunch vinification exclusively. He bought a de-stemmer in 2014 but is looking to sell it. All wines are vinified with native fermentations, never acidified, and aged in a low percentage of new French oak barrels.

The winery offers a Pinot Noir Rosé, Pinot Gris, an Edelzwicker, two Chardonnays, a Willamette Valley and Yamhill-Carlton appellation Pinot Noir, and vineyard-designated Pinot Noirs. The wines are sold through a mailing list and the tasting room. Tasting is available by appointment in Brian and Clare’s over 100-year-old farmhouse, a truly personal experience. Demand for appointments is high, and tasters must commit to purchasing a case of wine to attend a tasting. The unique labels on the bottles are designed and crafted using a letterpress by Clare. Visit the beautifully designed website at

Big Table Farm was a featured winery at the 2017 International Pinot Noir Festival where they were pouring their featured wine, the 2015 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. This wine and the other 2015 spring release wines were previously reviewed in the PinotFile: When I visited Big Table Farm, I tasted through the fall release (available now) Pinot Noirs including the 2015 Cattrall Vineyard (Wädenswil clone, excellent acidity), the 2015 Yamhill-Carlton (showy, forward and fruity), the 2015 Sunnyside Vineyard (Wädenswil clone, lighter weighted, very pretty fruit, elegant), and the 2015 Wirtz Vineyard (Coury clone, earthy, bold, noticeable tannins). I also sampled many barrels of 2016 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with Brian and the wines were “spot on.”

I barrel-sampled 2016 wines at several other wineries as well when I visited on my July 2017 trip, and can say that this will be another superb vintage for the Willamette Valley. 2016 was a warm vintage with high yields.

Lenné Estate, Yamhill

Lenné Estate vineyard sits on a steep, south-facing slope near the town of Yamhill, Oregon. Nearby are Willakenzie Estate and Saffron Fields Winery. The property was once part of a large dairy farm and sits on a sedimentary soil type known as “peavine.” The resulting wines have considerable character because of the small cluster and berry size.

The name, Lenné, was born from a chicken farm west of London, England, in the small village of Wolkingham. It was there that winery founder Stephen Lutz’s spouse, Karen Lutz, was raised on a chicken farm and Karen’s father was known as “Len the hen.” The chicken farm is long gone and Len died in 1999. With his passing, Len helped put a down payment on Lenné Estate, so the winery was named in his honor.

I tasted through three of Lenné Estate’s 2014 vintage Pinot Noirs that have been released and previously tasted by me at home. Stephen said that 2014 was a warmer vintage that produced wines that initially were simple and fruit forward, but have acquired more complexity over time. Because of high yields, less new oak cooperage was used in this vintage. Stephen predicts that these wines will be long-lived. The other wines tasted were from the 2015 vintage, another warm one for Oregon. The grapes were harvested riper, the alcohols are somewhat higher (14.5%-ish) and have slightly lower acidity. Some of these wines will be released in the fall and the rest in 2018. The Pinot Noirs are typically aged 11 months in French oak barrels.

Including a Chardonnay, new for the 2016 vintage, Lenné Estate offers nine wines. All eight Pinot Noirs are estate grown. The “Le Nez” entry Pinot Noir bottling has been phased out. The wines are sold primarily to an enthusiastic wine club with a membership that is nearly filled. Tasting is available Wednesday-Sunday afternoon. Stephen anticipates that he will discontinue tasting appointments in the near future and distribute his wines to wine club supporters only. He plans to build a small winery on the property as well. Lenné Estate was one of the chosen participating wineries at this year’s International Pinot Noir Celebration. Visit for information or to purchase wines.

I have been following Lenné Estate since the 2006 vintage and have visited Stephen to taste multiple times.

2014 Lenné Estate Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 800 cases, $38. A new bottling combining the Le Nez and Estate bottlings. About 50% Pommard. Featured wine at 2017 International Pinot Noir Celebration. (score when tasted 11/19/16 was 89-91). · Moderately light garnet color in the class. Aromas of cherry and cranberry lead to a lighter weighted and red fruited wine that is lacy and juicy. Easy to cozy up to, with fine-grain tannins and a good cut of acidity on the satisfying finish. The wine’s appealing texture is its best feature. Score: 91

2014 Lenné Estate Jill’s 115 Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 100 cases, $55. (score when tasted 11/19/16 was 88-90). · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Highly aromatic with scents of black fruits and mocha. Envious attack and length of the dark fruit essence with persistence through the finish. Matched silky tannins offer support. Has the balance to age nicely. Score: 92

2014 Lenné Estate cinq élus Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $80. A blend of the best barrel from each of the five different estate vineyard blocks. Only produced in great vintages. (score 11/19/16 was 92-93). · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Engaging aromas of dark red cherry, spice and sandalwood. A delicious core of dark cherry and raspberry fruits alerts the palate on entry, enveloping the taste buds, and lasting through a very long finish. Beautifully balanced and truly age worthy. Score: 94

2015 Lenné Estate Eleanor’s 114 Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $55. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Aromatically alive with scents of dark raspberry and black cherry. Inviting core of dark cherry and raspberry fruits in a mid weight style with a deft touch of oak, and noticeable lift on the finish. There is the slightest bit of alcoholic warmth. Score: 90-91

2015 Lenné Estate Jill’s 115 Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $55. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The nose is both fruity and savory, offering aromas of black cherry fruit and earthy flora. Mid weight in style with muscular tannins framing the flavors of dark red fruits and mocha. Score: 90-92

2015 Lenné Estate South Slope Select Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc.. Primarily clones 115 and Pommard with a little 777. Aged in 40% new French oak barrels. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The nose unfolds slowly in the glass but reaches a crescendo over time with soaring aromas of black cherry, ripest strawberry, spice, and dark chocolate with subtle oak highlights. Juicy and luscious on the palate, featuring flavors of dark red, blue and purple berries backed by fine-grain tannins that are nicely integrated. Great potential here. Score: 92-93

I had a few bottles of Lenné Estate Pinot Noir in my cellar from the 2010 vintage, so I thought I would pop the corks and see how the wines have fared over the nearly seven years since that vintage harvest.

2010 Lenné Estate Kill Hill Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc.. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of blackest fruits, fertile earth and a hint of volatile acidity. Densely packed with very ripe black fruit with added flavors of black tea and prune. Still sporting some tannins on the finish. Drink now to 2020. Score: 89

2010 Lenné Estate Jill’s 115 Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc.. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. More savory than fruity on the nose with aromas of underbrush, dried herbs, dark red fruits and a touch of oak. Mid weight flavors of ripe strawberry and black cherry. Very fresh and wouldn’t know the wine was seven years old if tasted blind. A little earthy with some oak underlay, displaying fine-grain tannins and commendable intensity and length on the finish. Drink now to 2025. Score: 93

2010 Lenné Estate Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc.. Best barrels from the 20-acre estate vineyard. Clones 115, 11, 777, 667 and · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Lovely perfume of black cherry, blackberry, baking spices and sandalwood. A burst of delicious black cherry greets the palate with background accents of purple grape, black raspberry, spice and earthy flora. The tannins have integrated and a hint of oak plies the background. Drinking at its peak now but will easily last through 2025. Score: 94

Eola-Amity Hills

iOTA Pelos Sandberg Vineyard , Amity

iOTA is a small, family owned and operated vineyard and winery open to the public twice per year in May and November and by appointment. Owners and winemakers, Johanna and Don Sandberg, relocated to Portland from Minneapolis in 1999 to research the feasibility of growing grapes and making Pinot Noir in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. By the end of 2000, they had moved to the future vineyard site to oversee land development and learn the business of wine grape growing and making wine. Family partner, Lynne Pelos, has lent financial support remotely as a partner.

iOTA wines are produced from 100% estate grown and sustainably farmed grapes for a total production just under 2,000 cases annually. The first vineyard plantings were in 2002, the winery was established in 2006 and the onsite winery opened in 2010. There are 15 acres pf Pinot Noir planted to 8 blocks (all Pinot Noir except 0.8 acres of Chardonnay) on a total parcel of 57 acres at 300 to 500 feet elevation east of the Van Duzer corridor. The non-irrigated Pinot Noir clones planted include Pommard, Wädenswil, and Dijon 777 and 667, along with a small amount of Chardonnay clones 95 and 69. The soils are both sedimentary and volcanic.

Three iOTA Pinot Noirs are consistently offered: Phillis Rosé of Pinot Noir, iOTA (flagship bottling that is a blend of the best barrels, blocks and clones that represent Pelos Sandberg Vineyard as a whole) and Not One iOTA (a fraction separated during barrel aging that stands on its own). A 100% whole cluster fermented Pinot Noir is also produced in some vintages. Fermentations are primarily native yeast driven.

In addition to iOTA wines, grapes have been sold to prestigious wineries including Big Table Farm, Rex Hill, EIEIO & Co., Bergström and Beaux Frères.

iOTA wines are sold to a mailing list and through the winery’s website at The following wines were tasted at the winery including a mini-vertical of the flagship Pinot Noir. The Pinot Noirs from Pelos- Sandberg (also found in the Big Table Farm Pelos Sandberg Pinot Noirs) have a unique smoky, barnyard character that comes through in different degrees in all the wines tasted.

2015 iOTA Phyllis Eola-Amity Hills Rosé of Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 71 cases, $22. Named in honor of Lynne Pelos’ mother. Aged 6 months in neutral French oak barrels. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light pink color in the glass. A savory styled Rosé featuring aromas and flavors of strawberry, citrus peel and herbs. Crisp, clean and refreshing. Score: 89

2010 iOTA Pelos Sandberg Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

12.9% alc. 100% de-stemmed. · Light ruby red color with a slight orange tinge in the glass. A second bottle tasted was darker garnet with no bricking. Aromas of cherry, tobacco and cigar box. Light to mid weight in style with a core of cherry, raspberry and cranberry fruits framed by bright acidity and gossamer tannins interacting in harmony. The signature barnyard note is evident. The wine has a healthy finish, a satiny texture, and not much tertiary character so should hold to 2022. Score: 89

2011 iOTA Pelos Sandberg Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., $38. 10% whole cluster. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Very attractive penetrating aromas of dark cherry, strawberry, spice and pennyroyal. Impressive concentration and ripeness in this very cool vintage, featuring black cherry, dark raspberry and plum fruit flavors with a subtle smoky note and a grand finish. The wine’s juicy acidity and polished tannins make for perfect drinking perfectly now but will last to 2025. Score: 92

2012 iOTA Pelos Sandberg Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

4.2% alc., $42. 100% destemmed. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. A nice fusion of black cherry and dried herbs lifts the nose. The sappiest wine in this vertical tasting, with a plethora of dark fruits, but lacking a bit of vibrancy. The finegrain tannins lead to a dry finish that reveals a slight hint of alcoholic warmth. Drink now to 2022. Score: 90

2013 iOTA Pelos Sandberg Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., $40. 15% whole cluster. · Light ruby red color in the glass. Embracing aromas of red cherry, spice, sandalwood and smoke are repeated in the charming flavors on the mid weight palate. Noticeable mouth presence, length and finishing persistence with balanced acidity, a vivacious character and a deft touch of oak. The most balanced wine in this vertical lineup. Drink now to 20/25. Score: 93

2014 iOTA Pelos Sandberg Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Oregon Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $40. 15% whole cluster. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. The nose will wow you with hi-tone aromas of black cherry, spice and tobacco oak. Somewhat immature, with fresh black cherry fruit flavors underlain with notes of earth and iron. A modest smoky barnyard thread plies the background. There is the slightest bit of alcoholic warmth on the finish. Score: 92

2015 iOTA Duke’s Family Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills Oregon Chardonnay

12.5% alc., $35. Barrel aged and fermented with limited lees stirring. (Note, the 2016 Chardonnay will be the first from Pelos Sandberg Vineyard). · Moderately light golden yellow color in the glass. Bright aromas and flavors of citrus, tropical fruits, straw and herbs in a food friendly style. Score: 90

Lingua Franca, Salem

Refer to coverage of Grand Seminar at this year’s International Pinot Noir Celebration: article/1984/.

The estate vineyard is south of Seven Springs Vineyard and consists of 66 acres of Pinot Noir clones 90, 943, 115, 777, 667 and Pommard on three different rootstocks.

Winery closed to public. Limited tasting by appointment. Visit

Walter Scott Wines, Salem

Walter Scott was started in 2008 by partners Ken Pahlow and Erica Landon after years of living, studying and working within the Oregon wine industry. Ken spent 18 years working for some of Oregon’s top winemakers, learning both production and marketing. Erica is both an Advanced Sommelier and wine educator, focusing much of her passion on the Willamette Valley.

In 2012, Sue and Andy Steinman joined the winery, helping the business realize goals and grow production to 3,000 cases annually. Many readers know Sue and Andy, who have faithfully attended IPNC for many years and eventually moved to Oregon from the East Coast.

Ken crafts exceptional vineyard designated Pinot Noir and Chardonnay out of a very modest winery located adjacent Justice Vineyard. Ken and Erica’s years in the Oregon wine industry have led to congenial contacts and allow them to source most of their grapes from prestigious vineyards in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA. I think Ken and Erica ought to adopt the slogan, “We have the grapes!” Vineyards include for Pinot Noir: Sojourner, Freedom Hill, Temperance Hill, Comb de Ovreux, and Seven Springs. For Chardonnay: X Novo, Freedom Hill, and Bunker Hill. When I visited in late July before IPNC, I tasted through every 2016 vineyard-designated barrel with Ken and I came away thinking these were some of the most exciting wines I tasted on this trip. The wines have both elegance and purity as well as conveying the transparency of site and vintage.

My advice would be to join the mailing list soon at because I anticipate these wines will be very hard to come by in the near future. Multiple 2015 wines are now sold out. Many of the wines are priced in the $40 to $50 range and represent special value.

Tastings are available by appointment only (except Sundays) and are hosted by Ken or Erica.

Southern Willamette Valley

Amalie Robert Estate, Dallas

Ernie Pink and Dena Drews have converted a former 60-acre cherry orchard into a vineyard beginning in 1999. The couple were Pacific Northwest computer industry workers with no background in the wine business, but learned winemaking and viticulture through the local community college. The inauspicious property lies at the end of an unpaved road with a single directive sign adjacent the famed Freedom Hill Vineyard and is worthy the journey to visit.

Amalie Robert is a two-person operation that succeeds in an unadorned winery because of the commitment, innovative ideals and guile of the owners. The name of the winery derives from a combination of Dena’s middle name Amalie and Ernie’s middle name Robert.

Ernie gave me a tour of his 35-acre vineyard and plans to plant 5 more acres or so. Ernie is a tinkerer and you never know what he might plant. He bottles one of the few examples of Pinot Meunier and Viognier grown in the Willamette Valley, using his carefully tended estate grapes. The 2016 Viognier blew me away. The winery also produces outstanding Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay, and Gewürztraminer. All wines at Amalie Robert are estate grown, fermented, blended and bottled at the estate.

The estate vineyard is dry farmed with proper soil management to allow enough hang time to achieve full ripeness in every vintage. The resulting wines appeal to me because they are crafted with whole clusters, native yeasts and both barrel and bottle aged as necessary for complexity and drink ability upon release.

I spent most of my visit talking with Ernie and Dena while tasting a few bottles. It was fascinating to hear about the challenges of viticulture from those who are on the front lines. For a wine writer as well as the consumer, it is important to get to know the owners and winemakers, to understand their goals, experience their personality, and put a face to the wines. It is the only way one can truly appreciate wine.

Amalie Robert Estate was a Wine & Spirits Winery of the Year in 2011.

Ernie’s blog, “The FLOG,” follows each vintage with insightful and humorous comments. I highly recommend it for those interest in Oregon wine:

Tours and tasting at the winery are available by appointment. Visit For reviews of Amalie Robert Estate wines, visit

Broadley Vineyards, Monroe

Broadley Vineyards was established by the Broadley family in 1982 in the hills west of the town of Monroe. The estate vineyard is 33 acres planted in deep, well-drained, rocky clay Hazelair and volcanic Jory soils. The original plantings in 1982 were Pommard and Wädenswil, but as Dijon clones became available to Oregon, these where planted as well.

Founders Craig and Claudia Broadley lived in Berkeley and they developed a taste for wine in the 1970s. Like many Californians who became pioneers in the Oregon wine industry, they left for Oregon in search of a site in the Willamette Valley, and ended up in the southern part of the AVA just outside the town of Monroe, over a hours drive south of McMinnville. The Broadleys focused on rain patterns in the Willamette Valley and found that Monroe had a rain shadow from nearby Green and Mary’s peak that are the tallest peaks on the coastal range in Oregon. This makes Monroe the warmest and driest area in the Willamette Valley (known as the “banana belt”), and the advantage shows up in wet growing seasons such as 1997, 2007 and even 2013. In warmer vintages, Morgan carries a heavier crop load to slow down ripening.

The success of Broadley Vineyards has come through their unique, solitary, yet strategic location and resultant wines that are truly individualistic for Oregon.

Winemaking is now under the direction of the second generation, Morgan Broadley (pictured below). Because of the vineyard’s southern Willamette Valley location, vines do not struggle for ripeness and stem lignification is more commonplace. As a result, Broadley Vineyard’s signature style is its use of a high percentage of whole cluster in wooden fermenter of various sizes. Aging is typically carried out in 20%-30% new Tarasund French oak barrels (beginning in 2007, the percentage of new oak has been lessened from 50%-60% used in prior years).

The winery also sources fruit from notable vineyards elsewhere in the Willamette Valley such as Shea, Zenith, Saffron Fields, Maverick, Open Claim and Rocky Hill vineyards. Total production is about 5,000 cases including a Chardonnay sourced from the Eola-Amity Hills.

I tasted bottled wines with Morgan at the Broadley winery in downtown Monroe. Other 2015 vintage releases were previously reviewed in the PinotFile: The winery’s tasting room is open by appointment. Visit

2015 Broadley Vineyards Marcile Lorraine Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 150 cases, $50. Named for founder Craig Broadley’s mother. Produced each year from the same block of old vine Pinot Noir. A blend of Pommard and clone 115. 50% whole cluster. Wild yeast, cooler fermentation in 1.5-ton open-top oak fermenter for 14 to 21 days. Starting with pump overs and then two punch downs per day. Aged 14-18 months in tighter-grained, low toast French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Alluring aromas of darker fruits, particular black cherry, along with scents of spice and underbrush. Luscious and giving and rather precocious with a mid weight core of juicy purple and black fruits backed by energetic acidity and well proportioned tannins. Drink this one while you wait on Jessica. Score: 92-93

2015 Broadley Vineyards Claudia’s Choice Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 350 cases, $50. Wine named for Broadley Vineyards co-founder Claudia Broadley. Pommard and Wädenswil clones. 70% whole cluster. Wild yeast fermentation in two 3-ton open-top oak fermenters for 14 to 21 days. Starting with pump overs and then two punch downs per day. Aged 14-18 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Lovely aromas of fresh dark fruits and spice although a bit tight. Delicious essence of blue and black fruit mix with a hint of dark chocolate. Firm but mature tannins conceal the fruit at this early stage. The velveteen texture and grand finish leave a memorable impression. Great potential. Score: 93-94

2015 Broadley Vineyards Jessica Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 250 cases, $50. Wine is named for Morgan Broadley’s wife and partner in Broadley Vineyards. This wine is produced each year from the same Dijon clone 667 and 115 section on the estate vineyard surrounding the Broadley’s home. 80% whole cluster. Wild yeast fermentation in a 5-ton Seguin Moreau open-top wood fermenter for 14 to 21 days. Starting with pump overs and then two punch downs a day. Aged 14-18 months in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Shy but pleasant aromas of black cherry, black raspberry and walnut. Silky in the mouth with a vivacious core of dark fruits that really grab your attention and hold on. The wine is boldly structured with tannins and finishes with intensity and purpose. A marvelous wine than will benefit from a few years in the cellar. Score: 94-95

2016 Broadley Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $20. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Giving aromas of dark cherry and rose petal. Light to mid weight cherry and red berry fruit core with seamless oak backup, easy going tannins, and a juicy finish. Lively, fresh, friendly and open. Ideal for summer drinking and a great value. Score: 89

Oregon Pinot Briefs

Oregon Pinot Noir Oregon National Sales Rising Significantly

Oregon wines have made inroads into international sales as well with wines being picked by the UK wholesaler and importer ABS. Oregon’s biggest international market is Canada

Oregon Vineyard & Winery Census Report Optimistic The Oregon Wine Board released its Winery Census Report on August 29, 2017. Case sales have increased by 10% and sales revenue is up 12%. 2016 ended with $529 million in sales. The number of wineries increased by more than 3% from 702 to 725 in 206. Planted acreage increased from 28,034 in 2015 to 30,435 in 2016, an upturn of more than 8%. Pinot Noir still accounts for the largest planted acreage at 64%. There was a 7% increase in direct-to-consumer sales, with much of this rise do the premium wines. Oregon wines priced at $20-$25 a bottle rose $60.3% according to national retail scanner data. Tasting room sales accounted for most consumer sales, with a 63,536 increase in case sales in 2016 over 2015. The complete census report is available on the Oregon Wine Board website at

Oregon Wineries For Sale There are a number of wineries for sale in the Willamette Valley and Southern Oregon. In Southern Oregon, you can have your own winery for $6.6 to $10 million with Red Lily Vineyards, Troon Vineyard, Agate Ridge Vineyard, and EdenVale Winery for sale in that price range. In the Willamette Valley, Ankeny and Eola Springs vineyards are for sale as is Elven Glade Winery in Gaston. This summer, Vintage Wine Estates purchased the Firesteed Cellars wine brand and Pacific Rim Winemakers, a branch of Banfi Wines, bought Firesteed’s winemaking facility and surrounding Flynn Vineyard. There are a number of confidential listings currently in Oregon as well. When I was at this year’s IPNC, I rode on a bus with Peter Bouman, Oregon’s most well known Oregon vineyard property broker. He told me a number of wineries were for sale because the owners wanted to retire and their offspring did not want to take over the business. Peter brokered the sale of Beran Vineyard and Winery (now Ruby that I visited and described in this issue). You can contact Peter at 503-625-3000 or visit his website at Read Peter’s blog including one entry that reveals the impressions of Oregon’s earliest settlers:

New Winemaking Projects at The Carlton Winemakers Studio Many pioneering Oregon winemakers such as Eric Hamacher and Lynn Penner-Ash began their career at The Carlton Winemakers Studio in Carlton, Oregon. With the 2017 harvest, new winemaking tenants are entering “The Studio,” including 00 Wines, Native and WildAire. 00 Wines is owned by Portland attorney Chris Hermann. He is working with consultant Pierre Millemann of Burgundy and is bringing new techniques to the cellar such as removal of berries from clusters by hand and the use of traditional fermentation vessels such as amphora. Dominique Lafon’s daughter, Lea, is one of the winemakers producing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Alex Marchesini, one of the founders of the Portland bar and wine shop, Thelonious Wines, is the proprietor and managing director of the new brand Native. Native will feature a number of different offbeat varieties all made with native yeast fermentation including a Pet Nat, Auxerrois Blanc, Dolcetto as well as an un-oaked Pinot Noir. WildAire wines have been enthusiastically reviewed in the PinotFile in the past. Matt and Jean Driscoll founded WildAire in 2005. Most recently, they have produced their wines in a shared facility at Beacon Hill and have now moved into the Studio. They produce Pinot Noir from Yates Conwill and Fairsing vineyards in Yamhill-Carlton and a barrel fermented Chardonnay from Open Claim Vineyard near Dallas. Ehren Jordan, the proprietor and winemaker for Failla Vineyards is in his second year at the Studio. He has brought in three wooden fermenters, a concrete egg and a variety of puncheons for aging. In total, 15 wineries are crafting wines at The Carlton Winemakers Studio for vintage 2017 including Andrew Rich Wines, Asilda, Bachelder, Dukes Family Vineyard, Élevée Winegrowers, Hamacher Wines, Lavinea, Lazy River, Megan Anne Cellars, Merrimen, Quintet Cellars and Wahle Vineyards. The Carlton Winemakers Studio was founded in 2002 by winemakers Eric Hamacher and Luisa Ponzi and Ned and Kristen Lumpkin. It was the Northwest’s first alternating proprietorship and first winery built to LEED standards. Tasting of wines made at the Studio is available daily. and wines may be purchased on the Studio website as well. Visit

¡Salud! The Oregon Pinot Noir Auction This event offers first access to the 2016 vintage of Oregon Pinot Noir. 42 of Oregon’s most revered vintners will create one-of-a-kind Pinot Noir cuvées to be auctioned on Friday, November 10, 2017, at the Big Board Auction held at Ponzi Vineyards. On Saturday, November 11, 2017, is the Dinner and Auction Gala at Domaine Serene in the Dundee Hills. All proceeds got the the Tuality Health Foundation that provides medical care for Oregon’s vineyard and winery workers. Ticket sales are now online at

Domaine Serene Opens Clubhouse and Announced the Construction of a White Wine Production Facility In May, proprietors Ken and Grace Evenstad opened the dramatically designed Club House & Tasting Room at Domaine Serene in the Dundee Hills. This venue will offer formal tastings, wine dinners, food and wine pairing experiences, and special events. A new winemaking facility is under construction that will be devoted to Chardonnay, Pinot Noir Blanc and sparkling wines. The scheduled opening is in the spring of 2018 with the sparkling wine program to debut shortly after. Also, this year, Domaine Serene hired a new winemaker, Michael Fay, who previously held that position at Goldeneye in the Anderson Valley. For more information, visit

Buying Pinot Noir in the Willamette Valley There are plenty of quality wine retailers in Portland, but few in the Willamette Valley. Newberg’s Valley Wine Merchants, owned by Andrew Turner, who formerly worked at the Ponzi Wine Bar, offers 200+ Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs as well as 100+ half bottles and a selection of Champagne and Burgundy wines. Visit the website at Day Camp is a new tasting room at Day Wines’ winemaking cooperative in Dundee. The tasting room and retail store, founded by Brianne Day, offers an outlet for wineries making a wide variety of wines, much like The Carlton Winemakers Studio. More than 30 wines from all Day Camp producers are available for sale each day. Visit

Vintages Trailer Resort If you are driving in the Willamette Valley and take the route south that bypasses the traffic jam in Dundee, you will see The Vintages Trailer Resort. This lodging option features 18 restore trailers, 9 Shasta reissues, and 4 Airstream Bambi’s. Each trailer has comfortable beds, great bath amenities, a pair of bicycles, outdoor furniture, and a barbecue grill. A pool and hot tub are available during the warmer months. The Resort is located adjacent to Willamette Valley Wine Country RV Park at 16205 SE Kreder Road in Dayton. Check it out at

New Roadside Signs in Eola-Amity Hills AVA Illegible While traveling through the Eola-Amity Hills in late July, I noticed new punched out metal roadside signs that indicated the location of wineries. The problem is that the signs are illegible unless you stop the car and get close to the signs to read them! Here is the sign directing cars to iOTA Cellars and Duke’s Family Vineyard. The top image shows the sign from my car. The second image shows a photo I shot when I walked to within 6 feet of sign. Whose idea was this?

Portland's Chef John Gorham Venturing to Wine Country Co-owner and executive chef of Portland restaurants including Toro Bravo, Tasty n Sons, Tasty n Alder, Plaza Del Toro, is opening a restaurant, Third n Tasty, in The Atticus Hotel in downtown McMinnville. Third n Tasty name plays off the fact that it is both the third restaurant in Gorham's Tasty series and will be just off Third Street in historic downtown McMinnville.The new restaurant will draw global favorites from Tasty n Sons' brunch menu and Tasty n Alder's dinner menu, focusing on cuisines of the great wine regions of the world. An emphasis on Willamette Valley wines will be reflected in the wine list but will also celebrate classic Old World wines from France, Italy and Spain. The restaurant and hotel will open spring 2018. Gorham has two cookbooks published, The Toro Bravo Cookbook: Stories, Recipes. No Bull, and most recently, Hello! My Name is Tasty: Global Diner Favorites from Portland's Tasty Restaurants. For more information, visit The Atticus will be a 36-room hotel that will embody the spirit of McMinnville with carefully curated local art, products and furnishing. The hotel is locally owned and operated.