Brandborg Winery & Vineyards

Owner(s) Sue Brandborg, Terry Brandborg
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Brandborg Winery & Vineyards

Terry Brandborg was a former longshoreman who started out his wine making career in California, crafting Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley, Santa Maria Valley and Anderson Valley. He started a small garagiste winery in San Francisco in 1986, producing 300 cases of Anderson Valley Pinot Noir. He met his wife Sue at a wine tasting event in Wyoming on Memorial Day weekend in 1998 and they immediately bonded over their love of wine. Soon thereafter they came together to search for the perfect spot to grow Pinot Noir. They fell in love with rural Elkton in the Umpqua Valley, which is located south of the better known Willamette Valley in Oregon and relocated there in 2002.. Pinot Noir had been grown there since 1972.

The Brandborgs chose a site 4 miles southeast of the town of Elkton where the marine sedimentary sandstone soils are well-drained, the elevation (750-1000 ft) is above the fog line, and the southern exposures are ideal. They planted the 5-acre estate Ferris Wheel Vineyard (after the "ferris wheel ride" that led them on a search to find a perfect place to grow wine grapes) primarily to Dijon clones of Pinot Noir that came into production in 2005. Small amounts of Pinot Gris, Riesling and Syrah are also grown on the estate. A winery was built in time for the 2002 vintage and a tasting room opened.

The first year production was 2,500 cases from purchased fruit in the Umpqua Valley and included several white varietals as well as Pinot Noir. The 2005 Brandborg Ferris Wheel Vineyard Umpqua Valley Pinot Noir was chosen to be poured at the International Pinot Noir Celebration in McMinnville, Oregon. Total production has now reached 15,000 cases including custom crush fro several independent wineries. Their Pinot Gris is highly awarded. The wines are recommended and sensibly priced.

Reviewed Wines

2009 Brandborg Vineyard & Winery Bench Lands Umpqua Valley Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., pH 3.59, TA 0.58, 4,004 cases, $22. A blend from several vineyards and clones. Aged in 25% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely perfume of cherries, BBQ grill, and leather glove. Middleweight flavors of fresh cherries with a dusting of oak. Gossamer tannins, bright acidity, and admirable aromatic persistence on the finish. Will make any meal better. Very good. Reviewed February 27, 2013 ARTICLE »

2006 Brandborg Benchlands Umpqua Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $18, screw cap. From vineyards on the alluvial benches above the Umpqua River. · Light garnet in color in the glass. Shy nose featuring subtle aromas of cherries, oak spice, popsicle stick and herbs. Tasty cherry and strawberry fruit flavors with a hint of red licorice. On the lighter side with supple tannins and a dry finish. A very good daily drinker. Decent (+). Reviewed November 29, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Brandborg Vineyard & Winery “Love Puppets” Umpqua Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 800 cases, $30. The grapes for this wine come from favorite dry farmed vineyards, all with yields below 2 tons per acre. The wine represents the best of the grapes they bring in from diverse growers. · If the Benchlands is a buck private, this is a sergeant demanding more attention. Similar, but more intense aromas of wild berries, spice, forest floor and a subtle touch of oak. A little more full-bodied, very smooth on the mid-palate with very decent acidity. Sweet red berry flavors. Commendable balance. Reviewed January 30, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 Brandborg Vineyard & Winery Estate Ferris Wheel Vineyard Umpqua

13.8% alc., 452 cases, $38. As the estate Ferris Wheel Vineyard develops, the wines become more deep and satisfying. · Deep ruby color. Dark cherries dominate the aromatics with woodsy and damp earthy touches. Luscious black cherry aftertaste that lasts and lasts. Impeccably balanced with a full and sensual mouth feel. Oak, alcohol, acid and tannins are harmonious. I really like this for its powerful charisma. Reviewed January 30, 2008 ARTICLE »

2005 Brandborg Vineyard & Winery Benchlands Umpqua Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 2,961 cases, $22, screw cap. This blend is sourced from several Umpqua Valley vineyards. All of Brandborg’s Pinots are made the same way: small lots fermented separately with hand punch downs, gently pressed and barreled “dirty” to 100% French oak, 33% new. This is the winery’s value bottling. · Attractive wild berries in the nose. Plenty of likeable berry flavors, especially strawberry, with a little spice and an earthy, mineral bent. Light on its feet and easy to drink. Reviewed January 30, 2008 ARTICLE »

2005 Brandborg Vineyard & Winery Ferris Wheel Estate Umpqua Valley Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., 250 cases, $35. Terry and Sue Brandborg grow Pinot Noir in Elkton, which is situated in the northernmost reach of the Umpqua Valley. At an elevation of 900 feet, the vineyard features southern slopes and sandy loam soils. There is plenty of marine influence with morning fog and afternoon sea breezes. A new winery and tasting room was built in Elkton on Highway 38. Terry has 17 years of commercial winemaking experience. Terry and Sue are bright and enthusiastic and will most certainly put the Umpqua Valley on the Oregon Pinot Noir map. Website: · This wine is from young vines, and although not showing the complexity that will come with more vine age, it is very pleasant to drink. Technically it is well crafted and impeccably balanced. Reviewed August 6, 2007 ARTICLE »

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