I see press reports that Willamette Valley Vineyards is building a big new sparkling winery and visitor center near Dundee, to open in 2022.
I saw this somewhere too, and while it looks like a fancy facility, the idea of another WVV property isn’t exciting to me personally.
My gut reaction is the same as Marshall’s – but it’s been forever since I’ve actually tried a WVV wine. Have they improved over the years?
I tend to agree with both of you. Maybe this will be an improvement. Or maybe not.
I assume the people at Argyle, just down the street, are not thrilled about this. In contrast, I am a fan of Argyle.
A few years ago, Andrew Davis started a custom sparkling wine business. Andrew was at Argyle for many years, and his business has allowed for quite a number of small producers in the Willamette Valley to start making their own bubbly projects. It’s a work in progress, and many of the wines are established wineries adding a sparkling wine for their tasting room flights.
But there are also a number of really good sparkling wine options now as well. I really enjoy Mellon-Meier and Analemma. There are also two wineries dedicated to being 100% sparkling wine producers, Corollary and the previously mentioned Mellen-Meier.
Mellen Meyer makes some tasty sparklers, but if you start making them Marcus I may need a second mortgage.
I have enjoyed the sparkling wines I’ve had from Soter, Argyle, Analemma. Not sure, but I think the fruit for the Analemma comes from the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge.
I’ve waffled a bit on that ever since Andrew started his company. Too much do already vs. exploring one of the most interesting styles of wine(and we drink quite a bit of grower bubbles at the house).
Two kids and enough wines already has been winning out…but the 2018 Whistling Ridge is fully ripe at 12.1% and I keep having visions of it as a non-dosage Blanc de Blanc. Then in 2019 the finished alcohols from Whistling Ridge are under 12.0%. It’s super delicious though with great flavor maturity. Plus the Clos Electrique clones come online this year, so going forward there’s a bit more Chardonnay available…
And thank you for sending Barry and his group our direction. I completely dropped the ball on getting them a to go tasting, so we did an impromptu outdoor and distanced tasting. Super people, and a ton of fun to meet and talk with.
Starting up a sparkling wine production seems like a lot of work at least if you keep it in house.
If you’re making, I’m buying (and drinking). Clos Electrique clone BdB - . Grower champagne and BdB in particular is my single favorite wine. But I drink way more OR chard and Pinot.
Glad you’ll were able to connect. They are great people. Barry’s also a pretty darn good home brewer and I’ve been in a group with he and Gina for years.
Totally in agreement. Andrew’s company provides equipment and his experience from base wine, tirage, and disgorgement.
Ah, missed the point that you would work with him. That makes it much more feasible and he would have great experience from working at Argyle.
I totally agree with grower BdB!
If I’m not mistaken, Andrew’s company has worked with Trisaetum in the development of their sparkling program as well. In addition to Argyle and Soter, I really enjoy the Elk Cove sparkler.
I’m with you there Marshall. Have never been impressed with WVV wines.
The Argyle Extended Triage Brut I’ve tasted can hang with the best of them in the world.
They produced a ton of wine for quite a while trying to be the biggest…at one point I think they did 120k cases of Pinot Gris, which doesn’t sound like a lot in a CA context, but in ORE it is a TON. Around 2012/13, they pivoted and cut production by 80-90% and went quality/value vs. quantity.
We sell them so beware, but worth dipping a toe in on some of the Estate wines or SV offerings and the Gruner was good too.
This is a big project and commitment, but with Chard and Pinot becoming king in Oregon, it is the right time to try.
Had 10 bottles at Avalon and needed to finish a case–so took a flyer on the Corollary X Omni. Should be my last shipment until spring
RE: Oregon sparklers. I previously posted on the 2019 Landmass and based on that very favorable experience I’d recommend giving them a try.