NEWBIE INTRO: Artem Wine Company in Carlton, Oregon

Hello my name is Chris Barnes. My wife, Bethany, and I are the owners of Artem Wine Company and I do all of the farming and winemaking for the company.

In my early 20’s I became very interested in wine and started researching and trying wines from all around the world. My love of wine eventually grew into a dream of having my own vineyard and farming it myself. Around 2008 or so I had decided that Oregon was the place that I eventually wanted to be. Eventually in 2011 my wife and I purchased on a piece of land on the western edge of the Yamhill-Carlton AVA and set out on our mission to plant a vineyard. In 2012 we planted our first vines, mainly Pinot Noir, and have been slowly expanding ever since. Today the vineyard is about 11 acres and we have about 50% Pinot Noir (Pommard, 777, 828 clones), 1 acre of Dolcetto, 1 acre of Lagrein, 1 acre of Sauv Blanc, 1 acre of Scheurebe, and 1 acre of Gewurztraminer. We will be planting an acre of Gammay Noir next month.

In 2015 we had our first harvest of Pinot Noir, Sauv. Blanc, Dolcetto and Lagrein and we produced the wine at a local winery. After the first harvest I did some math and decided that I would rather build for my own winery rather than pay to produce our wines elsewhere. So, in the summer of 2016 I started construction of our winery and managed to get it finished and bonded in time for the 2016 harvest.

We’ve completed two harvests now and so far everything has gone really well! My project for early 2018 is to complete our tasting room which I hope to open in March.

Our wines: My goals with whites and reds are actually quite opposite of each other.
For white wine production I have a particular focus on developing very aromatic, fruit forward whites with a backbone of acid balanced with some residual sugar. We keep all of our white ferments very cold to preserve as much of the aromas as possible (by keeping the yeast lethargic :slight_smile:) and I stop the fermentations before they go to dryness. I feel that the residual sugar gives the wine a really nice mouth feel and stopping the fermentation also helps to preserve the volatile aromas in the wine. In 2016 we also did 12-24 hours of skin contact with all of our whites. Currently we offer a Gewurztraminer, Riesling, and a Late Harvest Riesling.

For red production (which has been primarily Pinot Noir, until 2017) my goals are to develop deep rich and dark fruit flavors. I try to achieve this goal through various farming techniques (with the goal of increasing tannin in the fruit). I then try and extract as much as I can from the berries through cold soaks (typically) and, occasionally, post-fermentation soaks.

We have two Pinot Noirs available from 2015 (from our vineyard and a friend of mine in Eola-Amity Hills) and they are both showing really well. Each wine is made in a slightly different style; the Eola-Amity Hills Pinot is more of a classic Pinot Noir with bright fruit and lots of cherries. The Yamhill-Carlton Pinot is a monster Pinot with a good amount of new oak, dark fruit character and some drying tannin on the finish.

We are also offering a dry Pinot Gris Orange Wine which was soaked on skins for 1 month and barrel aged for 6 months before bottling. This is a unique and interesting wine that goes great with food (shown in the photo below).

Thanks for your time, if you’re out and about in the Willamette Valley feel free to contact me for a visit. I am very passionate about farming and winemaking and love to talk about it. :slight_smile:


This fits right in with the Future of Oregon Wines other than Pinot Noir thread. I hope to see the Orange-Gris in the Berserker Day offering, and maybe some Lagrein.

Interesting . . . don’t see so many rieslings on BD. Looking forward to it.

Hello Peter, we are just about to bottle out Estate Dolcetto Lagrein blend from 2016. Unfortunately we sold our fruit from 2015 to another wine company so I don’t have any Lagrein on hand. We will bottle the 2016 Dolcetto/Lagrein blend in about 6 weeks or so.

We are planning on offering the Pinot Gris and Riesling though. :slight_smile:


There’s a good chance Smith-Madrone will be in with a Riesling.

Weinbau Paetra last year was awesome

Sweet (no pun intended). Really dig whites with residual sugar.

Christopher - can you tell me more about the whites with RS that you’ll be offering? What’s the ABV? I assume it has a nice acid backbone?

Hello ykwon,

Typically the ABV for my whites is a little bit lower than usual; My 2016 Gewurz is 11% and the 2016 Riesling is 12%. We also have a Late Harvest Riesling that is 10% and 10% RS. This is because I prefer to stop the fermentations with S02 additions and cold temperatures rather then fermenting to dryness and then back sweetening. Therefore the total amount of alcohol is reduced slightly.

The Gewurz has a very intense and clear Lychee fruit aroma and flavor. The Riesling had about 16 hours of skin contact so in my opinion is it very different than other Rieslings that I have had. It is just now starting to develop some of the petrol aromas (TDN) that are typical of Rieslings. The Late Harvest Riesling is a really cool wine; lots of tropical notes and great aromas. All of these have a lot of acid in them and so the RS is well balanced.

The 2016 Riesling and 2016 Late Harvest Riesling are actually from the same harvest. The grower told me that the grapes were at 21 brix when harvested and then when I got them and pressed them I saw that the juice was actually at 27 brix. This was due to dehydration and botrytis. I then decided to split the batch in half and make the Late Harvest lot. Once the juice was split the two wines were treated differently at that point.

At the risk of repeating myself; I like to use acid to “hide” RS. In my cases, I think that people actually like RS but they have heard that it isn’t cool to like RS so they ask for dry wines. It is also apparent that what people’s perceptions of what is sweet and dry is such a huge range that these terms are essentially useless. I also really prefer whites to be really sharp (high TA; like 6-7 g/L) so in my opinion the weight of the RS on the palate and the sharpness of the acid makes a really nice balance. In my opinion the 2016 Gewurz has the best balance of acid and RS.

Riesling (in general) has been perplexing to me, honestly. Every time I have made it I have tried a different approach and in 2017 we did all barrel fermented Riesling. We have two barrels of it that we’ll be bottling around the same time as the Lagrein/Dolcetto blend (in about 6 weeks or so). We did not do any skin contact with the 2017 Riesling. The barrel fermented approach has turned out to be quite nice so I am really excited about that one. I think I will stick with this approach in the future.

My wife has put together the initial shot at the offerings and I think we will be offering a bundle of future wines to be shipped around the April time frame.



Thank you Christopher. Sounds like I need to get the mix pack you are offering!

Will Paetra be back this year? The posts I’ve read on them over the last year have been very positive.

I missed ordering Paetra last year, so bought some from Vinopolis and they were stellar. [cheers.gif]

Looking forward to Artem!! - very much enjoyed the Paetra last year.


I only see the '15 Pinot on Cellartracker. Will you be uploading the BD wines?

My brother from another mother! Welcome aboard! I’m super excited to see your offer for sure.

Wow, that’s crazy :slight_smile: I understand that there is a bowler named Chris Barnes and I think the singer from a death metal band too.

Dan, I will look into CellarTracker. Thanks for the tip!


Tell us about your Scheurebe! I have a soft spot for that grape.

The Scheurebe was planted last year and was two-budded this year (a couple of days ago) so we are developing trunks this year to start production next year. We’ll probably have a very small amount after 2019 for a limited production. I think it makes great wines, but it has an unfortunate name (e.g., Gewurz) that has me concerned about market acceptance. We actually have a few rows of Huxelrebe also which is from the same breeder that made Scheurebe back in the '40s or '50’s. I prefer Scheurebe over Huxelrebe because of the heavy Riesling influence and the development of the classic petrol flavors. The lemon character in combination with the Riesling character is really interesting and high-quality Scheurebe can be amazing. It also makes really great dessert wines.