Newbie Intro Sun Break Wines

Sun Break Wines – Cortell-Rose Vineyard, Eola-Amity Hills AVA, Willamette Valley, Oregon

We are super excited(!) to be a featured winery for Berserker Day! Thanks everyone. Here’s a bit of background and tasting notes for the two Pinots we are featuring this year (Colette and Marie-Paule). We produce premium quality, small batch, single-vineyard Pinot Noir that is consistently excellent from vintage to vintage. The Pinots are wonderfully complex wines with great flavor intensity. Organic practices grapes, no sulfites added. They are reasonably priced and even better on Berserkers Day! Enjoy!

We produce three distinct Pinot Noir wines from the Cortell-Rose Vineyard located in the Eola-Amity Hills across the road from Brooks Estate. Sun Break Wines focuses on one vineyard so we can obtain 5 Pinot Noir clones and we vinify using three distinct styles: Colette is 100% destemmed, Marie-Paule is 50% de-stemmed/50% whole cluster, and Ariane is 100% whole cluster.

The vineyard is co-owned and managed with organic practices by Jessica Cortell who farms several top-tier organic vineyards such as Seven Springs, Medici and Antica Terra. Jessica chose this vineyard as her own for its location on volcanic Jory soils at 525’-680’ elevation and the hallmark cool temperatures of the Eola-Amity Hills due in large part to the winds from the Van Duzer corridor.

2018 Colette Pinot Noir, Sold out in 10 months, 94pts, Wine Enthusiast, P Gregutt (100% destemmed);
2018 Marie-Paule Pinot Noir, 93pts/Editors’ Choice (WE) (50/50% destemmed/whole cluster);
2018 Ariane Pinot Noir, Sold out in 9 months, 93 pts (Prince of Pinot), 92pts (WE) (100% whole cluster)

2019 Colette Pinot Noir, not yet “scored” but early reviews are great and provided below.
(The remaining 2019 Pinot Noirs, 2020 White and 2020 Rose’ wines will be bottled in March.)

Our wines feature intense and lavish fruit with naturally high acidity working in harmony. The wines are all produced with no added sulfites, but cross-flow filtered to ensure stability and aging potential without spoilage. (Some naturally-occurring sulfites may be present.)

Best of all, each wine is retail priced at $32. We are a relatively new winery but our small production and low prices led those in the know to snap up these wines quickly and the 2018 Colette and 2018 Ariane are sold out. The 2018 Marie-Paule is still available because we produced twice as much compared to the other two. More grape tonnage was acquired for the 2019 and 2020 vintages to increase production to 600 cases and 750 cases, respectively.

I love the personal connection to my wines and working at a scale that allows attention to detail. I have no employees except some part-time help during sorting and pressing at harvest. It’s fun and very rewarding to track the evolution of the wines every couple of weeks as I top barrels, and then work on the assemblage of the cuvées before bottling.

I learned the craft and science of vinification through harvest internships with numerous Oregon wineries and wine makers including Clay Pigeon Wines, Anderson Family Vineyard and Winery, Lumos Wine Company, Dominio IV Wines, Native Flora Wine, and Mylan Wines. This was supplemented with classes at the Chemeketa Wine Studies Program, and a lifetime of tasting wine and cider in the U.S. and France, and perhaps most importantly, absorbing the stories, lessons and experiences from hundreds and hundreds of winemakers from France and the U.S. (I am of French origin, grew up in both countries and became a U.S. citizen after graduate school…).

Finally, I want to highlight that we also make heritage cider and there’s lots more information about that on our website. It all started because we moved to a property with heritage apple trees and I was practicing sparkling wine techniques using apple juice…. Now we produce about 1,250 cases of cider per year mostly for Oregon distribution.

2019 Colette Pinot Noir Tasting Notes

“Ripe, round, fulsome fruit flavors: huckleberries, red currants and pie cherries. Notes of rose petal. Velvety tannins provide a luscious and dynamic yet soft, mouthfeel. Vibrates with tingly, vibrant spices – green peppercorn and clove – that reverberate from first sip to long-lasting finish. I prefer the 2019 vintage to the 2018 vintage.” Peter Szymczak, Oregon Wine Press wine critic, Nov. 2020

“Dried cherry and red currant on the nose. Overripe raspberry with a hint of Saigon cinnamon on the palate. Cranberry finish. Insanely bright with shining acidity.” Alex Neely, Libertine Wines, Oct 2020

2018 Marie-Paule Pinot Noir Tasting Notes

“This cuvée was half fermented with whole clusters. It’s a precise, focused wine—the blackberry and black cherry fruit has a gentle squirt of lemony acidity. It’s lively and clean, with no sulfites added, and a lovely showcase for this outstanding vineyard.” 93pts., Editors’ Choice, P. Gregutt, Wine Enthusiast, Oct 2020

“Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Delicate aromas of blackberry, black currant and sweet tobacco. Well-endowed with lavish, dark fruits that offer more pop and finishing length than that found in the Colette bottling. There is a little more, but not intrusive, tannic spine evident (than the Colette).” 91 pts., Rusty Gaffney, Prince of Pinot, Nov 2020

Our Guarantee: No volatile acidity/ethyl acetate notes. No Brettanomyces-caused volatile phenol compounds. No “reductive” matchstick sulfur and/or off-putting sulfide notes.

Delivery and shipping notes: For free deliveries in the Willamette Valley please contact me and we can handle the transaction offline. For shipping to most States*, use our website’s VinoShipper shop: For California and other States that on not available via VinoShipper, contact me and we can make other arrangements! (*AK, AZ, CO, DC, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, LA, MA, MA, MD, ME, MN, MO, NC, ND, NE, NH, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY)


David Patte, owner, wine maker
Sun Break Wine and Cider
(541) 745-3016 (mobile)
Instagram: @SunBreakWC #SunBreakWine

Wine Enthusiast
Prince of Pinot
Oregon Wine Press Magazine

1 Like


1 Like


1 Like

Awesome!! Sounds fantastic. Looking forward to this one.


welcome,. I’m looking forward to your offer.

nicely written and informative intro. Thanks

1 Like

I had a chance to try David’s wine after we first connected earlier this year. It is superb. I also got my hands on some of the cider and love that, too! So excited to see David here on BD12!

(disclaimer, Sun Break is a Grand Reserve partner, but this is real experience talking!)


Thanks, Adam! I just feel lucky to have somehow found an allocation with a great, organic practices, Eola-Amity Hills Vineyard. Everything else is easy! It’s right down the road from the winery so I can visit at the very least twice a month.

Thanks Matt! It’s fun to be a part of this community. The quarantine relief sale last Spring was great and really helped launch our winery in style. The wine making is easy (relatively speaking!) with such a great vineyard and it’s gratifying to see the wine getting out to folks and the warm reception : )

Thanks Matt! I’m still amazed that we sold out of 2018 Colette and 2018 Ariane in the 10 months upon release!

These wines are beautiful. And David is great.

Thanks Leonard for the praise and also for sharing with your wine club in North Carolina!

Thanks Todd! I’m up at Vincent’s co-op space (Vincent Wine Co) with Saul M (Championship Bottle) and Alex N (Libertine). My vineyard source, Cortell-Rose, is on the same road not too far away, across from Brooks. Jessica Cortell does such a great job, organically managed, and the Pinot always comes in with great acidity (<3.4pH) every year. The wine making is the easy part!