Winning wines: New releases put to the test

August 2012 Posted in Food & Drink
East Valley New Release Festival Winners

Judge’s Awards
Pinot Noir:  Hanson Vineyards 2009
Other Red:  Vitis Ridge Malbec 2010
Dry White: Silver Falls Reserve Chardonnay 2009
Sweet White: (tie) St Josef’s L’Esprit
Gerwurtztraminer 2010, and
Vitis Ridge Semi Sparkling Early Muscat  2011

People’s Choice Awards
Pinot Noir (tie): Hanson Vineyards 2009,
and Alexeli Vineyards  2009
Other Red:  Vitis Ridge Marechal Foch 2010
Dry White:  Piluso Pinot Noir *Blanc de Noir  2010
Sweet White:  Vitis Ridge
Semi-Sparkling Early Muscat 2011

Area wineries and nearly 1,000 Oregon wine-lovers gathered in late June for the third annual East Valley New Release Festival.  The event celebrates the latest wines available from the East Valley’s 12 small, artisanal wineries and highlights wines in four categories:  Pinot Noir, Dry White, Sweet White and Other Reds.  In addition to the festival, winemakers put on a dinner and a friendly competition. This year’s events took place at St. Josef’s Winery.

Results of the 2012 competition, reported in the box to the right, came in two categories, Judges Awards – chosen by a panel of impartial wine industry professionals, chefs and wine lovers, and People’s Choice Awards – chosen by popular vote of festival tasters.

In other news from East Valley wineries:

Vitis Ridge Winery
990 N First, Silverton

It’s quiet in the winery mid-summer. Some of our wines continue to go through malo-lactic, or secondary, fermentation and of course, we continue to keep the barrels topped up. The vineyards look good, however, and fruit-set seems to be site and variety specific.  There seems to be a lot of “hens and chicks”, where smaller, undeveloped berries are bunched together with normal sized berries. We’re in the middle of hedging and leaf pulling which allows for more air flow and sunlight exposure to the clusters.

AlexEli Vineyard
35803 S Hwy 213, Molalla

We’re just finishing up canopy management, defoliation, and fruit thinning all at once.  The cooler humid weather has put high disease pressure on the vines this summer, so more air flow and direct sun contact on the fruit is a must.  In the winery, we are just about to get labels on our 2010 Syrah Grenache, and pondering the bottling of the 2011 Malbec. Shall it be prior to harvest this fall or next spring?

Forest Edge Vineyard
15640 South Spangler Road, Oregon City

The vineyards are looking good, with the grapes growing daily. Seems like the grapes get bigger before your eyes. Lots of grapes have set, so with continuing good weather, we are hopeful for a great harvest. We bottled the apple cider recently and will be ready to release it in early September. Another release for September will be a Sparkling Rose. Currently we are doing the riddling process for the sparkling, before the final bottling.  Riddling is a step in the traditional method of making sparkling wine whereby you consolidate sediment in the bottle for removal. Look for us at Corvallis’ Rhapsody in the Vineyard on Sept. 15.

Hanson Vineyards
34948 S Barlow Road, Monitor

Summer is such a busy season in the vineyard…. and in the tasting room!  We gave our tasting room a facelift this spring, and the reaction has been extraordinary. Every weekend, more and more wine-seekers have found their way out to our little farm in Monitor.  In May, we released our 2009 Pinot Noir, and are pleased to share that it’s been picked up for sale in Roth’s and Cutsforth’s Thriftway in Canby, among others.  We are now eagerly awaiting “veraison,” the time when grapes begin to turn from green to purple; that’s when the anticipation of the grape harvest becomes very, very real.  Upcoming events for us include pouring at Robert Yost Gallery in Salem on Sept. 28 and at Corvallis’ Rhapsody in the Vineyard.

St. Josef’s Winery
28836 S Barlow Road, Canby

Music on the Pond is back at St. Josef’s. Great local music, played in a rose-covered amphitheater in the middle of the vineyards, accompanied with local wines and food –  what could be better on a Sunday afternoon? The line up:

Aug. 19 The Kung Pao Chickens- Portland’s Hot Swinging Gypsy Jazz.

Aug. 26 Rae Gordon Band- Lawnapalooza Tour of R&B and Funk.

Sept. 2 Greg Hanneman – piano and keyboards on the patio.

Sept. 9 Music from 3-7 at the Arrivederci Jazz Picnic. We’re teaming up with our friends at Arrivederci Jazz Bar & Restaurant in Milwaukie to put on their annual Jazz Picnic. The event features some of the most talented and popular Jazz artists in the Portland area and great food from Arrivederci.

Domaine Margelle
20159 Hazelnut Ridge Road, Scotts Mills

Summer is wedding season at Domaine Margelle.  Recently, we were honored to have Susan Goschie celebrate her marriage to Richard Denny.  The ceremony took place at Domaine Margelle and the party continued at the couple’s beautiful Abiqua estate.  We wish them both the very best.

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