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August 25, 2021

Adelsheim Vineyard Purveyors of Classic, Robust Pinot Noir, Intense Pinot Gris, Rich Chardonnay & Some Pretty Wacky Whites Reported In Portland Restaurant Forum Magazine

Adelsheim Vineyard - purveyors of classic, robust Pinot Noir, intense Pinot Gris, rich Chardonnay and some pretty wacky white wines.

Adelsheim Vineyard (PRWEB) August 25, 2021 -- Purveyors of Classic, Robust Pinot Noir, Intense Pinot Gris, Rich Chardonnay & Some Pretty Wacky White Wines by Loran Hickton with David Adelsheim.

In the early 1980's, I was the Maitre'd / Manager of a small French restaurant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania called "LePommier". We were recognized for providing outstanding wines to go along with some of the finest foods I have ever had the honor to serve. The owners of LePommier were Chef Christine Dauber and her husband Jim. While Christine had the vision and expertise to execute an authentic and fine French restaurant, Jim served as the capable and thoughtful wine steward.

In addition to Jim's duties at the restaurant he was also a doctor and professor of pulmonary medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Each evening Jim would arrive and work the popular restaurant and enjoy speaking with patrons about wines and foods. At the end of each evening Christine, Jim and I would sit down to dinner and a bottle of wine. It was an incredible experience for me to work with two people who really loved food and wine and worked their craft as a method of love vs. just a business. Jim would gather various reports, published tasting notes and other related data and open a bottle of wine. He was, and is, the quintessential scientist and professor. We were conducting research each evening and making detailed evaluations and decisions.

During one evening at the restaurant he spoke about the Willamette Valley in Oregon and how it was exceptional and producing very special and different wines. He mentioned that the earth and the climate were truly unique and that we needed to really explore the region for what he was certain would be a great future for additions to our list.

We searched out the winemakers, wineries and vineyards that we thought were producing great wines. We contacted David Adelsheim, David Lett and Dick Ponzi. During their "marketing tour" east in 1984, we hosted all three winemakers and created an Oregon menu to complement the wines. During this adventure we sampled Oregon wines extensively and became great supporters of the wines.

I moved to the Oregon region in 2000 and was very excited to see Adelsheim wines available in many retail locations. That was very different from my experience in Pennsylvania, where availability of many Oregon wines was constrained by the State's wine monopoly and are thus difficult to obtain. Here I shared great Oregon Pinots and my experience with the famed Oregon wine pioneers many years before with my dinner guests at my home. Many times I was surprised that local folks were not very informed about the amazing value of these local treasures. Maybe having unbelievable wines available at local outlets tended to take some perceived value away from the wines. I also have been a little surprised that many Portland and regional restaurants don't have larger selections of these gifts of our local farms. There are now over 300 wine brands in Oregon, over 250 brick-and-mortal wineries, and over 14,000 vinifera acres planted. Oregon ranks #2 only behind California in number of wineries. Oregon wine sales for 2004 topped 1.3 million cases. According to the Oregon Wine Board, Oregon's wine industry has a 1 billion dollar impact on Oregon's economy each year. ONE BILLION DOLLARS PER YEAR!

For this article, we were very happy to visit with David Adelsheim twenty years after our first meeting in Pittsburgh. The value of wine in one's diet must be good because, while we are quite a bit older, David looks the same as twenty years ago. One of the first questions we asked David was why there are not more Oregon wines on Portland restaurant wine lists. David was quick to point out that there are many lists that highlight Oregon wines very well. He mentioned that he could understand why some local restaurateurs would choose to focus on wines that are not as available as a means of providing the unusual (See article on Southpark). "For local restaurant patrons it provides a chance to explore unusual wine regions. The problem with this approach is that visitors from outside the State increasingly expect to see a glorious list of Oregon wines when they visit and are confused by a list in Oregon that has fewer Oregonian wines than that of their favorite restaurant at home. Additionally, I believe that the health of our shared community relies on the partnership of independent restaurateurs and winemakers together promoting the uniqueness of our local products. Simply having one good Oregon Pinot on a list implies that all Oregon Pinots are interchangeable and prevents a guest from exploring the differences of the wines we have in our region. One could have ten different Oregon Pinots on a list in Portland without overlaps in price or style. It would be interesting, I suspect, for our Oregon restaurant partners to hear what we hear from cities around the country. Demand from restaurant customers for Oregon wines is climbing steeply, and restaurants are adding to their placements of Oregon wines, even as other categories shrink. Oregon wines are very, very popular and our sales are strong in places as diverse as Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina, New York, New England, Illinois, Colorado and California. Oregon wines have developed a strong and unique brand all of our own and much of the rest of the country has taken a more aggressive position in promoting these wines than some of our most valued local restaurant partners in State."

David noted that restaurants in San Francisco have gone through several phases in their relationship to the California wine industry. In the 1980's, at the height of "California cuisine" many San Francisco restaurants had "California only" wine lists. Then in the 1990's, there was a move to esoteric European wines on lists, much like what we see today in some Oregon restaurants. Now in California, there is a bit more of a synthesis, still often with a focus on esoteric wines, but now those esoteric wines can be from California - or Oregon.

According to David, "In Portland today, there is still a bit of a love-hate relationship between Oregon's restaurateurs and its vintners. The reality is, however, that Oregon will host nearly 30 million visitors, 7.5 million of them in Portland. My take is that more and more of these visitors will be seeking a broader range of local wine options while here. It's good economics for both restaurants and wineries to offer that broader array. It is also good for the health of our region. Regarding the restaurant-vintner partnership, I think the ball is in the court of the wine producers. I believe we need to do a better job of communication. I feel we need to provide more educational opportunities to our most valued local restaurant partners. We need to have events in wine country that give the front-line servers, who are responsible for the sales of our products, a real understanding of what it means to be in the middle of wine country.”

The following information and tasting notes were provided by Adelsheim Vineyard -

Adelsheim Vineyard, a leading Oregon wine producer, is known as an innovator in sustainable, cool climate viticulture.

The estate acreage has grown from its original 15 acres to 180 acres. A new, cutting-edge winemaking facility provides all the quality controls demanded by our 'hands-off' winemaking, utilizing a two-level, gravity-feed fermentation room for gentle grape handling, and underground barrel caves for slow, cool aging of our Pinot noir and Chardonnay.

After 34 years and many successful vintages, the naive dreams of one of Oregon's founding wineries are coming true. More importantly, Adelsheim Vineyard has people with the vision, skills and energy to carry us upward in our quest to produce ever more complex Pinot noirs and elegant white wines.

In 1971, David Adelsheim and Ginny Adelsheim stood above an open field and were taken with the beauty of its orange and purple wildflowers.

Five hundred feet below, Oregon's north Willamette Valley stretched out in a patchwork of orchards, pasture and native trees. The field, rich with clay-loam soil, had a gentle southern exposure and was sheltered by the Chehalem Mountains. The Adelsheims had dreamed of planting a vineyard in the area since returning from a summer in Europe, where they were inspired by the hand-made foods and wines they encountered.

In 1972, the Adelsheims began planting their original 15-acre vineyard at Quarter Mile Lane with Pinot noir, Chardonnay, and Riesling.

Relying on family and friends for assistance, they battled weeds, mildew, birds and deer -- and the widely perceived futility of growing wine grapes in northern Oregon's cooler climate.

Working in a cramped basement winery with a simple crusher and press, and 20 Burgundy barrels, David Adelsheim made the first 1,300 cases of wine for commercial release in 1978: tiny quantities of Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Riesling from the estate vineyard were produced, along with Semillon and Merlot from purchased grapes. As the Quarter Mile Lane vineyard matured to full yield and grapes were purchased from other growers, annual production doubled every two years.

As Adelsheim Vineyard continued to grow, the need for a new production facility became critical. A 6000 square-foot winery adjacent to the Adelsheim's home was built in 1982. Barrels, tanks, a bottling line and still more barrels were added until the new winery was also filled to capacity.
Our first vineyard expansion was in 1989, when we leased a 19-acre site across the road from the original estate vineyard at Quarter Mile Lane. Today, Bryan Creek Vineyard is an important source of our Pinot noir, Pinot gris, and Pinot blanc.

We also purchased a 52-acre site at a lower elevation in the Chehalem Valley. Planted with Pinot gris and Burgundian clones of Pinot noir, the Calkins Lane Vineyard is also home to the new Adelsheim Vineyard winery, built in stages between 1993 and 1997.

Co-owners Jack and Lynn Loacker joined Adelsheim Vineyard in 1994, and began planting Ribbon Springs Vineyard in 1995. This exceptional 120-acre site on the Ribbon Ridge spur of the Chehalem Mountains has provided Pinot noir, Pinot gris and Auxerrois grapes to us since 1998.

Today, Oregon has been recognized as one of the New World's leading wine producing regions. At Adelsheim Vineyard, we continue the experimentation and systematic study that have established our reputation as a leader and innovator in cool climate viticulture. With a dedicated staff, exceptional vineyards and a cutting-edge winery, we continue our quest to produce world-class Pinot noir, Pinot gris, Chardonnay... and range of "wacky whites."

Oregon Series Wines
While much of our reputation derives from our long-lived Reserve and Single Vineyard Pinot noirs, the Oregon Series Pinot noir also offers delicious red and black fruit, complex structure, and a supple mouthfeel. Our spicy Pinot gris is the focus of our Oregon Series white wines, and we take great pride in our rich Chardonnay.

2003 Oregon Pinot noir
Our signature red wine and best-known label. The wine is produced almost entirely from estate grapes, using "hands-off" winemaking with a view to current drinkability and medium-term cellaring. Flavors of wild cherry, raspberry, and a hint of ginger spice predominate. The wine has medium body, long finish and soft tannins. Available in 750ml and 375ml bottles.

2003 Oregon Pinot gris
Oregon growers introduced this variety to New World viticulture. We seek to preserve the incredible freshness of these grapes by using stainless steel fermentation and aging. Adelsheim's Pinot gris offers a lovely floral bouquet, spicy winesap apple and Bosc pear fruit, and a rich mouthfeel. Available in 750ml bottles.

2003 Oregon Chardonnay
A blend of estate and purchased grapes, this elegant Chardonnay is fermented and aged in small French oak barrels, and is characterized by its richness and lovely balance. The addition of earlier-ripening Burgundian clones has given racier flavors to this traditionally produced wine. Available in 750ml bottles.

Reserve Wines
Selected each vintage from the finest lots in our cellars, the Adelsheim Vineyard Reserve wines reflect the vintage and character of Yamhill County Pinot noir and Chardonnay: by holding back our best barrels, we are able to choose between different soil types, clones, site climates, fermenter sizes, and barrel characteristics. With these many variables (and a lot of work!), our Reserve wines truly represent a vision of the vintage, showing wonderful intensity, balance, richness, and complexity.

2003 Elizabeth's Reserve Pinot noir
This 2003 Elizabeth's Reserve is a barrel selection of the finest lots of Pinot noir in our cellars. This wonderfully rich wine layers abundant raspberry and black cherry fruit, a luscious mouthfeel complemented by balanced oak, and a long, complex finish. The wine's elegant structure and round, soft tannins will allow it to develop for at least a decade, given proper storage conditions. Available in 750ml bottles.

2003 Caitlin's Reserve Chardonnay
A new-wave Chardonnay, produced from early-ripening Burgundian clones planted at Stoller Vineyard in the Dundee Hills. This exceptional site yields grapes showing the complex flavors of white Burgundy. The wine layers lemons, citrus and hazelnuts, a rich mouthfeel with beautifully integrated oak, and a long, elegant finish. Available in 750ml bottles.

Single Vineyard Wines
Adelsheim Vineyard was one of Oregon's earliest producers of single vineyard wines, first releasing the Elizabeth's Reserve Pinot noir in 1986. Today, these special wines are the exquisite focus of our vineyard and winemaking team's dedication and enthusiasm, concentrated into your wineglass. Here you will find the ultimate expression of Pinot noir: the flavors of a singular vineyard site-soil, slope, water and the growing region-as modified by the influence of the vintage, with only the most modest tweaking by human hands. In most vintages, we produce four or five such wines, usually from our own estate vineyards. They might include wines from our estates at Quarter Mile Lane, Bryan Creek, Calkins Lane and Ribbon Springs. In the last vintages there has also been a Goldschmidt Vineyard wine. While we endeavor to produce enough of the wines to obtain some distribution in restaurants and specialty stores, the only sure way to obtain our Single Vineyard Pinots is by becoming a member of our Club Noir.

Wacky Whites
The 2004 Wacky Whites were bottled in mid-April. All the dry wines now come with screwcap closures. These wines reflect the fun and creativity involved in producing new varieties. Call them what you will, these wines are definitely exciting and unique, both because of their limited production and, in the case of our Tocai Friulano and Auxerrois, their position as the first of their kind released by an Oregon producer.

2004 Pinot blanc
It is produced in small quantity from a steep slope of our Bryan Creek Vineyard on the Chehalem Mountains. Subtle aromas of melon, lime, and apple with gentle, smooth texture. Perfect with white fish or shellfish-or just chilled, by itself, at the end of a warm day. Available in 750ml bottles.

2004 Tocai Friulano
Though Tocai is in the Sauvignon family, its wines have more seductive fruit and less grassiness. Also, they are dry and not at all like Tokaj from Hungary. We used an extended press cycle to extract more of the lime/kiwi/guava flavors from the skins. Available in 750ml bottles.

2004 Auxerrois
Auxerrois, like Chardonnay, is a medieval cross between the noble Pinot noir grape of Burgandy and an ignoble variety, Gouais blanc. A crisp and refreshing wine with aromas of orange, quince, and honey. This is just our second bottling of the Auxerrois variety. Available in 750ml bottles.

2004 Deglacé
This is a rare dessert wine made from Pinot noir grapes frozen after harvest, then pressed after partial thawing. Lovely apricot pink in color, with elegant strawberry, nectarine, and orange blossom aromas and a luscious mouthfeel. At 17% residual sugar and 11% alcohol, one might suspect it of being "sticky", but it has enough acid to be in perfect balance. Available in 375ml bottles.

You can visit the Adelsheim Vineyards website at www.adelsheim.com
Or better visit the vineyard at -
Adelsheim Vineyard
16800 NE Calkins Lane
Newberg, OR 97132

Telephone: (503) 538-3652

The Oregon and SW Washington distributor for Adelsheim -
Young's Columbia Wine Company
6840 N Cutter Circle
Portland, OR 97217

Telephone: 503-289-9600

Posted by Industrial-Manufacturing at August 25, 2021 06:00 AM