My Latest in Wine Business Monthly:
Oregon 2019 Harvest Off to the Races
by L.M. Archer
Salem, Ore. – From southern Oregon to the Willamette Valley, Oregon’s 2019 harvest is off to the races, with sparkling wine producers leading the way.
“Harvest so far has been BEAUTIFUL! “ says Chris Graves of Naumes Family Vineyards in Talent, Ore. The southern Oregon winemaker harvested Pinot Noir for sparkling on August 26, and concluded with Chardonnay on August 29. ”Fruit looks incredible, and flavors/chemistry are all in balance,” says Graves. “No smoke this year, not too hot, fruit has developed perfectly. I’m happy to say, apart from a bit of mildew pressure earlier in the summer, we have had very little issues with disease.”
Herb Quady of Quady North in Jacksonville, Ore. concurs. ”This is the way it should be in southern Oregon,” he says, “When we have a nice, average year as far as heat goes. We see it through the grape quality, and a lot of power to the vines.” Quady harvested Pinot Noir for sparkling on August 27, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris on August 28, and Pinot Meunier on August 31. Quady notes a few anomalies in the otherwise ‘average’ year, including a small amount of leaf curl discovered late spring in one of his vineyards, an unusual June heat spike resulting in shatter to some Grenache, and a trio of thunderstorms in August. Overall, Quady remains optimistic. “We’re seeing some really nice flavors in the vines,” he says, “and for the most part, average yields.”
In northwest Salem, near the southern tip of Eola-Amity Hills, vineyard owners/growers Rod and Danette Elliott-Mullens picked Pinot Noir Dijon 115 on August 30 at Green Acres Vineyard for Landmass Wines sparkling project. “Overall yield was on the small side for these grapes,” says Rod Elliott-Mullens,” who projects September 20 as the final pick date for his clients’ remaining grapes, including Pommard and Tempranillo.
Union Wine Company sources Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris from over 30 vineyards across the Willamette, Umpqua and Rogue Valleys. “We haven’t started yet,” reports J.P. Caldcleugh, Director of Winemaking. “But we’re off to the races on September 9, with grapes coming in for sparkling base from the Willamette and Southern Oregon.” Caldcleugh also confirms some Pinot leaf curl in the Umpqua and Rogue Valleys this year. To date, no reduction in quality has been detected in any vines impacted by the phenomenon in these regions. READ MORE HERE.