Vineyard: Hillside Vineyard, The Dalles, OR
Region: Columbia Valley AVA, Oregon
Tasting Notes : Intense aromas of volcanic minerality, petrol, honey and white fruit. Although the nose is firm and fresh there is a beautiful richness that complements the staunch minerality. The palate is dry, lush with sharp acids yet has a delicate and welcomed touch of tannin. The minerals are rich, white fruit and honey notes are supple while the acids linger perfectly throughout the finish.
Elevation: 620-640 ft
Soil: Chenoweth series coarse loam soils derived
from volcanic mudflows and debris from ancestor
volcanoes to Mount Hood about 6 million years old.
Vineyard Planted: 1983
Farming: Although not certified, the Riesling rows I work and purchase have no synthetic herbicides or fungicides and mildew sprays are conducted with mineral oil, sulfur and other OMRI certified
products. Some biodynamic and holistic tea sprays are employed throughout the season to supplement the traditional spray program for soil health, mildew and heat stress respectively. Since Hillside has a divided canopy, I was able to treat the morning side differently than the afternoon side. In 2019 I experimented with thinning the morning side twice as much as the afternoon side to create a balance in the raw material. In the am side. The results were interesting
although not completely to my liking at the end of the year. The morning side was slightly more ripe from a sugar level, but definitely had more of an impact in a phenolic ripeness sense. On the
afternoon side as well as the inside of the canopy, the fruit was more shaded and therefore has less phenolic ripeness but more acidity and green flavors. There was also a healthy amount of botrytis in 2019 due to a slightly cooler vintage than prior years.
Vintage Note: 2019 began with a wet winter concluding with a few major snow falls in early March followed by a mild, average spring. There were no abnormal heat spikes in April or May as we had
seen in the years prior. Budbreak in Riesling was around April 23rd and bloom around June 6th. Up through bloom the weather had been favorable and fruit set was an even, moderately sized crop.
From bloom however we experienced an seasonably cool and wet summer and fall was spotty at best. A nerve wrecking vintage to say the least, but it will be marked by fresh wines with balanced
phenolic intensity and fine tannins. It was to say the least a departure from the string of warm vintages we’ve had in the past five years.