NEWS & EVENTS
LIQUID SYNERGY WINE CLUB
May 18, 2013 | 1pm- 4 pm The Carlton Winemakers Studio
Join the vintners for lunch! An opportunity for Club Members to pick up their shipment at the winery and taste the featured wines.
MEMORIAL WEEKEND TASTING OPEN HOUSE
May 25-28, 2013 | 11am - 4pm
Celebrate the holiday and our 10th Anniversary with us! Visit the winery and sample current releases and special library wines from our artisanal producers: Andrew Rich, Bachelder, Dukes, Hamacher, Lazy River, Merriman, Montebruno, Omero, Retour, Trout Lily, Utopia and Wahle. Tasting Fees: $15 for current releases and $25 for special library wines.
OREGON PINOT CAMP
June 22-25, 2013
FOR MEMBERS OF THE TRADE ONLY
INTERNATIONAL PINOT NOIR CELEBRATION
July 26-28, 2013
Linfield College, McMinnville, Oregon
For the past 25 years, the IPNC has been uniting Pinot fans and food lovers from around the world in the spirit of friendship and in celebration of Pinot noir in all its grand diversity. The 27th Annual IPNC will be held on the beautiful Linfield College Campus. Tickets for the Full Weekend, Salmon Bake and Sunday Walkabout events are sold on a first come, first serve basis! Order Tickets online: www.ipnc.org or call 503.472.8964.
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PORTLAND MONTHLY: "Top 50 Wines": 2009 Andrew Rich Prelude Pinot Noir & 2008 Utopia Estate Pinot Noir make the list!
TANZER'S INTERNATIONAL WINE CELLAR: 92 Points 2008 Andrew Rich "The Knife Edge" Pinot Noir
THE NEW YORK TIMES
On This Oregon Trail, Pioneers Embrace Organic Wine
"...Innovators include a winery and tasting room called the Carlton Winemakers Studio. It is the country’s first green-built cooperative winery, using natural light, recycled materials and as little electricity as possible, among other improvements. Ten independent small-batch wineries can share space at one time, and the studio has acted as an incubator for young, talented winemakers without a home. About 20 winemakers have come through since the studio opened in 2002.
And like many wineries along this laid-back and friendly wine trail, it’s also the kind of intimate place where you can run into your favorite winemaker while sampling flights. On a recent visit, my friend Sarah and I watched as the tasting room manager introduced two Portland fans of the winemaker Andrew Rich to the man himself, who happened to be the guest winemaker on duty.
“Everyone’s wines are featured on a rotating basis here in the tasting room,” said Mr. Rich, who poured a pinot noir flight that included creations by several different winemakers. We tasted Mr. Rich’s own flagship blend, the Andrew Rich Vintner 2006 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, an earthy, berry-rich wine.
“Pinot noir is the dominant grape of the Willamette Valley — it’s challenging and difficult, but rewarding to make wine from it,” he said. “What you get is subtle, but with a very big range.”
Carlton Winemakers Studio has also begun a program of wine education classes taught by in-house vintners; topics range from subappellations of the Willamette Valley to sustainability in the vineyard.
Of course, no one drinks green wines just because they’re green — they have to taste good, too. It’s notable that many of the area’s new breed of winemakers are respected longtime players in the industry. Robert Brittan of Brittan Vineyards was the winemaker and estate manager at Stags’ Leap Winery in Napa for 16 years; Eric Hamacher, a founder of Carlton Winemakers Studio, has produced wines for Robert Mondavi and others..."
Jill Davis | Vine Dedication
I happened to pay a visit to the Carlton Winemakers’ Studio, a gargantuan cooperative winemaking facility. That very day the studio’s founder, 43-year-old Eric Hamacher, was trucking in his first load of pinot noir grapes. Although de-stemming lines were in full swing, although more trucks laden with fruit were due to arrive, although a sweat hung on his brow, Hamacher stopped to talk to me, a stranger in his tasting room—not for 3 minutes but for 30.
The subject, of course, was the weather. How the rains forced him and his workers to spend three weeks cutting leaves off the vines, so that the wind could dry out the grapes. How down in California, where the sun dutifully shows up for work each morning, winemakers don’t have to worry about mercurial weather. How Oregon winemakers have had to learn to be hardier in order to coax flavor from their grapes. “In the Willamette Valley, we’re making wine on the viticultural edge,” Hamacher said. I left with six of his bottles.
To my mind, it’s people like Eric Hamacher who provide the best argument for exploring our state’s vast wine country. For they take the time to teach us that what we taste in a glass of Oregon wine is much more than the wine itself—it’s a way of life and a commitment to place. We’re confident that this month’s cover story (“The Insider’s Guide to Oregon Wine Country,” p. 72)—written by food and drink editor Camas Davis and guided by the expert palate of our wine critic, Condé Cox—will lead you to a similar conclusion.