While these could be 2 Day Wines — in that you could easily enjoy them for two or three or even more days if you could have the patience to wait that long — what I mean is that these are two wines made by Brianne Day of Day wines.
Day has made a name for herself with her Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, and I am a huge fan of Day’s dry farmed Chardonnay. While Day has worked in vineyards, and in just about every aspect of the wine business as described here, she grows no grapes herself (at least not right now!). Instead, she collects grapes from special parcels from throughout Oregon to make her handcrafted wines.
Brianne Day at WOPN 2019
Brianne Day at WOPN 2019
Brianne Day at WOPN 2019
Recently, we focused on two of her biodynamic wines from the northern Willamette Valley, a Chardonnay and a Pinot Noir; today we focus on two blends, one red and one white, from a lesser known region of Oregon, southern Oregon’s Applegate Valley. Continue reading
A selection of Oregon Chardonnay that arrived fallowing my call to review them.
Pinot noir from Oregon’s Willamette Valley is understandably famous, and everyone wants to talk about it, myself included! And with this being Oregon Wine Month, I have! See my May posts on two biodynamic ones from Cooper Mountain, two from Willamette Valley Vineyards, one from Day Wines, and coming up soon, three from biodynamic Montinore, then sustainable Left Coast, then more including Beckham, Brooks, and Hammacker!
But today, Chardonnay Day, I want to talk about what’s special about one of Oregon’s white wines, specifically, Willamette Valley dry farmed Chardonnay, and a few pairings to go with them for summertime sipping.
“We’re no longer citizens, we’re consumers,” pointed out Patagonia founder and owner Yvon Chouinard at Ventura College on Earth Day, April 22, 2019. “Webster’s says someone who’s a consumer is someone who destroys.”
Chouinard’s agenda these days has less to do with selling fleece and making money and more to do with saving the planet.
To do so, Chouinard’s passionate about regenerative agriculture which shares many of the same goals and techniques as biodynamic agriculture which I’ve written about many times this year.
“Revealing a message is what wine can do best in the pyramid of the senses, starting from pleasure, taste, emotion, and from time to time a kind of message in a bottle, ” says Gerard Bertrand, winemaker of Gerard Bertrand wines. “The message is the soul of the wine, the imprint of time, it is recalling 20, 30, or 40 years later that something very special happened in a certain vintage.” Continue reading
When I put out a call for dry farmed Chardonnay from Oregon, I was surprised by the number of wines that arrived at my doorstep. We chose a selection which I wrote about here for Chardonnay Day 2018 and we will do more for this Chardonnay Day.
But the wine kept coming, including a bottle that really wowed me as soon as I saw it:
- One, the label was flat out gorgeous, depicting a bee amongst dandelions. You may not know this, but dandelions, while a weed, are critically important fro bees because the dandelions bloom early in the season providing an important food source for bees. This said to me that these people are Paying Attention!
- Two, I recognized the Belle Pente vineyard on the label as one that is farmed biodynamically
- Three, I knew that Brian O’Donnell, Belle Pente’s farmer as well as a winemaker who I met at the Oregon Wine Road event in LA, is a legitimate dry farm fanatic! (In this post, I discuss how some dry farms are drier than others).
- Four, because it’s a biodynamic wine, I can continue my biodynamic wine experiment where I open and then periodically taste the wine to see how long it lasts! (OK partly my problem — I can only wait so long… in this case 14 days!).
The Day Chardonnay from the Bell Pente Vineyard in the Yamhill Carlton (AVA 12.75% SRP $38) with only 150 cases produced delivered on its promises and intrigued me enough to pursue learning more about the wines, the label, and the winemaker, Brianne Day. Continue reading
Located just 10 miles west of downtown Portland, Cooper Mountain Vineyards is located in the far northern reaches of Oregon’s Willamette Valley on Cooper Mountain next to the vines that Dr. Robert Gross and his wife Corinne planted in 1978; Corinne was from the area, and they wanted their three children to grow up there too.
“Our land is our life and our life is our wine.” Cooper Mountain’s Motto
After 10 years of growing grapes, they decided to make their own wine by turning an old horse barn into a winery. By the early 1990s, they evolved to grow organically (certified by Oregon Tilth in 1995) and biodynamically (certified by Demeter in 1999).
Back then there were only a handful of wineries and a few vineyards; today there are over 500 wineries, with many of them making world class Pinot noir and as of 2015, more than half of them (52%) are certified sustainably farmed with a significant number of them biodynamically farmed (about 2500 acres in 2015 with more added just this year from Troon and possibly others). See below for links to discussions of many of these biodynamic wineries)
Why biodynamic? Continue reading
Does it matter to you where a wine comes from?
According to a Swiss Institute study referenced by Willamette Valley Vineyard’s founder and winegrower Jim Bernau, it does: on average, our decision to purchase a particular wine is based 45% on where it comes from; price factors in at 25% and vintage is only 11%. And we want that information to be correct: 94% of consumers surveyed by the Wine Origins Alliance favor laws that protect us from misleading wine labels. Continue reading