It’s sleepy time in the vineyards. As fog settles in the valley, we can often see the snow glistening on the high ridgelines as we look west to the coastal mountains. Nourishing rain flows off their slopes, a welcome relief from the dry summer and early fall conditions. Down at the tasting room, the koi have retreated to the depth of the pond or taken to hiding under the bridge.
Up on the hillsides, the vines have lost their leaves and are deep in their winter sleep. They care not for wind, or rain or cold; Willamette Valley temperatures are seldom cold enough to damage vines (the buds are a different story, perhaps to be told elsewhere). As this story is being composed in early December, it’s a time of calm in the vineyard: pruning will not start until the new year.
But all is not chill and relaxation here in the wine trade. For Tony Rynders and the production crew, the period leading up to Christmas is a time of intense activity. The 2022 vintage was an anxious year with April frost (and snow!) and a wet cold spring. The prolonged heat of early autumn turned this year’s harvest into a surprisingly hopeful vintage. Tony has barreled down the fruits of that vintage. That fruit will stay in barrels for 16 months. Meanwhile, the 2022 Pinot Noir Rose’ were bottled. Picture clinking bottles and anxious winemakers running around with hydrometers, testing sugar and acidity levels, all while preserving the requisite high level of sanitation and you’ll get the picture (note, they don’t really run around with hydrometers – it’s an OSHA thing). And while modern wine production has many a labor-saving device (raise a toast to forklifts, anyone?), it is still tough, physically demanding work.
This year, you will be able to taste the (literal) fruits of that labor in the 2022 Pinot Noir Rose’ release. In 2024 you will get your first peek at the 2022 Pinot Noirs. We anticipate that nature’s annual bounty, with a heavy assist from vineyard workers and winemakers, will make our 2022 Pinot Noirs a stellar release.