Test 2 – Oregonian

An Oregonian Classic for the Holidays

Yam & marshmallow holiday casserole goes great with the Adelsheim pinot gris

Yam & marshmallow holiday casserole goes great with the Adelsheim pinot gris

As one of Oregon’s founding wine families, David and Ginny Adelsheim purchased and planted 19 
acres on the Chehalem Mountains (pronounced Sha-HAY-lem) in 1971, built a home, raised a family, and in 1978, produced their first commercial wines. Today, they farm 237 acres in the north Willamette (emphasis on the second syllable, to rhyme with “damn it”) Valley. Over four decades, Adelsheim Vineyards grew up with Oregon’s wine industry.

Most of Adelsheim’s estate vineyards are on the Chehalem Mountains, now a highly-respected viticultural area. The Chehalem Mountains American Viticultural Area (CMAVA) is hugely varied with vineyards on both the northeast side of the ridge as well as the southwest side. Bald Peak (1633 ft. above sea level) is the highest point of the mountains, and is also the highest point within the Willamette Valley. Precipitation increases and temperatures decrease with elevation. The Adelsheim Vineyards range in elevation from 200 to 900 ft, so as a result there is a three week difference in ripening.

This beef & broccoli dish at Nage plays very well with the Adelsheim pinot noir.

The CMAVA has three major soil types, and Adelsheim Vineyards has sites in two of them: Red basaltic zone (red fruited Pinot Noir) and marine sedimentary zone (black fruited Pinot Noir).  It is well known that Oregon is famed for its outstanding Pinot Noirs. The wines from the hundreds of sites in the Willamette Valley share certain characteristics. They intense, fresh fruit aromas. There is a backbone of acidity which, combined with round, structural tannins, gives these wines liveliness and ageability much like Elizabeth’s Reserve, one of our favorite Pinot Noirs at Teller Wines.

David and Ginny’s team of winemakers’ vision is one of elegance, balance and restraint.  Once the winemaker decides it’s time to pick, vineyard crews hand harvest the grapes into small bins and deliver them to the winery for processing.  White grapes are whole-cluster pressed, and then undergo a long cold fermentation to preserve the fresh fruit character.  A portion of the juice is fermented in neutral oak barrels to enhance texture. After fermentation, whites are aged sur lies (on the sediment that falls from the grape during fermentation) for several months for complexity. Most whites remain in stainless steel tanks until they are filtered and blended in preparation for bottling in April. Their most flavorful Chardonnay lots gain richness by fermenting and aging in barrel for the Caitlin’s Reserve. (Caitlin is also our daughter’s name by the way. No wonder we like that wine.)

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