We are off and running here in 2019 and can’t believe the first month has flown by. Between cellar work, sales to restaurants and retailers all over the city and scouting for a new tasting room location in the Gorge, we’ve made the most of our month away from Alberta Street.
But we return this week with Friday hours and the introduction of two new vintages of a couple of our popular creations.
Hope to see you soon, Darryl
2017 Barbera d’Alder
It’s been a long time since our first harvest of Barbera grapes came into the little winery in our backyard. Gone are the days of sorting into buckets on the tailgate of the old pickup, but it’s fun to look at the old pictures to remember our beginnings! We’re still bottling up that first creation, the Barbera d’Alder – and 2017 is going to be something special.
Every year, I try to get the grapes harvested before the sugars race along and the alcohol pushes its way up and up. There’s no doubt that Barbera has a ton of acidity, so it balances a weightier red pretty nicely. But we’ve always hoped for something a little lower octane and we’ve finally done it with the 2017 vintage. Coming in at a modest 13.5% alcohol, the wine is still packed with your classic Concord grape juice flavors and zippy acidity. There is no better wine in our lineup to sit alongside pizza and pasta made with red sauce. We can’t wait to share this with long-time fans of the Alder bottling and see how you like it.
2017 Ramato ‘Fig’
The category of Orange wine was just starting to get buzz-worthy when we made our first ‘Fig’ bottling of Pinot Grigio back in 2014. Now it seems everyone is making an Orange wine and scores of Imports are starting to flood the shelves. What is Orange wine you ask? It’s the process of taking a white grape (in this case the not-so-white red skinned Pinot Grigio) and fermenting it the same way you would for red grapes. That means open-top fermenters, full skin contact maceration, some whole cluster and longer-term aging in vessel.
For our 2017 Ramato ‘Fig’, I took the head off a puncheon (500L barrel that’s about twice the size of your typical Burgundy barrel). From there we were able to layer in whole cluster and destemmed Pinot Grigio must, creating a parfait effect in the barrel. We then gently would push the elevated cap down into the juice once or twice a day to keep it wet and allowed the juice to completely ferment into wine over 14 days before pressing it off. Afterward, we filled two barrels with the wine, one oak and one stainless, and allowed the wine to age almost exactly a year to the date from filling.
This Pinot Grigio should be treated like a red wine, served at a cool room temperature and paired with heartier fare. It will be tannic but also shows a lot of fruit flavors. Aside from flavors and the color a fig juice that inspire the name, you’ll find cranberry, pomegranate, strawberry and apple notes as well as an array of spice and herb notes. After 6 months in the bottle, this Fig is ready to make its debut and we look forward to hearing your impressions.
WINE CLUB PICKUP
Our 2 new releases also make up our Wine Club Winter Shipment. Club members will receive Barbera d’Alder and Ramato ‘Fig’ in this month’s release. If you’re a club member, please come visit us in the tasting room this February or March to collect your allocation. If you prefer to pick up on the Westside, or want us to deliver or ship your wines, just email me and we can arrange that for you. Club members receive free local Portland delivery to a business address and flat-rate shipping to home or office on the West Coast. For other locations, we will calculate shipping costs and send you a quote for approval prior to shipping.
TASTING ROOM HOURS
This month, we are going to alternate with Fridays and Saturdays to hopefully find the right time and day for you to visit and restock your Viola needs. Come visit us on Alberta Street these days:
FRI Feb 1: 2pm – 7pm
FRI Feb 8: 2pm – 7pm
SAT Feb 16: 1pm – 6pm
SAT Feb 23: 1pm – 6pm
Westside Winery Pickup for Club Members will be:
SUNDAY Feb 10: 1pm – 4pm
or by Appointment
(text me @ 503.318.5053 to arrange a time)
JOIN DARRYL AT THESE OTHER TASTINGS THIS MONTH
Eugene @ Sundance Wines
Saturday, Feb 9th from 5pm – 7pm
St. Johns @ 45th Parallel for a pre-Valentine’s Flight
Tuesday, Feb 12th from 5pm – 7pm
Tualatin @ New Seasons – Nyberg Road
Friday, Feb 22nd from 4pm – 7pm
Private Tennis Club Event @ Mountain Park Racquet Club
Thursday, Feb 29th
(West Hills & Mt. Park members only – I know a few of you belong!)