Looking Back to 2021
2021 harvest in the valley was a bright spot, after a particularly difficult 2020. A pandemic + wildfires + a winery move makes for one heck of a season. Even though we were concerned about the effect of the heat dome in late June of 2021, the vines prove to us time and time again how resilient they are. It’s the last month that proves really crucial for wine production, and we were lucky to get a near perfect end of season, allowing for optimal ripeness and acidity. In an added bonus, this also meant the timing was much better for us, with grapes rolling in at a more measured pace, versus all at once like in recent years.
The return to a more straightforward vintage was a much needed breath of fresh air, allowing us to make wine, the way we know how to make wine. What a relief it was to have blue skies, beautiful fruit, the simple joy of just being in the vineyards with farmers, seeing their hard work pay off. We don’t take vintages like this for granted.
In 2021, we expanded our Washington wines with Carousel Vineyards, excited to bring in Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. We’re so lucky in Oregon to be able to work with fruit grown nearby, but so very different from that of our Willamette Valley. In the south, water issues abound, but we’re looking forward to our Grenache, Syrah, and Cabernet Franc.
As you may know, we are in the process of a big winery move, having broken ground on our new building in SE Portland. Making wine between two sites was a logistical hurdle to say the least, but the silver lining was getting to work in two different wine communities with different people, and equipment. We’re honestly better winemakers for the experience.
Compared to the stress of the 2020 harvest, 2021 has been relatively smooth sailing. As we type, we’re elbows deep bottling, and really looking forward to sharing these efforts with you.
One last, and important note, about harvest 2021. It’s not just Kate & I behind the scenes, it takes a whole village to bring wine to life. We want to give a few shout outs to our team and the amazing people who work in wine in the valley – many pictured throughout here – including Jessica, Seth, Holly, Thomas, Liz (for holding down the fort), all of our vineyard stewards, Joe Cassin, the list goes on.
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