2019 Division "Maybelle" Pinot Noir
Our ethos is to let the vineyard do most of the ‘speaking’ - our role is just to be the guide or shepherd and not screw it up. Part of it is being true to the Willamette Valley's core competency of wines. We have a lot of energy in our wines; we have this great red fruit dynamic - strawberry, raspberry, cherry - that seems to be the most prevalent. So, that's where we start.
The grapes are graciously grown and donated by Joe and Julia Cassin from their vineyard in Yamhill Carlton, and Julie makes the art for the label. Then it's up to my business partner at Southeast Wine Collective, Kate Norris, and me to make something that people can really enjoy.
We use a classical wine approach with the Maybelle Center wine because we're trying to make something that we think the broadest audience will really enjoy. We're also trying to make a wine that will drink well in its youth and doesn't require a long cellaring process. In wine lingo, we try to keep this from becoming tannic or overly structured - those wines tend to need a lot of time. We know the reality is most people are going to want to drink this wine fairly youthful.
After four years of making this wine we really know how the vineyard works and how it interacts with our style. And we're just really, really pleased with the quality of the line. The feedback we've received over the years has been overwhelmingly positive. This one is one of my favorite things to make each year. I get really excited about it because it's a very collaborative experience.
I first got connected to the Maybelle Center through a neighbor four years ago. The former director gave me a call and said, "I've been looking for somebody to make wine to raise funds for Maybelle Center." The mission at Maybelle is something pretty personal and close to home.
Those of us in the world who have struggled because of mental illness, physical illness, or whatever, often end up in a situation where you're isolated – it's the loneliest place to be and can lead to the destruction of many people's lives. That was very similar to my mother's situation, and partially still is, to this day. To find out that Maybelle Center focused on connecting people and finding a way to remind them of their value was really special.