2020 Division-Villages "Les Petits Fers"
The Gamay Noir grape, which hails from the Beaujolais region and also flourishes in the Loire Valley of France, has witnessed a rapid popularization in growth in the U.S. over recent years. A fact that that makes us very happy as Gamay is now such a large part of our production (second only to Pinot noir!).
The Eola-Amity Hills AVA in the Willamette Valley has anchored most of our Gamay vines since we made our first wine in 2011. The region features a mix of soils that are mostly volcanic clay with some marine sedimentary overlay (the Methven site). The vineyards on the top and western slopes of the Eola-Amity Hills and the component from Rebecca’s Vineyard in the Umpqua AVA share some commonalities that make them excellent for growing Gamay, including the effect of coastal weather - with vineyard facing mountain corridors that pull in cool coastal air in the evenings - dropping the warm daytime ripening temperatures and helping the vines retain acidity.
We fell hard for the carbonic maceration fermentation technique while learning about and making wine in the Beaujolais region. Carbonic Maceration involves fermenting the wines fully on the stems in a closed vessel that is initially inundated with co2 that macerates the grape skins by mostly using the co2 to enzymatically extract color, phenolics, and flavors.