Erath’s Winemaker’s Choice Wines

Flight in a Box

Flight in a Box

The Willamette Valley is in our backyard so we can take a car ride, and I love car rides, any time the itch needs scratching.

Valerie has been meaning to visit her wine class friend, Mich Nelson, who is the Guest Services Supervisor at Erath.  We had been there a number of years ago but felt we needed to visit again. And we weren’t disappointed!

Valerie likes odd ball wines, she has a collection of them from all over the world and they kind of are like sculptures; like my one-of-kind toys that I admire rather than play with. Like the very squeaky ladybug that was a present from our step-son, Kiernan.  It has a prized position waaay up in the closet.

Back to odd ball wines. Valerie loves them and drinks them.

Dick Erath was one of the first winemakers in the area to experiment with different plantings, this was back when folks didn’t know if Pinot Noir would be a good choice here.  So Syrah was planted in Southern Oregon, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Gewurtztraminer in the Dundee Hills.

The engineer-turned-viticulturist was first inspired to pursue winemaking in 1965 after an early garage experiment. After completing coursework at UC-Davis in 1968, Erath relocated his family from California to the untamed red hills of Dundee. The following spring, he planted the Dundee Hill’s first wine grapes – 23 varieties. Pinot Noir flourished.  Not a bad experiment!

Pinot Gris Rose

Pinot Gris Rose

Pinot Gris Leaves from Erath's Vineyatd

Pinot Gris Leaves from Erath's Vineyatd

Valerie tried the unusual 2008 Pinot Gris Rose first; this is not a White Zin folks.  This is crisp, slightly less dry than a French Rose with warm notes of vanilla and the acid notes of rhubarb.  It has a med long finish.

Next was the barrel-fermented 2008 Pinot Blanc. “Our Pinot Blanc for Chardonnay lovers,” explained Mich. This  is a very food-friendly wine and would be my choice for my  taste of risotto left-overs, my friends!

Dolcetto (doll-chet-o) is an Italian wine known for its earthy robustness, Erath’s Dolcetto is a lighter and more subtle light to medium bodied red that is a classic spaghetti or pizza wine.  The Syrah is a medium plus bodied red wine that has a white pepper quality to it, good for sipping on a rainy day.

The last unusual wine is an amazingly different late harvest Pinot Blanc.  The nose was like the sweet smell after a rain and it tasted like peaches and lime, great acid-not syrupy, and a perfect match for Fall desserts like Valerie’s Lime, Ginger, Pineapple Up-side-down Ginger Bread Cake or a deep dish apple pie, with the apples sautéed in the wine before being put in the pie!

Mich mentioned their  Late Harvest Gewurtztraminer will be released the week before Thanksgiving.  Why not bring a dessert wine, like this one, to Thanksgiving dinner?

Our next blog entry will be on the Pinot Noir’s of Erath and Lange, and check the last blog entry for phot0s

from our day at Erath Winery.

Sniffing out the Jory Terroir

Sniffing out the Jory Terroir


~ by winedogreview on October 23, 2009.

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