To be perfectly honest, when I was first introduced to Pinot Noir I snubbed my nose at it. Why? Because it isn't that big, bold wine I love.
So, when I attended a Bloggers Conference in 2012 here in Portland, where I now live... I decided to "Learn to Love" the Pinot Noir. I said, "Kim, you have to appreciate the wine for what it is, not for what it isn't". So, I started to enjoy the smells, the taste and the nuance of the wine. I think I have come a long way.
After watching this show, I think I have started to feel a courtship coming on of the Beautiful Grape that is Pinot Noir. I could feel the love and the passion that every winemaker was experiencing back in the 60's.
The pioneers of the Willamette Valley in planting Pinot Noir vineyards in Oregon were called "Band of Dreamers" who were determined to make an elegant old world wine.
- David (known as Papa Pinot) and Dianna Lett, Eyrie Vineyards. David Lett was planted the First Pinot Noir Vine in 1965.
- Dick and Nanci Ponzi, Ponzi Vineyards
- Charles Coury, Hill Crest Vineyards
- Dick Erath, Erath Vineyards
- Ron Vuylsteke, Oak Knoll Winery
- Richard Sommer, Hill Crest Vineyards
- David and Jenni Adelsheim Vineyard
- Bill and Susan Sokol Blosser, Sokol Blosser Winery
- Bill Fuller, Tualatin Estate Vineyards
- Joe and Pat Campbell, Elk Cove Vineyards
- Myron Redford, Amity Vineyards
The passion for their land, the grapes, and the wine gave them the insight that they needed to protect agricultural land from anyone other than grape growers. They imposed a grape and wine tax on themselves so they could use the money for education on growing better Pinot Noir. Then, when they needed to get the word out about their wines to let the world know they were here.. they imposed another tax to do promotional efforts. The wine growers decided to get the word out about Oregon Wines by going out and educating the public themselves. They also imposed very strict varietal and labeling standards to make sure that all Oregon wines were indeed all grown and made here.
So, with all this said, it is just a brief tidbit of history for you. Watch the video below so you can feel the passion I feel from these winemakers. I am super excited to be in Pinot Noir land and plan to do my best to absorb all I can about this beautiful, delicate grape.
Want to watch this incredible episode! Feel the love and passion for the Pinot Noir Grape!