Trump’s tariffs hit wine sales

Tags

, , ,

How does President Trump’s 25 percent tariffs impact the average consumer? We saw it up close Wednesday at the small wine shop where I work part time in retirement.

We’re big fans of Beaujolais wines and sell quite a bit of the gamay-grape wines to our customer base. We’re constantly looking for new and exciting Beaujolais Cru. Yesterday the La Pierre Morgon Cuvee’ arrived for a tasting event.

Most Cru level Beaujolais cost around $20-$25 with the very best maybe hitting $30-$40. This wine can be found online for about $40. But when the wine arrived yesterday the per bottle cost including the tariff, plus our standard markup, drove the price to more than $60.

Frankly, that’s going to be a tough sell. Sure, we sell many wines costing more than $60. But no one expects to pay $60 for Beaujolais.

While not earth-shattering headline news, it’s a real world impact of how a tariff can drive prices in your household.

Maybe you’re not a wine drinker or buy only value wine and see this as much adieu about nothing. But the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) estimates the 25 percent tariffs will cost each American household approximately $2000 next year. And recently the President has threatened to increase the tax to 100 percent.

Laurent Drouhin, of the famed Burgundy house, said Tuesday his family is very leary of the tariffs and any increase to 100 percent. Drouhin has exported wines to the US for decades and have not followed popular trends of shifting their sales to China.

“If the 100 percent tariff goes into effect that’s going to big a big thing,” he said. “Maybe we have to pick up the phone.” The reference was to selling wine to China.

So the tariffs aren’t something effecting someone else. Eventually it will effect all of us.

Regardless of politics, the tariffs will impact all of us. Using tariffs to negotiate trade deals is like using a hammer to open a bottle of wine – pretty hard to swallow.

Visiting Brouilly’s dynamic duo

Tags

, , , , ,

COTE De’ BROUILLY, Beaujolais, France –  The NBA has Lebron and Steph while the NFL boasted dynamic duos like Peyton and Tom.

Leagues boast superstars but they don’t necessarily play on the same teams. Two of the Cote de Brouilly’s wine superstars are unequivocally Claude Geoffray and Nicole Chanrion.

The duo’s story is one of a lasting family legacy while the other is an endearing matriarch of the wine region.

IMG_0136.jpg

Claude talks about his wine aging philosophy

Geoffray recently retired as the fifth generation winemaker at Chateau Thivin high atop Mont Brouilly. He maintains the family business started in June 1877 by Zaccharie and Marguerite Geoffray. While Claude is ever-present around the winery, acting as ambassador and leading tastings of their Chardonnay and Gamay-based wines, the 6th generation, Claude’s son Claude Edwouard, will continue the tradition. The son’s education came from working side by side with his father and in the vineyards and wineries of Saint Emilion, Switzerland, Austria, New Zealand, and others.

Claude hosted our foursome in the Chateau’s family dining room with the house dog and cat snuggled in front of a roaring fireplace on a cold November Wednesday. He poured us his well-balanced and soft Chardonnay, made from grapes on a plot an hour south of the Chateau. And then we explored his signature Cote de Brouilly, an estate Cote de Brouilly, and the family signature bottle made from the best grapes each season the Cote de Brouilly Zaccharie.

IMG_0149

Pouring a 2003 vintage

One of the great things about Beaujolais Cru is the cost. The Cote de Brouilly sells in the US for $20-$25. The Zaccharie is in limited US release. At the winery, the Zaccharie sells for 29E, though we saw it at a local restaurant in Morgon for much more.

During our walk through the various portions of the cellars he picked up a dusty bottle of 2003 Cote de Brouilly and poured that for us as a grand finale. The wine was gorgeous, elegant and slays every thought that Beaujolais Cru is wine meant to be drunk when it’s young.

The Geoffray name has a long history and bright future. Claude told us he was off to Paris to present his wines while his son, stepdaughter and three grandchildren keep busy atop Mont Brouilly.

Down the windy roads up Mont Brouilly in a small village, unassumingly along the main highway is the production facility for Domaine Chanrion. As we pull into the parking lot a spry, white-haired woman walks briskly to meet us. No introductions are really necessary because our host is Nicole Chanrion the  matriarch of Brouilly.

Chanrion has guided her one-woman operation since the 1970s, leading the way for female winemakers. She has won the respect of her peers – male and female – heading the Brouilly winemakers association. In recent years, her son has joined the team.

image0 (1)

Nicole Chanrion

Her unbridled charm, wit and a twinkle of the eye is among her many charms. The large wooden casks where she ages her Cote de Brouilly are among her tools to make one signature bottle of great Beaujolais Cru.

She took glee in finding a 2010 Cru to pour for us and again prove these wines will age beautifully. But Chanrion is a global citizens not afraid to share her opinions on politics and politicians. She does it all with a wink and a nod but expresses concerns about the potential 25 percent tariffs which could hit French wines. The majority of Chanrion’s annual production is sold in the U.S.

After a few photos we said our goodbyes. She was clearly thrilled to have US visitors including one who helped sell her wines in the US. She giggled and gasped when told a photo of her and I would be displayed in the shop.

What an awesome day of great people and outstanding wine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visiting great small wineries

BEAUNE, France – I traveled to Burgundy Sunday, my first trip back since a 2016 group I led, and day one has set a high bar.

After just one day, the lessons of Burgundy are that the food and people are every bit as enjoyable as the wine.

I’m traveling with three friends who are part of a Crawfordsville-Indianapolis group that gets together periodically to drink and talk about wine. A couple quick travel tips first.

The new Indy-Paris non-stop flight is awesome. It costs about $600 roundtrip and we had a newer plane, good food and good service. In 2016, I paid $1300 for the same trip. Many of us have become fans of vacation rentals. We found a 3-bedroom place in the heart of Beaune for about $150 a night. It’s a lovely old, historical building with just enough modern touches.

IMG_0084

Bernard and Melissa Rion

I have to admit, our two wine stops today were every bit as good or better than the visits three years ago. We stopped at two domaines with pretty small production. Sixth-generation winemaker Melissa Rion poured the wine of Domaine Rion in Vosnee-Romanee.

We did the winery and caves tour and then had a delightful tasting of Vosnee Romanee wines and a grand cru. Truffles are plentiful in Burgundy and we topped off our tasting with a 2003 Grand Cru Clos de Vougeot, truffle butter and a truffle terrine soaked in Cognac. It was pure Burgundy and a delightful taste sensation and pairing.

Domain Rion produces just 40,000 bottles or 3300 cases of wine. Tasting in Burgundy is different. There are very few tasting rooms where you can just walk in taste. BerAppointments are suggested. We paid 25 Euro for the tasting and it was well worth it. The variety of the wonderful Burgundian wines ranged in price from the teens for 100 Euro. The top Grand Cru wines are quite expensive but also scarce.

IMG_0098

Sophie Noellat

Our second stop was Domaine Michel Noellat also in Vosne Romanee. Noellat makes more wine, 70,000 bottles, but very little gets to the U.S. They have access to more grapes in the Vosnee Romanee and Gevry Chambertin region. Sophie Noellat, a sixth generation winemaker works with her father to produce the wines. They do not receive many visitors but will take appointments.

My three travel companions enjoyed the Noellat wines more than me. I found all but two more more acidic than I like – perhaps that’s old age and a penchant for acid reflux, but I just did not enjoy them as much as the Rion wines. We did not pay a tasting fee and all of us bought 1-3 bottles. Some of these small places will waive the fee with purchase and some do not.

image0

The little chocolate cake was amazing.

We set the dining bar incredibly high at La Petite Auberge. The 2016 travel group had lunch there and it was a memorable experience. We had the 22.5E lunch fix-priced menu which included an amuse bouche of three wonderful bites, a salad or soup, then all four of us had the slow-cooked veal in a mustard sauce. Incredibly tender and flavorful, it was a real culinary treat. Dessert was a decadant chocolate cake.

 

A glass of local Vosne-Romanee wine was included in the price. When you travel to Europe, the fixed price menu is often a culinary choice you can usually make with confidence.

Seldom would any traveler expect lunch to set such a high standard. We have reservations at three of Burgundy’s best restaurants this week.. We’ll see how it plays out.

We’re off to dinner shortly. I intend on giving a few Burgundy and travel  tips throughout the week. But oh what a start.

Wednesday: We’re making the 1.5 hour trip down to Beaujolais for the annual Beaujolais Festive and release of the annual Nouveau vintage..

Hoosiers Loving Dry Rose’

Tags

, , , ,

Brian Borlick, in a nifty pink shirt and slacks, was in constant motion grabbing bottles, pouring pink wine, and talking deals.

Borlick is Premium Division Manager for Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC) in Indianapolis. He is also known within the Indy wine world as RNDC’s Rose’ guy.

Indiana Rose’ sales climbed 99 percent as of February, ending a 12-month period. Staggering! National sales increased 64 percent over the same time period, according to Nielson statistics.

image1 (1)

Borlick

“I remember we had a tasting 13 years ago,” Borlick said at a recent event for industry insiders and buyers. “We had 18 wines and about four people showed up. The last two years we’ve had over 100 wines and more than 100 people came to taste.”

Borlick noted that supermarkets, small restaurants, and maybe even Hoosiers were slow to the pink wine love affair – but not anymore. “Even restaurants in small towns are pouring by the glass,” he said. “All supermarkets have at least a few Rose’ wines.”

Gooley, manager and wine buyer for three Indianapolis retail stores under the Vine & Table banner, believes acceptance of dry pink wine is a generational issue. “I think it’s the baby boomers getting over the fact they’re not sweet,” he said. “We grew up with white zinfandel and still a lot of people have the idea if it’s pink it’s sweet. I also think we have a millennial generation willing to trust us and when they come in and we say it’s dry they buy it. I think we’ve done a good job of convincing people that dry rose is the red wine drinkers’ white wine.”

Borlick was like most Americans a little more than a decade ago. He thought of Rose’ as a coyingly sweet pink wine. “Then I went to France for the first time in 1999 and was force fed some Rose,” he joked. “I was planning not to like it but loved it. The French drink it for lunch and dinner.”

IMG_2324

Gooley

Most alcohol distributors certainly have Rose’ in their portfolio but RNDC is one of, if not, the biggest in Indiana. The dry pink now appeals to consumers of all ages but is particularly driven by the younger millennial generation.

“People used to go into wine shops and see 10 roses now they see 50 – people see that and think they must get in on this,” Gooley said. “Most rose’ sells between $10-$25. That fits with the rest of the retail market that’s had a great increase in that price range.”

Wine wholesalers and retailers do worry about a pink over saturation. “Rose’ sales are going to continue to grow but maybe not the same as past years,” Borlick said. “Now, every winery and an uncle are making a Rose’.”

Gooley agreed with his distributor’s comments. “We’re now in a position where consumers are going to get some substandard roses and poor quality. They’re are going to find things in lower price points that are not going to last a year or year and a half in the bottle and then are going to think I don’t like Rose. But they spent $5 on it.”

The most popular Rose’ is the lighter color and lighter palate of Provence Rose, the redder and more palate dominating Rose’s of France’s Rhone Valley and Tavel retain traditional popularity

Many credit the growth to Rose’ rise to powerhouse labels like Chateau d’Esclans’ Whispering Angel, the world’s most popular Rose, which has released 3.2 million bottle vintages in recent years. One of the other celebrity-driven but nice drinking Rose’ wines is Chateau Miraval. Insiders know actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie invested $67 million in the estate in 2008. Both wines sell for $19.99 to mid-$20 range.

Too often specific wines can be hard to find. But most reputable wine shops or even liquor stores have a wide selection. Look for Rose’ of Pinot Noir from the West Coast, Oregon or California, and pink from Provence or Southern France.

 

10th Willamette wine visit

Talking Oregon wine with Winderlea owner Bill Sweat

The quality of Oregon wine blows me away on each visit. That’s not shocking news to anyone who’s been here before. But as the number as the number of Willamette Valley wineries grows toward 600 even the newbies are knocking out dynamic and delicious Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris.

This visit was arranged rather quickly with a friend and we kicked off with old friends Bill Sweat and Donna Morris at Winderlea Vineyards. We talked a good half hour about Chardonnay, style of Chardonnay and what’s new at the winery. Bill shared that Winderlea will join the growing list of wineries make a Sparkline wine or Brut next year.

Growers in the valley are two or three years into the boom of adding Rose’ of Pinot Noir to their winelists and it certainly appears bubbles will be next.

Winderlea produces vineyard designate wines as good, or better, as any you’ll find in the valley. The chardonnay is perfectly balanced with a hint of oak and perhaps the best you discover on any domestic wine trip.

Our next stop was the iconic Domaine Drouhin. The French outpost in Oregon delivers really great wine, a fantastic vineyard view and even an occasional taste of Burgundy. The iconic wooden roofed winery offers up elegant and stylish Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The entry level is $45 at the winery in Dundee Hills but the new Roserock property and label over wines with a slightly different flavor profile and slightly different taste.

Third stop was a recommendation from the Winderlea folks. We traveled to just the western part of the valley to Fairsing Vineyard high atop a hill just north of Yamhill and Carlton. The views were spectacular. The wines were spot on with a light Rose, lighter style chardonnay and rich Pinot. The 750 ft of elevation definitely provide characteristics of a cooler climate Chardonnay.

We capped off the night meeting a couple of younger friends for dinner. I had met the young couple working my part-time wine shop job in Broad Ripple. I’ve visited Carlton many times but never eaten at its longtime lilee French Restaurant, Cuvee.

The slightly electic spot was really dealicious. Baked mussels and a wonderful sauce with gruyere cheese was spot on. The fresh salmon with roasted vegetables balanced the meal.

Another day of wine tasting today (Friday) and a venture into McMinnville this evening. Tomorrow, it’s off to the Columbia River Gorge and Mt. Hood.

Note: I’m using a new smaller mobile laptop and some things have changed for me in my blogging platform. I was a real struggle including one photo. I have more to add when I conquer that issue or get back home. I”m posting to social media as well.

Going to add restaurant reviews

Tags

, ,

IMG_2380

Looking from my table to the bar area of LouVino

Through the years I’ve posted restaurant thoughts (I hate to think of it as reviews) on this blog. Now that I’m retired and have time to take in some interesting lunch spots, I’m going to try to start posting more.

I still do some wine writing, but if you haven’t followed along, I retired the regular wine column last fall.

So part of the plan going forward is to add quickie reviews. Those reviews will include a couple of pics, some thoughts on the food, service and probably atmosphere.

I visited LouVino on Mass Ave today for lunch. I actually tried to visit a couple of weeks ago and was told rather brusquely that it was 1:50 p.m. and the kitchen closed for lunch at 2 p.m. I understand that but didn’t feel very welcomed to return.

image3

Fries in a jar and okay skirt steak.

But I did give it a try today and enjoyed the experience. It is a little pricey for lunch. I had the lunch special of sandwich, side and drink for $15. My skirt steak sandwich on brioche was pretty tasty. Onions, stilton mayo, and arugula livened the sandwich up a bit. The steak had a bit of  almost a burnt flavor after waitress suggested it would arrive medium rare. The flavor was pretty good though but skirt steak can be tough and this was a little too chewy.

The fries were crispy and plentiful and the two warm chocolate chip cookies, included, were very good.

And by the way, my server was great and responded promptly to a couple of simple requests.

image1

Three nice old world wines for $17

Of course, being a wine spot I skipped the cola. They offer a page of red and another of white wine flights with 2 oz. pours. The choices were really great. I paid $17 for a Spanish, French, and Italian wine. They were all good but most are available at local wine shops for $20 or less per bottle.

So with tax, I dropped $34 for lunch – not something I’m going to do very often.

The place is beautiful but quite empty at 1 p.m. The decor is modern and stylistic. There is clearly seating for a big lunch or dinner crowd.

I’d probably go back but at the price the food was more okay and wow. The wine flight a little pricey. Still, it’s nice to have a place where you can sample a wine flight, even if its a couple bucks overpriced.

Vineyards reflect climate change reality

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

IMG_1880 (1)

Steve Lutz in his Lenne tasting room last October

If you don’t believe in climate change, ask a farmer. Few farmers see the more immediate impact of warming temperatures than winemakers and vineyard managers across the country.

In normally cool-climate Oregon, the vineyards are warming. But just like the different terriors across the 150-mile long valley, the impact varies from vineyard to vineyard. But winemakers seem to agree something is happening.

IMG_1850

Fitzpatrick

“I don’t think it necessarily meaning warming for everyone at every time of the year,” said Alloro Vineyards winemaker Tom Fitzpatrick. “I think what we’re seeing is wide swings in the temperatures and weather during the ripening period, which is really an important period of time.

“So the last couple of years (2016-2017) were fairly warm and fairly early harvest in September. Then in 2018 things were a little bit more typical at harvest. We but had a really dry and really warm summer. We were lucky to get these really cool temperatures, 60s and 70s, through early September for harvesting.

The state’s legislature ordered a climate assessment that concluded with a 160-page document. The report says that even if emissions are reduced, average temperatures will rise 3 to 7 degrees by 2050. That number may or may not seem significant but the state’s leading crop, delicate and thin-skinned Pinot Noir grapes, does not do well in intense heat.

IMG_1872

Bailey

“I typically talk about global change instead of global warming,” said Youngberg Hill Winery and Inn owner and winemaker Wayne Bailey. “I think what we’re seeing is a lot more extremes. There is extreme rain in the Midwest, extremes in terms of cold and warm and extremes in terms of hurricanes. It’s all over.

“More specifically to growing, over the last 4-5 years we’ve had consistent warmer temperatures. But I’ve been in agriculture all my life and know weather patterns to in 20-year cycles. I’m here to say in 5-6 years we’re still going to have warmer and cool years. I’m going to suggest there is going to be more extremes instead of less extreme weather events because of global warming.”

Steve Lutz, owner/winemaker at Lenne Estate, agreed its all about the timing of the state’s hotter spells. “We’ve been a really fortunate,” he said. “This year we had a huge cooldown at the end of August and beginning of September.  We had 10 days of no sugar movement in the vineyard at all. My take is we have to be very careful how much fruit we drop (which allows remaining fruit to ripen better).”

Lutz’s point is cutting grapes aggressively, followed by a warmer fall harvest season, could substantially reduce a winery’s ability to reach normal production levels. More heat means more sugar in the grapes which results in wines with a higher alcohol content while the industry is largely moving to lower alcohol wines.

One logical step might be the increased planting of varietals other than Pinot Noir. Tempranillo, gamay, syrah, and even some cabernet has been planted in recent years.

img_1860

Bellows

“Don (Hagge) is way ahead of the curve as usual and we’re already making estate tempranillo in the Chehalem Mountains AVA,” said Vidon winemaker David Bellows. Hagge owns the boutigue Vidon winery. “Other people are only going to plan more similar grapes. Tempranillo is a good illustration of how to cope because I can’t think of a more hot plains varietal. It’s ripened here three years in a row and ripened just fine this year.”

All of the winemaker agreed there will be years of bigger wines – Pinot or different varieties. Bellows said the 2018 crop went through higher temperatures than the 2017. “So the 2018 had more sugar than we would want so we worked on more extraction, move body to balance off the alcohol. Those are the kind of things you have to do. We’re going to make a bigger darker wine than last year. We hope more extraction will balance the alcohol.”

So will there be years where Oregon Pinot is closer to the mouth feel of Pinots from California? “There will be years,” Bailey agreed that is possible. “In 2012 and 2014 the wines were bigger, more robust, more red fruit. But consistently I think not for the foreseeable future. We’re not growing on the valley floor where it’s hottest.”

Fitzpatrick  takes a similar view. “To me a great Pinot is a balance between a warm year and much cooler year, concentration density and roundness, very cool delivers aromatic complexity and more expression. To me a great vintage is one where weather conditions are such you get both of those.”

All four winemakers agreed they’ve spent a career watching the weather. With temperatures rising, watching the thermometer is fine but more adjustments in  winemaking will be necessary as well.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This feature store first appeared in Madison Magazine – a niche publication of the Anderson Herald Bulletin. Contact these wineries through the links embedded to buy their wines.

Another reason to love Oregon wines

Tags

, , , ,

EDITOR’S NOTE: Well crap. This country, and particularly Indiana’s, wine laws strike again. After writing this post I went to order my three pack to learn they’re not shipping to Indiana. I’ll update if that changes or if other options become available.

 

Sometimes I feel like the Willamette Valley Wine Association should put me on the payroll. I love Oregon wine, Oregon wine country, and most of all the people of Oregon.

Wine folks have probably heard about the recent Solidarity Wines being produced from Rogue Valley vineyards. The back story is 2,000 tons of Rogue Valley grapes were to be sold to Copper Cane of Napa Valley. Copper Cane dropped out of the contract late in the season citing ‘smoke taint’ from the west’s forest fires.

The video above tells the story beautifully.

OregonSolidarity3-PackThe great part is a group of Oregon winemakers in the Willamette Valley bought up some of the grapes and made a Chardonnay, Rose’ and Pinot Noir which will be released over th$e summer. Proceeds from those wines will benefit Rogue Valley vineyards. A website is up telling the Solidarity Wines story and giving consumers a chance to buy a three pack of Chardonnay, Rose’ and Pinot Noir. I’ve ordered one.

The effort is being led by Willamette Valley Vineyards Winery and King Estate Winery.

I’ve tasted smoke-tainted wines. I tasted Pinot Noir in 2011 during a wine press trip to Mendocino County just north of Sonoma. There was a hint of burnt wood but the wine wasn’t off-putting. Oregon grape growers and winemakers are claiming there is no taint at all in the Rogue Valley grapes.

Great story and one that’s going to be interesting to follow. The wines are being released starting Mar. 1 with the Rose’ with the 3-pack shipping August 1. I’ll be sure to post when mine have arrived.

Check out the video above and consider ordering some Oregon wine for a good neighborly cause.

 

Ind. legislature and silly wine restrictions

Tags

, , , ,

Every time I read about proposed laws relating to alcohol in Indiana I come away shaking my head in amazement at the stupidity and greed.

There are at least two bills in the legislature getting some consideration that might help. I’m posting the links here so you can share in my frustration and amazement.

House Bill 1422 – From the Indiana Business Journal story: “one barrier for wineries and distilleries that include restaurants is that they are not allowed to take alcohol produced on their properties directly to their restaurants. Instead, they have to sell it to a distributor, the distributor has to take it to a warehouse and then return it and sell it back to the winery or distillery. Then the product can be sold in the restaurant.”

You might want to read that again to fully understand the greed written into Indiana law. Read the entire IBJ story here.

Then there is this one – a bill allowing wine sales on golf courses. If you’re a golfer you’ve seen the beverage carts on the links. The carts always feature cold beer and many include wine, illegally. Damn them!

A proposal to allow wine sales on the links passed the Indiana house just a week or so ago 92-4. You can read the short Associated Press story here.

You can’t make this stuff up if you tried. Geez!

Small wineries just can’t charge big price

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

Smaller Oregon wine producers feel some pressures to keep their wines moderately priced. While some of the better known Willamette Valley wineries are pushing the ceiling of $100 a bottle and beyond, the smaller producers don’t want to gouge their base customers.

Domaine Serene with its bevy of awards and media accolades has several bottles over $100. A top bottling at wineries such as Beaux Freres, Bergstrom, and many others have a bottle or several selling at $100 or more.

The smaller producers struggle with distribution because they simply don’t make enough wine to sell in multiple states. They like staying in the $35-$60 or $70 range so wines are affordable for club members and through their tasting rooms.

img_1893

Bailey

“The competition really hasn’t been price competition,” said Wayne Bailey, owner at Youngberg Hill Winery. “It’s been beneficial (to be moderate in price) in that it’s made a whole lot more Willamette Valley Pinot available for people to try.

“We’re such a small piece of the pie. Pinot is only 5% of what is sold in the US. The valley produces one-hundredth of one percent of all Pinot grown in the country.”

Bailey has an entry-level Pinot for $35.

Price discussions have to include increases and on some occasions decreases for some producers. “We talk about price in both directions,” said David Bellows, winemaker at Vidon Vineyards. “Don is resistant to raising prices. We’ve had people come in and say ‘your wine should be more expensive.’ We have a hard time selling what we make.”

img_1860

Bellows

Don Hagge’s Vidon has sold wine at wholesale prices to internet sites which provide instant income and cash flow. Vidon’s signature 3-Clones wine, his lowest priced bottle, sells for $45 at the winery.

Bailey points out that there is lots of market research showing people east of the Rocky Mountains want  Willamette Valley Pinot but they can’t find it. The exception, he notes, is big producers. He adds that the small producers can open up a much bigger world to Pinot fans but they may have to search for smaller-production labels or come visit.

The backbone of these winery’s income is direct sales out of their tasting rooms and wine club memberships. “Some of our pricing reflects that,” said General Manager and Winemaker Tom Fitzpatrick, Alloro Vineyards.

IMG_1850

Fitzpatrick

“We want to be accessible. We don’t want to be where no one could buy them. Even our estate Pinot Noir ($40 SRP), which is the lowest price point of the three we make on the property, is not a lower tier wine. We focus our winemaking on producing the very best wine we can make.

But Fitzpatrick states the obvious that the sales have to support the winery. The estate Pinot was bumped from $35 in 2017 for the first time since the winery opened its doors.

Tasting these wines: A side note, I tasted all of these wineries wines twice in 2018. I received samples early in the year I shared with wine drinking friends solicited their opinions. I visited these producers in October. The wines easily hold up to or surpass the bigger Oregon names you may know. Reach out to the wineries, I’ve linked each site, to see if they can ship directly to you.