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August 30, 2013 |

Weekly Wine-Up

1. Perecting the final blend of the "Red Cap" Pinot Noir with our Director of Consumer Sales, Eddie Zavestoski.
2. It is finally blackberry season around here! I see many pies and cobblers in our near future.
3. @great_gobs said "Serious yum! My #favorite of this trip so far. @montinore  #pintonoir  #oregon #wine"
4. Everyone from the Marketing department and Winemaking team took a quick KEXP and labeling break Thursday to prepare wine to go to Finland. 
5. Rudy has trained our Gewürztraminer vines this year in a Scott Henry trellising style - we are seeing some great fruit out there and larger clusters than years before!
6. Ben dropped off Pinot Wednesday at Clear Creek, so that they can start making some brandy for our upcoming Ruby Port. 

Here is some links we clicked this week:

- And it starts! The Northwest grape harvest is officially under way, Marquette was the first varietal to be brought in from wine grower, Paul Champoux, in the Horse Heaven Hills. 
- This helpful guide from Buzzfeed with 17 British Slang Terms just helps us to understand our resident Brit, Stephen, a little bit better.
- Willamette Valley Wineries was featured in the L.A. Times for the upcoming Pinot in the City on September 11th. 

This weekend we will:

Be staying right here in the Tasting Room all weekend for tasters that will be celebrating the end summer with some Labor Day wine tours. Come visit us!


Time Posted: Aug 30, 2013 at 9:00 AM
Montinore Estate
August 29, 2013 | Montinore Estate

Whites on the Vine

It is easy for us at this time to get tunnel vision on our Pinot Noir grapes in the vineyard, they have such a fantastic change that they go through, and the deep purple pops right out of the vines. But with harvest rapidly approaching, we are reminded that some of the whites are the first fruit to be brought in. We thought it would be a great time to share with you what each of our four varietals are looking like today.


Time Posted: Aug 29, 2013 at 9:00 AM
Kristin Marchesi, General Manager

#Wine Wednesday - Sweet Riesling & Peach Clofuti

This dessert has been one that I found myself discovering and re-discovering over the years. It may be one of the most simple, versatile yet elegant desserts out there. You can make it any season with any kind of fruit. Tonight we will be using the abundance of fresh peaches from the Hale-Haven Peach tree in our backyard and pairing it with our Riesling Sweet Reserve, where the lovely acidity pairs nicely with the sugars from the baked peach. 

Tweet us @montinore to share how you are celebrating #winewednesday.

Hale-Haven Peach Clofuti

1 1/4 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
1 pound peaches, pitted and sliced
1/3 cup sugar
Powdered sugar

Preheat the over to 350 degrees.

In a blender, blend the milk, sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt and flour. Pour a 1/4 inch layer
of the batter in a buttered 7-8 cup lightly buttered baking dish. Place in the oven 
until a film of batter sets in the pan. 

Remove from the heat and spread the peaches over the batter. Sprinkle on the 
1/3 cup of sugar. Pour on the rest of the batter. Bake for about 45 minutes to 
an hour. The clafouti is done when puffed and brown and a knife plunged in the
center comes out clean. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, serve warm. 

Time Posted: Aug 28, 2013 at 9:00 AM
August 27, 2013 |

Tales from the Cellar - Breaking Down a Barrel

If you go down into our cellar you will see many notes on each of the barrels, I wanted to share with you a decoder to understanding each of the notations you would see. The barrel I picked we started working with in 2006 and has quite the history behind it. 

Time Posted: Aug 27, 2013 at 9:00 AM
Montinore Estate
August 26, 2013 | Montinore Estate

Müller Thurgau - Tasting Map

We were delighted to see our Müller-Thurgau featured in the latest issue of Wine Enthusiast as Assistant Editor, Joseph Hernandez's latest obsession - and it is about time that Müller gets its fair share of press. We are constantly impressed with what winemaker, Stephen Webber is able to produce from this grape, and believe that the 2012 is one of the best examples yet. 

We built this Tasting Map to give you a visual idea of how the 2012 Müller is currently tasting. 

Time Posted: Aug 26, 2013 at 9:00 AM
August 23, 2013 |

Weekly Wine-Up

1. @mowwyyrose enjoyed one of our whites this week after a long day. 
2. Excited that we are starting to get info for Oregon Wines Fly Free! September 10 - November 20, Alaska Airlines passengers will be able to check a case of wine for free & when you show your boarding pass, you will receive free tastings here and all the other participating wineries.
3. We are always happy when our friends stop by (in this case it was our broker, Dendor Wines) because it gives us an excuse to enjoy a long lunch full of special items from Rudy's garden.
4. Our Pinot Noir blocks have clusters that have almost completely changed.
5. @mvhedges0 said "Leftover panzenella magically transformed into pasta sauce by @christophehedges, Sarah and Deborah. Amazing with this 2012 Pinot Gris from the amazing#montinore family. I am a happy camper." And we are excited to hear from our other Northwest winery friends!
6. Rudy was happy to show a group of Japanese visitors our winery and vineyards. Always great to share more about biodynamics.


Here is some links we clicked this week:

- Woah. We knew that Oregon was the place to be, but this just proves it. France is coming to the Valley. Burgundy's Louis Jadot has just purchased a vineyard in the Valley. 
- We love Wine Country restaurants and I love kickstarter, so it makes me really excited to see Ruddick/Wood moving rapidly towards the end goal to be funded. I can't wait to stop at what will be the newest restaurant in Newberg. 
- Now that the team has actually recouped from the events of IPNC (International Pinot Noir Celebration) it is fun to look back at Portland Monthly's Slide Show of the weekend. 

This weekend we will:

Be pouring wine at Roth's in Salem today (Friday, August 23rd) at 2:00-5:00 - Stephen Webber, our winemaker, will be there. 

Also, we will be at the New Seasons on Hawthorne in Portland Saturday, August 24th at 3:00 pm. 


Time Posted: Aug 23, 2013 at 9:00 AM
Montinore Estate
August 22, 2013 | Montinore Estate

Willamette Valley is coming to LA!

The Willamette Valley is coming to Los Angeles this September! Pinot noir takes center stage at this tasting, but you'll also find other cool-climate whites like Chardonnay, Pinot gris, and Riesling that thrive in the Willamette Valley. A smattering of lesser-known varieties such as Pinot blanc and Viognier will also make an appearance.

Winemakers and owners present the wines, making this a one-of-a-kind opportunity to meet the faces behind the labels of 65 top Oregon wineries.

Your ticket is all-inclusive of wine, Pinot-friendly appetizers, and a logo glass with artwork by John Fisher. For more information about the event, go to Pinot in the City's Facebook page or here to purchase tickets

Time Posted: Aug 22, 2013 at 9:00 AM
Tasting Room
August 21, 2013 | Tasting Room

#WineWednesday - Almost Dry Riesling & Ginger Cod

One of my favorite, brainless meals is a number of versions of this parchment wrapped beauty. I find that through out the summer I keep adding extra heat to what ever I am cooking as an excuse to pair it with the Almost Dry Riesling, which I have chilled and eagerly waiting for me when I get home tonight.

Tweet us @montinore to share how you are celebrating #winewednesday.

Ginger Baked Cod with Bok Choy and Mushrooms

This version of the always delicious combination of white fish + bok choy + ginger + soy sauce comes via eat life whole. It is amazingly rich in flavor, quick to make and since each parchment is an individual serving, it is easy to accomodate to picky eaters. I usually add a chopped serrano pepper to the whole thing to add a nice bit of heat. 

Serves 1

1 4 oz piece of fish (flaky white fish work best - cod or halibut are great)
2 large bok choy stems and leaves
1/2 portobello mushroom
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted seasame oil
1 tablespoon cilantro, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon green onion, thinly sliced
Pinch of chili pepper flakes (optional)
Parchment paper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F

Take a large piece of parchment paper (about 20" long) and fold it in half. Using a pair of scissors, cut out a heart shape with the flat edge as the folded side.

Prepare the bok choy by cutting the leaves from the stem and thinly chopping the stem. Open the heart parchment pocket and layer the bok choy leaves first. Add the thinly chopped stems and sliced mushrooms. Sprinkle 1/2 the grated giner, 1/2 the soy sauce, 1/2 the sesame oil, and a small pinch of chili pepper flakes over the mushrooms. 

Add the piece of fish and top with the remaining ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil and chili pepper flakes. Top with cilantro and green onions.

Fold the top parchment paper flap over the stacked veggies and fish. From the top corner fold the edge over and crease with your fingernail. Continue to fold and crease all the way around until you have a sealed pocket. (Go here for a visual guide on how to properly wrap your parchment.)

Bake for 15 minutes on a rimmed cookie sheet (to chatch an juices). Once the pocket is done cooking, place on a plate and cut an "x" on the top to serve. 

Time Posted: Aug 21, 2013 at 9:00 AM
Rudy Marchesi, Owner & Winegrower

Developing the Land

Years ago when I bought my house near the winery I was attracted to the site, the eastern exposure and views and proximity to our vineyards. The house was great and there were a lot of amenities including an old grape arbor that I wanted to re-work.  It had collapsed but the old Concord and Niagara vines still clung to the remnants of the original arbor.  Being the good son of an Italian that I am, I soon rebuilt and expanded the arbor to include more grape varieties and of course a long table where I could share meals with family and friends.  

Tonight, years later, I was finishing the last bites of dinner and looking up at the grape clusters over my head. Each variety reflected the weather conditions of that short period of "bloom" aka, "fruit set" when the tiny grape flowers are pollinated and turn into individual grapes in mid to late June and has since evolved. If the weather is too rainy or windy or cloudy the flowers won't completely pollinate and the grapes clusters wont fill out with plump ripe grapes.  If it is mostly sunny, not too hot and generally nice for us humans, the grapes are happy too and the fruit set will be maximized producing full plump clusters of round ripe grapes.  

This year (2013) had mostly favorable conditions but there were short periods of storms and even hail in our area that interrupted fruit set in some varieties.  On my arbor the early Concord and Niagara vines had incomplete set resulting in sparse clusters due to cool weather early in the bloom period. Likewise, some of my later blooming varieties suffered due to high winds and hail during bloom resulting in clusters with less than normal grape berries/cluster. Our Pinot Noir and Gris were lucky enough to bloom in a window of good weather favorable to the pollination of each flower on the cluster resulting in full clusters of plump round berries.

Observing this variation reminded me of why we all are making wine here in Oregon.  The great wines of the world are made on the edge of their viticultural zones, especially the Pinot family. Contrary to folklore, the vines don't need to suffer, but they do need daily variations in temperature, the wider the better without being extreme. This only occurs on the edges of the viticultural zones for each variety. Oregon is that edge for Pinot, we are a cool region; in the summer our daily highs are in the 80s and night temps average in the 60s due to our Pacific coastal influence. Perfect! But... with this comes coastal storms at bloom and sometimes during harvest.

Isn't it a safer bet in a warmer climate? Yes, but we wouldn't find that perfect balance of daytime heat, nighttime cooling combined with exceptional soils anywhere else.  We are not here for guaranteed returns on our investments.  We are not here for a consistent predictable vintage.  We are here because we have the potential for greatness. Not just good wines, wines that people pull out of their cellars for their birthday, anniversary, or just that day when it's time to celebrate life.  These are the wines I want to make, this is what makes all the work and worry worth while.

Some years we fight with the birds and the weather to keep our grapes on the vine long enough to achieve that perfect ripeness.  Some years we can't make enough to meet demand. All of these challenges impact our lives and our livelihoods but when we know people will savor, contemplate, and even cherish the wines we make, it makes all the risks and efforts worth while. We may be living on the edge but this is where the view is the best!

Time Posted: Aug 20, 2013 at 9:00 AM
Montinore Estate
August 19, 2013 | Montinore Estate

Swan Song

Our newest single vineyard Pinot Noir that we released this past spring is dubbed Swan Song and is born of a dying vineyard. The vines in this block, which faces east from the highest section of our estate with views of the area’s three great volcanoes – St. Helens, Adams and Hood – are shrinking every year due to the scourge of phylloxera that laid waste to the great vineyards of Europe in the 1800s.

Phylloxera is a tiny, sap-sucking insect that feeds on roots and leaves of the grape vines and eventually causes an infection in the root stock causing the vines to eventually deteriorate and die. Oregon was once isolated from this pest, but it eventually came to the new world, forcing Oregon’s early vineyards to be replanted with resistant rootstock. With yields dwindling every year, we are seeing the last few vintages of this vineyard and, hence, its swan song.

Time Posted: Aug 19, 2013 at 9:00 AM