After being in the house for 5 weeks with 5 kids, cabin fever is definitely settling in, as well as a little bit of homesickness. I think that during difficult times we often think about places, people and things that bring us comfort and joy. Despite my affection for London, my adopted hometown, I just can’t shake my love of all things Oregon related. As a 4th generation Oregonian, I long for the incredible views of majestic Mt Hood, valleys filled with endless bounty and beauty, glorious sunsets and the most ruggedly beautiful coastline in the world. So, last night I pulled out a bottle of Gran Moraine’s 2016 Chardonnay and began to reminisce.
2016 has been declared a great vintage in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, despite an early bud break due to an abnormally warm spring. These above average temperatures led to a shorter period between flowering and fruit set, which in turn led to lower yields and smaller individual berries. Despite an explosive start to the vintage, the summer heat was rather intermittent, as spells of rain and cooler temperatures kept things in check. Harvest proved to be the earliest on record in 40 years, with most vineyards harvesting in early September. Despite the anomalies of the 2016 vintage, the fruit proved to be beautifully ripened, full of concentrated flavours and desirable complexities that any winemaker would cherish and create a truly amazing wine!
I clearly remember the 2016 season because I was lucky enough to have been giving vineyard tours at Evening Land’s Seven Springs Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA that year. The summer was warm, yet filled with its fair share of rainy spells. I remember guiding guests through the vineyard under umbrellas with wine glasses in hand. I loved that summer because it was my first experience of being in a vineyard and learning the ropes of a demandingly complex, yet rewarding industry. I remember one afternoon while waiting for guests to arrive where I simply took in the beauty of the terroir. Fortunately, I was able to capture this in the photo below…such breathtaking natural beauty. No wonder I’ve been homesick!!
Well, I have to say, if you’re able to splurge on a great bottle of Oregon Chardonnay…Gran Moraine’s won’t disappoint. Aromas of peach and apricot compliment an expressive, yet balanced acidity that’s filled with lime and stone fruit flavours followed by a lengthy finish. This bottle brought back memories and I highly recommend it!