The 2007 A to Z Oregon Chardonnay opens with mouth-watering aromatics of mineral, lime blossom, wet stone, honey, tangerine and guava. Under further examination, this wine reveals Granny Smith apple, brioche and white currant. This classic, steely, Oregon Chardonnay exhibits good structure and complexity and a great balance between acid and richness. The finish is long, clean, crisp and juicy with lingering mineral and citrus notes.
A to Z Winery
A to Z Wineworks is Oregon's top-selling wine brand, consistently honored for delicious, food-friendly wines which offer superior value. Founded in 2002 by two wine industry couples, the Hatchers and the Francis Tannahills, the brand has steadily grown from the first vintage of 2,600 cases of Pinot Noir.
A to Z has worked with more than 100 vineyards across the state, maintaining diverse sourcing both to mitigate regional vintage variations and to add complexity and depth to each cuvee. With a team of four winemakers and two viticulturists, A to Z possesses more Oregon winemaking experience than any other winery, and has twice had its Pinot Noir recognized on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list. In 2014, A to Z became a certified B Corporation, having demonstrated deep commitment to social and environmental sustainability, and was recognized as being a Best for the World B Corp two years in a row.
A to Z remains true to the dual mission of offering Aristocratic Wines at Democratic Prices, blending one cuvee each vintage of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay Pinot Gris, Riesling and Rose that deliver the Essence of Oregon.
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Like many other states, Oregon itself is an AVA of note. An Oregon wine can simply state "Oregon" as its place of origin, which typically means the grapes came from multiple smaller AVAs within the state.
Beyond the main AVAs of Oregon, like Willamette Valley, Rogue and Umpqua, smaller regions are gaining ground. Some you may see on the label include:
Walla Walla Valley AVA
– these are most often associated with Washington State, but technically they run over the state lines into Oregon. Most wineries only use a small fraction of grapes from the Oregon side in order to maintain a Washington State wine, but you may see some Oregon producers sourcing grapes from those small overlapping AVAs.
Southern Oregon AVA
– encompassing the Rogue and Umpqua Valleys, this AVA is a large area where many producers are experimenting with Syrah.
Oregon has long been an agricultural state, producing everything from hazelnuts to cattle. The Willamette Valley in particular is a fertile basin for all sorts of produce. Not quite pegged as a wine state, in 1965, a UC Davis graduate named David Lett decided that the Willamette's climate mirrored that of Burgundy in France. With that in mind, he decided to plant some Pinot Noir clones to see how they did. And a good gamble it was. The Willamette is now one of the only regions in the world to focus solely on Pinot Noir as its red variety. Also known for Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. The southern part of Oregon has been slower in delving into the world wine market, but has been making excellent strides with their Rhone style varietals, like Syrah and Grenache. There are also coastal regions producing promising wines.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.