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Montinore Pinot Gris 2012
Montinore Estate is the largest producer of certified estate wines made from Biodynamic® grapes in the country. With our 200-acre Demeter CertifiedBiodynamic® and Stellar Certified Organic vineyard located in north Willamette Valley in Oregon, we focus on producing superior Pinot Noirs, cool climate whites, and fascinating Italian varietals. Our namesake, 200-acre vineyard was planted in 1982 at the northern end of the Willamette Valley appellation and along the east-facing slope of the Coastal Range foothills in Oregon. In addition to the estate being Demeter Certified Biodynamic® and Stellar Certified Organic, we use dry farming and sustainable growing practices. Partner and Chief Viticulturist, Rudy Marchesi, side-by-side with Head Winemaker Stephen Webber, work closely to shepherd the grapes through the evolution from fruit to wine. From harvest dates to fermentation vessels and temperatures, from cultivating our own yeasts to selecting the perfect barrels for aging, each decision is thoughtfully made with one end goal in mind: To craft wines that reflect the place where the grapes are grown, offering freshness, liveliness and complexity, while showcasing the best characteristics of each variety.
One of Pinot Noir’s most successful New World outposts, the Willamette Valley is the largest and most important AVA in Oregon. With a Mediterranean climate moderated by a Pacific Ocean influence, it is perfect for cool-climate viticulture—warm and dry summers allow for steady, even ripening, and frost is rarely a risk during spring and winter.
Mountain ranges bordering three sides of the valley, particularly the Chehalem Mountains, provide the option for higher-elevation, cooler vineyard sites. The three prominent soil types here create significant differences in wine styles between vineyards and sub-AVAs. The iron-rich, basalt-based Jory volcanic soils found commonly in the Dundee Hills are rich in clay and hold water well; the chalky, sedimentary soils of Ribbon Ridge, Yamhill-Carlton and McMinnville encourage complex root systems as vines struggle to search for water and minerals. Silty, loess soils are found in the Chehalem Mountains.
Showing a unique rosy, purplish hue upon full ripeness, this “white” variety is actually born out of a mutation of Pinot noir. The grape boasts two versions of its name, as well as two generally distinct styles. In Italy, Pinot grigio achieves most success in the mountainous regions of Trentino and Alto Adige as well as in the neighboring Friuli—all in Italy’s northeast. France's Alsace and Oregon's Willamette Valley produce some of the world's most well-regarded Pinot gris wine. California produces both styles with success.
In the Glass
Pinot Gris is naturally low in acidity but full ripeness is necessary to achieve and showcase its signature flavors and aromas of stone fruit, citrus, honeysuckle, pear and almond. Alsatian styles are aromatic (think rose and honey), richly textured and sometimes relatively higher in alcohol compared to its Italian counterparts. As Pinot Grigio in Italy, the style is often much lighter, charming and fruit driven.
The viscosity of a typical Alsatian Pinot Gris allows it to fit in harmoniously with the region's rich foods like pork, charcuterie and foie gras. Pinot Grigio, on the other hand, with its lean, crisp, citrusy freshness, works well as an aperitif wine or with seafood and subtle chicken dishes.
Given the color of its berries and aromatic and characterful potential if cared for as it is allowed to fully ripen, the Pinot grigio variety is actually one that is commonly used to make "orange wines." An orange wine is a white wine made in the red wine method, i.e. with fermentation on its skins. This process leads to a wine with more ephemeral aromas, complexity on the palate and a pleasant, light orange hue.