Phelps Creek Wines Cuvee Alexandrine 2014
Phelps Creek first planted their oldest vines of Pinot Noir in 1990, adding a block of Dijon clone Chardonnay two years later. Over the years they have expanded the vineyards and now nurture 34 acres (25 Acres of Pinot Noir, 4.5 acres of Chardonnay and 1/2 acre of Pinot Gris). In addition to the estate fruit, they experiment with growing "alternative whites" just across the Columbia River on Underwood Mountain.
Phelps Creek is a tributary of the Columbia River. The creek source is a lake between their vineyard and Mt. Defiance, running a path just below our vineyards. Ours is the first private property along its route. Along the way several natural springs feed the flow. The stream terminates as Wah Gwin Gwin Falls, situated on the backside of the historic Columbia Gorge Hotel. Phelps himself was a Cooper, building barrels using a small mill along the lower portion of the creek. The Oregon Geographical Names mentions Phelp's involvement in a tragic rafting accident on the Columbia and the creek is named in his memory.
While the Willamette Valley and Pinot Noir are a like a fairy tale match made in heaven, most of Oregon is in fact, a glorious source of Pinot noir. Claiming over half of its total area under vine, Pinot noir also thrives in Southern Oregon’s Umpqua and Rogue Valleys where sedimentary and volcanic soils dominate hillside vineyards and cool temperatures create the perfect environment for Pinot noir. Also, Oregon’s Columbia Gorge is becoming increasingly popular for Pinot noir production. What sets Oregon Pinot noir apart from the Pinot of other regions, both New and Old World, is its innate combination of grace with both power and restraint.