Keeping up the Oregon wine producing tradition
At Three Feathers, our goal is to perpetuate the Oregon tradition of locally owned and operated vineyards and handcrafted wines for which our region Internationally known.
The success of Oregon Pinot Noir has made us the envy of many other larger wine producing regions who are now trying to muscle in, buying thousands of acres of Oregon Vineyards. Mass producers, frequently owned and sometimes operated out of State, where production laws for Pinot Noir are looser, are motivated by different things than smaller locally owned producers.
Their target is the mass market and the result is that prices are going down and the cost of land is going up. There have been instances where wine promoted and sold as “Oregon” wine was not produced in Oregon. In certain states production rules are not as strict as in Oregon. California legislation, for example, allows Pinot Noir wines to be blended with up to 25% of other varietals without naming them on the bottle.
Our response to this is to appeal to the true Pinot lover who understands the value of what we produce, who does not want to buy their wine in a can and who appreciates that the real way to buy quality wine is to get it from the source; directly from the Vineyard.
Why is that important? As in the traditional wine making that has existed for thousands of years, the quality of the wine depends a lot on the location of the vineyard, the soils, the climatic variations from season to season. That’s what makes every year, every vintage, different.
For a wine that is drunk every day, a table wine, you want consistency and value. A mass produced wine which is blended in large quantities from many different sources can produce an inexpensive option. In a small vineyard/winery setting, this is hard to achieve.
However, in the process of creating “sameness” the wine loses its individual characteristics. Wines like ours are unique to our vineyard and reflect all the fascinating elements that make a great taste experience. Taste and aroma are affected by seasonal temperatures, rain and the length of the season, the particular Pinot Noir clone grown, when the grape was picked, early or late. Then the winemaker adds his talents by choosing the yeast, time on the skins and the aging process in new oak, neutral oak, or stainless. The variables are endless.
People who appreciate these subtleties are our customers. The only thing we don’t do anymore is squish the grapes with our feet!