Samples of our first vintage 2016 Oregon Pinot Noir
We are thrilled to be invited to a wine tasting event in San Diego to present our first vintage 2016 Oregon Pinot Noir! Here is a glimpse of sample bottles, ready for take-off.
Three Feathers and their children will be presenting our 2016 Pinot Noir at a dinner for members and guests of the Theodore Roosevelt Association at the Hilton in Mission Valley, San Diego on Sunday, June 18.
Then, on June 19, we will be embarking on a day-long cruise aboard the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt.
Stay tuned for a full report and photos by our official photographer and Three Feathers partner, Elise Prudhomme.
Our Ford F-150 gets a lot of use during the growing season, but when it is idle, it is parked in a dry spot by our goat barn.
Last summer we noticed an odor inside the cab; a faint odor of manure. We checked our shoes, nothing. As the odor persisted we looked further, under and behind seats, in the engine… and found nothing.
This spring the smell was unbearable. We felt as if we were in a zoo with the elephants. We took the truck to a detail shop and it came back squeaky clean, but it still smelled. What was it?
In to the mechanic. A faint smirk on the attendants face. They knew! “Happens all the time”. They opened up the hood, took off the covers to the blower motor and the firewall and inside were two beady eyes looking out at them! Johnny Town Mouse had moved to the Country. He had found a great warm and dry spot to build his nest. And right next door was a terrific source of bedding – a goat barn. Thousand of uninterrupted trips back and forth with manure and he packed the spots for his nest. Then he called all of his relations and they moved in.
$800.00 later we had our truck back, clean and mouse free. The mechanics had to remove the dashboard, replace the filters and clean out all of the manure.
Now Johnny lives back in the City again. We still can smell a faint remembrance of mice past.
Let the Wealthy and Great
Roll in Splendor and State,
I envy them not, I declare it.
I eat my own Lamb
My own Chickens and Ham
I shear my own Fleece and I wear it.
I have Lawns, I have Bowers
I have Fruits, I have Flowers
The Lark is my morning alarmer,
So Jolly Boys now
Here’s God Speed the Plough
Long Life and success to the Farmer
The banner underneath reads:
Industry Produceth Wealth
The verse on this mug just about sums up the entire philosophy expressed in our website. Funny that Virginia found this mug 20 years ago in a local Antique Shop and gave it to Christine as a gift. This was years before we ever had a Vineyard.
Our tasting compared the four barrels against each other. Winemakers do this to ensure that none of the barrels are bad or “off” tasting before they are blended. One of the barrels was noticeably different. The simplest explanation was that the barrel manufacturer was different from the other three. Interesting that that would make a difference. The barrels were filled at different stages of the pressing- the first was free flowing juice, then the consequent barrels were filled as the grapes were pressed with increasing pressure so each barrel would have different characteristics from the amount of solids in the juice.
We go out frequently to see if the vines are coming to life. Today I could detect the tiniest little swelling on a new bud. We have had a record breaking winter of ice, snow, rain and mud with many slides in the valley. With the coming of spring it has warmed a bit and we have had some dry days but there is still a lot of water and the ground is not dry enough to do any work. The vines have been pruned so we’re all ready for the new season in the vineyard.
It is hard to believe that inside this almost imperceptible white bump is a miracle of foliage and fruit waiting to burst forth.
Recent genetic studies of grape varieties has identified Pinot Noir as one of the oldest grapes in the world. A small cluster variety, Pinot Noir has a reputation for being a finicky grape. It prefers cool nights and warm days. The wine is light in color and flavor and on the dry side compared to some other Red Wines. It’s flavor is subtle, not assertive.
The Willamette Valley, Oregon has the perfect conditions to grow Pinot. In 2016, we experienced a relatively dry and warm spring followed by a dry and warm summer. Perfect conditions for a great harvest. The only “damper” on this was an early start to our rainy season – just as we were starting harvest in mid-September! Everyone in the valley was doing a balancing act between getting picked with the proper amount of sugars (Brix) and picking before the rains came in earnest.
Three Feathers 2016 Pinot Noir was made in the Burgundian style with minimal manipulation so the character of the fruit is primary. The fruit was picked, sorted, and de-stemmed. After 21 days in the fermentation tanks it was gently pressed and barreled in four neutral oak barrels. The wine was left in the barrels for at least 10 months. The Reserve will be bottled after 16 months.
The wine is a ruby red color with an aroma of fruits and berries. It has low alcohol and acidity so the flavor is pleasant, mellow and bright.
A total of 100 cases were made.
Block 1, Pinot Noir #667, Brix 22, TA 3.1
Friends and Family gathered to pick our first grapes. We sent 12 tubs to the state-of-the-art wine making facility at Lady Hill Winery in St. Paul for a custom crush. We watched as the wine making team, Dan and Tony, escorted our grapes on the path to greatness!
The berries were weighed and measured, sorted, de-stemmed and put into vats to ferment. The grapes rested on their skins as they gave up their juices until October 7th. The first free juice was siphoned off into an oak barrel. Then the grapes were gently pressed and as the juices were released they were put into each subsequent barrels (four altogether) to age.
As we tasted the product we were surprised at the sweetness of the first juices at harvest. Then as the fermenting process began the juice became more like wine at every stage. The last tasting was done in November and the character of the wine was starting to show.
Bottling is schedule for July 1st, 2017. Fingers crossed.