Meza Travels: Willamette Valley - Highlight on Chehalem Winery

For those of you who have been following along on Instagram, Jason and I had the opportunity for a short but much needed getaway to Oregon Wine Country! It has been on our list for a while and we finally decided to make it happen. We have been to Napa/Sonoma before and we just love Sonoma, but Oregon  has earned a special place in our hearts! Such nice and friendly people and a very laid back, non pretentious approach to wine. In fact I can't think of one stop we made where we felt any sort of pretense ( which can happen in the wine world). 

We were able to stay at the lovely guest house at Chehalem ( a comfy and breezy craftsman style house where vineyard interns stay during harvest), and had an awesome experience with their wines. We met with Jon Foster, from the Chehalem team, for a tasting and tour of the winery, and got to walk through and explore the vineyard ourselves. We briefly got to meet owner Harry Peterson -Nedry and his daughter Wynn Peterson - Nedry  who is now the wine maker - both nothing but friendly and gracious. 

First and foremost, one of the most impressive things about the winery was its commitment to sustainability. Chehalem is LIVE Certified ( Low Imput Viticulture and Eonology) and a participant in Carbon Neutral Challenge. You will find solar panels in the vineyard that provides some degree of their power. All weed control is done by hand - no chemicals. You can tell from looking at the site that the vines are growing in a very healthy, thriving environment. I think you cannot help but feel good about what you are consuming when it's made in this manner. I am always a little perplexed when people spend so much time thinking about eating fresh, organic food but don't think of the wine they consume in the same manner. 

On to the wines themselves! We have for quite some time stocked the Chehalem Three Vineyard Pinot Noir - their largest distributed Pinot. We were able to taste some of their gorgeous white wines as well, from their Coral Creek Vineyard Riesling that was juicy and crisp and mineral driven to their Ridgecrest Vineyard Gruner Veltliner that had a freshness and brightness to it but was also a slightly more complex, richer style than some Gruners.  The Pinot Gris also stood out due to its richer, Alsatian style.

Fruit is sourced from three vineyard sites - Coral Creek vineyard which surrounds the winery (what is pictured here).  Stoller Vineyard featured Jory Soil ( a term we heard often in this area), a red volcanic soil that lends itself to Pinot Noir that has both a balance of fruit and earthiness. Finally Ridgecrest Vineyard, known for producing richer, briary style of Pinot Noir  due to its silt and sandstone soils is the last of the three vineyards utilized. 

We loved our experience and the wines of Chehalem, and loved the laid back, friendly, and inviting nature of the people we met. Always makes me feel like I am at home or at Meza when I talk to people from a winery and they really have a team and family focus and mentality. 

Look for more offerings from Chehalem to be hitting the shelves at Meza soon! Stay tuned for our recap of other wineries we visited and our tips on exploring the Willamette Valley!

Cheers!

Tatjana

September's Varietal Feature: Pinot Noir

The weather is literally in that zone of perfection the last few weeks. Warm days and cooler evenings make us want to drink wine! (than again what doesn't)

This month on our feature table we are showcasing Pinot Noir. Seems like the perfect transition to fall weather. Pinot Noir can be a very alluring varietal. They can be intensly aromatic (think cherry, cranberry, and baking spices) and on the palate there can be the flavors ranging from red fruit to cherry pie to mushrooms and earth. So many variances and so many interesting and alluring smells and tastes and they all sort of remind me of fall.

Here are several of our favorite Pinots at the moment - if you stop by the shop be sure to check out our newest offerings and the two Pinots we have currently available by the glass from Allamand and Scott Family.

JK Carrier Provacateur Pinot Noir - This is by far my favorite Pinot in the shop. Cherry, blueberry and soft vanilla nuances on the palate lead into a super silky finish. ($30)

Stoller Pinot Noir - This wine definitely screams fall to me. I love the hints of cinnamon and spice that accent the fruity palate. ($25)

Allamand Pinot Noir - We love wines from this Argentine producer and found this super affordable Pinot to be really soft and pretty but also a bit earthy.  ($17)

Whatever is in your glass, we hope you are enjoying it! See you at the shop.

Cheers!

Tatjana