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Why Oregon Wine Producers Are Seeing Pink

You probably know Oregon for its world-class Pinot Noir wines, which attract many a Burgundy drinker (and a few producers from there, too). But as of late, the state also has stepped onto the stage with a lighter version of the grape, producing multidimensional rosés that deliver both freshness and complexity.

“Oregon Pinot Noir is an exceptional candidate for rosé [as it] lends itself incredibly well to a subtle but lively fruit characteristic [and] vibrant lighter red-berry aromas,” says Vince Vidrine, winemaker at Irvine & Roberts Vineyard in Ashland. He recognized its other dimension, adding the grape has “a tendency to contribute fascinating savory and earthy notes.”

The first Pinot Noir was planted in Willamette Valley in 1965; today with nine sub appellations and 23,525 planted acres, it is the largest of the state’s AVAs. It remains a stalwart mainstay of winemaking.

“Oregon’s Willamette Valley produces some of the world’s best Pinot Noirs. It was a natural progression to produce a Pinot Noir rosé that would be equally regarded,” says Melissa Burr, vice president of winemaking at Stoller Family Estate in the Dundee Hills American Viticultural Area (AVA), a subregion of the valley.

Sokol Blosser Pinot Noir rosé 2020, Dundee Hills. Grapefruit goodness and tart currant. Fresh and refreshing! Snappy, fun and flowerful (a word made up just to describe this wine!) without being flowery or fluffy. Super zippy—did I say that already?

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