Another new release from Forest Edge Vineyard means another release party! Join us Labor Day weekend for our 2015 Pinot Noir Release Party. New wines to taste, enjoy sharing with other tasters, snacks and deals on wine. If you miss the party, the 2015 Pinot Noir will be available at our farmers markets starting this week. Moreland Market on Wednesdays 2-7, Molalla Market on Thursdays 3-7 and Oregon City Saturdays 9-2.
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Notes From the Edge
We were interested in Minimal Pruning as a technique for managing grapes because it promised to reduce labor time and costs without reducing quality or yield. We initially trained an acre of our Chardonnay to the Smart-Dyson Double Curtain VSP system and trained the remaining acres to a Minimal Prune system. We purchased a tractor-mounted hedger (manufactured locally by RES Equipment) to “prune” the Minimal Prune acres and managed the Smart-Dyson system in the traditional way. Dormant pruning the SD acre took a week and shoot positioning, moving catch-wires, canopy separation, shoot thinning, leaf pulling, etc and took much more time during the growing season. In the MP acres, we use the hedger for dormant pruning, shoot thinning, leaf removal, and cluster thinning. After 10 years of working with both systems, we saw no difference in quality, yield or disease pressure. The only difference was in labor time and cost. The MP system was “minimal” in terms of labor. We decided to convert the SD acre to MP at that point and now manage the whole vineyard using the Minimal Prune system. The MP system lets the vines reach their own balance of vigor and fruitfulness. The permanent woody structure allows for more carbohydrate storage during the winter and gives the vines a boost when they come out of dormancy. The MP system produces more and smaller clusters with smaller berries which increases the skin to juice ratio. That higher ratio lets the varietal character and complexity come through in the finished wines. We’ve been very happy with our decision and the vines seem to agree!
Harvest 2017 is finished and we are deep into making the extraordinary everyday wine that you all love. We picked and processed 7 tons of grapes in 3 weeks!
Leon Millot- 2403 lbs
Chardonnay- 10,094 lbs
Pinot Noir- 3431 lbs
We are doing a “harvest series” of videos. They document various processes of the harvest season at the vineyard. They are available for viewing on our FaceBook Page and through our new YouTube channel. Share them with friends and follow us for more videos to come!
Solar Eclipse Weekend is almost here! Forest Edge Vineyard is not quite in zone of totality, only 99.97. We are open for tasting before and after the event. The Tasting Room will be open Friday, Aug 18 12-5 and Monday, Aug 21 12-5, in addition to our regular Saturday & Sunday hours. For more activities download your Eclipse Passport from http://www.mthoodterritory.com/solareclipse
Do you have family and friends visiting? Looking for something to do? Take them wine tasting to a local winery. Our Tasting Room is open Sat & Sun 12-5. We are also available other times by appointment. Currently we are tasting 2012 & 2014 Chardonnay, 2014 Pinot Noir, 2014 Leon Millot, 2014 Sucre Chardonnay and 2013 Forest Glow. Come enjoy some wine with us!
We attended a tasting seminar that featured Oregon Chardonnay. The seminar was MC’d by local wine writer Katherine Cole. She posited the suggestion that as we tasted, we might think about Correlation and Causality. I was particularly intrigued by her Correlation/Causality suggestion. I’m not sure it was directly addressed and she didn’t have time to expand on the notion. But I’ve been puzzling on it since then. I think what we’re dealing with is Terroir.
Tasting through the wines and listening to the winemakers talk about their various processes I would have to agree with a wine writer from San Francisco. He said while there were differences there was a greater stylistic similarity. If we limit our definition of Terroir to the physical environment of the vine—soil type, slope, microclimate, etc. we could correlate the differences in Terroir to the differences in the wines. But how to explain the stylistic similarity? What causes that?
Maybe we need a broader definition of Terroir. One of the best definitions of Terroir I’ve run across is from Stefano Poni. He says, “Terroir is the ecology of a wine. The total, interrelated environment wherein a grapevine is cultivated for the purpose of making wine. Key factors include, but are not limited to, cultivar, soil, climate, vineyard location, planting density, training system, pruning philosophy and cultural and social milieu wherein the whole enterprise takes place.” Poni’s definition lets us correlate both the differences and the similarities in the Chardonnays we tasted. Cultivar, soil, vineyard location, etc. can account for the differences and some of the similarities in the various wines. But I think it’s the cultural and social mileu within which the winemaking takes place that explains the greater stylistic similarity in the wines. I would argue that it’s the spirit of sharing, cooperation and mentoring that still takes place here in the Oregon wine industry that causes the stylistic similarity.
We’ve been growing Chardonnay for 25 plus years and making wine for nearly as long. I think our Chardonnay shares the stylistic similarity we tasted in the presented wines–an Oregon-style Chardonnay. Though as with all the growers and winemakers we have our differences, it was that similarity that led me to meditate on Cole’s Correlation/Causality notion. I think Terroir, as defined by Stefano Poni, is what correlates cause and effect. Try some Oregon Chardonnay and see if you agree.