of Terroirs for Pinot noirs" "Gary Andrus takes Pinot round the New World-
Oregon, California, New Zealand"
by Jean Yates
As Gary Andrus's new wineries release their first
wines in 2003 and 2004, they'll offer a veritable New World tour of
Estate vineyards in Oregon,
and New Zealand will provide three
opportunities to explore the myriad expressions and forms that
Pinot noir can exhibit in the hands of an expert winemaker.
Andrus, founder of Archery Summit in Oregon, and
Pine Ridge Winery in the Napa Valley,
returned to Oregon last year to start
Gypsy Dancer Estates, a small "Mom and Pop" winery
in Oregon's Willamette Valley. From this Oregon winery he has now
Pinot noir called "Preview"($34/31.60) and
Christine Lorraine Pinot gris Estate $17.00/15.30,
made with a dollop of Chardonnay, reminiscent of
his "Vireton", a wine he made for Archery Summit. A second
Pinot noir, "Yamhill" will be released
early next year.
Gary also made Pinot noir from his vineyard in the Red Hills
in California, and from his Christine Lorraine winery
in New Zealand. The wines will be released in 2004, completing the
trio of terroirs.
Preview of the 2003 Wines
Gary confers with Assistant Winemaker Marie ----
the 2003's in barrel with Gary in November of 2003, it is obvious that
he has something special on his hands.
The wines, made from Estate and purchased fruit, are typical of Gary's
winemaking style: rich, complex,
balanced Pinot noirs, even this early in the aging cycle. His Estate
Pinot noir 03 showed sumptuous rich toast and black fruit in nose
and flavor, with a complexity to the finish that was remarkable, given
the youth of the wine. He
made some Pinot noir from Stoller Vineyard fruit, and the wine showed
the "Blue" fruit and big tannins the vineyard
is known for. A blend of the Estate and Stoller
showed Gary's genius for blending- the wine really drew out the best
of both vineyards,
with remarkable rose and violet notes in the remarkably complete
The 2003 California
Pinot noir, trucked up
to Oregon for the winemaking, showed good acidity and an unfolding
palate of black and red fruit flavors, notes of spice and flowers,
and a long long, delightfully everchanging finish with hints of
pepper, roses, cedar, smoke, and rounded fruit. It has the hallmarks
of an exceptional wine.
Fermenting in Wood
the impressively organized and scruptuously clean winemaking facility
at Gypsy Dancer Estates, Gary uses two huge
wooden fermenters for processing his Pinot noir. Fermenting
in wood, rather than in the plastic or steel containers used by
most wineries, is expensive and, according
to winemakers I consulted with, tricky.
Fermenting in wood certainly
paid off for Gary at Archery Summit, where he produced some of
the highest rated Oregon wines ever. Fermenting in wood seems to
add depth and weight to the wines, and perhaps even adds complexity.
Gary's former winemaker, Sam Tannahill, continues the
practive of fermenting in wood for some of the 2002 Shea wines
he produced for Shea Vineyards, and might use wooden
some of his Francis Tannahill wines.
In addition to the wooden fermenters, Gary
has designed stainless steel fermenters with special screens for
seeds ( in photo at left). The tanks
are built with hollow sides
that allow the fermenting wine to be heated or cooled with
About Gypsy Dancer Estates
In the summer of 2002, Gary Andrus purchased
Lion Valley Vineyards, in Cornelius, OR at an undisclosed sum;
listed with a value of $1.75
million. The winery is located southwest of Portland, near Hillsboro,
on 40 acres. He has renamed the winery Gypsy Dancer Estates. The
pioneer winemaker and his wife Christine moved into the new home
last year, along with then 10-week-old baby
daughter Gypsy, known as "Gigi".
"We're excited to be back in Oregon
Andrus. "We wanted to move back, but
not to start a winery. However, when I started looking around, and
discovered the Lion Valley site, I knew this was exactly what we wanted.
"I missed having a hands-on site," he added. "Yeah,
it's like starting a Mom and Pop operation all over again."
said he was impressed with the Lion Valley soil and the vineyard
"The wine I produce will be similar to what I've made in the past,
because that's what I do," said Andrus. "It'll take me a few
years to fine tune this vineyard, so there will be some differences."
Of the 40 acres, nine were planted in 2002, and Andrus added another
eight or nine in the summer of 2003.
Part of his return to Oregon was to be near
his daughter Danielle Andrus Montilieu and his granddaughter
Solena. Danielle and her husband, former Willakenzie winemaker Laurent
Montilieu created their own winery, Solena, in 2001.
Gypsy (Gigi) and Christine, 11/18/03
Gary's New Zealand Winery, Christine Lorraine
Two years ago, Andrus
announced he and his wife were moving to New Zealand to craft Pinot
Noir on several pieces of property in Central
Otago. He was determined to create great Pinot Noir with the New Zealand
soils, and improve trellising methods. By selecting the right Pinot
Noir clones and rootstock, Andrus said he would create premium
wine and increase
the price point for winemakers.
Gary founded Christine Lorraine Estates
in the Central Otago Region of New Zealand, with three vineyard sites,
the 11 acre "Colleen Vineyard", a 21 acre site near
and a 10 acre plot in the Kawarau Gorge. The vineyards are near
the towns of Gibbston and Cromwell.
Gary, Christine and Gigi live in Oregon six
months of the year, and New Zealand the other six.
New Zealand wines will be available in the United States beginning
Gary's California Pinot noir
Gary still owns vineyard property in Carneros,
CA., which produced Chardonnay. He has grafted the vines over to
Pinot noir and made a small amount of wine from the property in 2003,
with more to come in future vintages. There are no plans for a winery