Oregon wine is in the news and the ongoing harvest is receiving attention in the press. It’s looking a lot like the weather we had for the 2008 vintage. This week it’s glorious blue skies, cool nights, and some nail-biting, but trucks full of grapes are rumbling down the road outside my house (there’s four vineyards nearby) and the weather is perfect – and gorgeous. A small crop plus sunny days and cool nights makes the best Pinot grapes.
“Oregon produces about 2 million cases of wine each year, mostly Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. It had highly rated vintages in 1999 and 2008, and this season’s temperatures are similar, said Sam Tannahill, 41, a winemaker and interim director of the Oregon Wine Board.”
But while the grapes hold the promise of fine wine, they still must be brought in. Some Oregon growers were just beginning to pick grapes last week, increasing the risk they’ll run into a frost.
“Every year I’m reminded that I’m just a farmer. I might produce a fancy product, but I’m still just a farmer dealing with soil and weather and vines,” Tannahill said.
He added: “There’s a lot that can happen in three weeks.”
At right above, Sam, Cheryl, and family, at IPNC 2004 -
they were celebrating their then new winery, Francis Tannahill