Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher’s “Tastings” column in Wall Street Journal today mentioned Steven Westby’s Elemental Cellars and his Melon white wine!
Steven Westby is winemaker at Witness Tree Vineyard, and his personal “side project” is his own label, Elemental Cellars. He makes Viognier, Melon, Pinot gris, and a really nice Syrah. Very few people know about the wines, and the mention in WSJ is well deserved. His wines are remarkably well made and well priced. We’ve sent several of them to the Avalon Wine Clubs over the years.
Dorothy and John said: “A couple of years ago, we had a good one from a winery called Elemental Cellars in Oregon. At that time, the winemaker, Steven Westby, told us, “We call it our ‘Lucy and Ricky wine’ because there’s so much ’splaining to do” with the name. As it happens, Mr. Westby stopped making the wine after 2006. How come? It was difficult to sell.
“To be brutally honest, that was the hardest part,” Mr. Westby told us. “It was a really hard sell. My real job is winemaker and vineyard manager at Witness Tree. Elemental Cellars is a side project with my wife. Basically, with my job there were more and more responsibilities, we’ve got three kids and something had to give. The Melon—my Lucy and Ricky wine—I let it go.”
“Four other wineries make wine from the Melon vineyard Mr. Westby used. As always, whenever you see an unusual varietal in the store, grab it because it likely reflects the winemaker’s personality and passion in a very special way.” – WSJ, 7-11-09