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Ovum Wines

Ovum Wines

Ksenija Kostic and husband John House, the owners and winemakers of Ovum Wines, left their successful winemaking jobs at Chehalem Winery in 2011 to follow their Riesling dreams.

Talented Oregonians with new wineries often throw off the shackles of large winery "production-style" winemaking to handcraft a small amount of wine that expresses their own unique take on their grape of choice. Ovum shares the handcrafted approach, but with a difference: the grape Ksenija and John adore isn't Oregon's standard bearer Pinot noir. Riesling is their signature wine.

And not just any Riesling. In a state where most Riesling vines were pulled up or grafted over to Pinot gris in the 1990's, Ksenija and John traveled the backroads of Oregon looking for the telltale signs of vineyards - trellising in a weedy field, a pile of wooden harvest boxes, or an old sign for a vineyard they'd never heard of. They hit the motherlode with the site they call Cedar Ranch Vineyard.

On the border between Oregon and California, Cedar Ranch is down a gravel road from a gravel road from the middle of nowhere. And the soils and climate are near duplicates of the soil and climate of the Rhone valley. The soil contains the "galets" found almost exclusively in the Rhone, a mix of silt and round river rocks. From this tiny site they made 71 cases of their 2011 "Off the Grid" Riesling, an extraordinary, not to be missed wine.


Ovum Wines Memorista Riesling 2014

So mouthwatering I'm drooling just thinking about it. The first thing I wrote is “wow, this is just fantastic.” Racy acid...



$25.95 Regular

Ovum Wines Off the Grid Riesling 2013

So mouthwatering I'm drooling just thinking about it. Racy acidity mingles with a touch of natural sweetness. Think the s...



$23.95 Regular

More About Ovum Wines

Ovum's wines will eventually be fermented in egg-shaped fermenters. While the vote is still out on whether egg-shaped wine fermenters channel the energy of the universe, the tank shape has taken off, first in California and now here in Oregon. Rex Hill, A to Z, Archery Summit, and Illahe are just a few of the wineries either using or planning to use them.

Egg-shaped fermenters derive from the ancient wine vessels of Greece – clay amphorae buried in the ground. The shape was revived by French winemaker Michel Chapoutier, a pioneering advocate of biodynamic vineyard management. He promoted the egg shape as having a special power to focus a celestial energy vortex.

Today you can find cement and wooden eggs made by commercial cooperages, with most wineries using the concrete design. The concrete surface is porous and is believed to add more complexity to the wine than stainless steel fermentation. While stainless might be ideal for a lean style, the concrete adds a bit of roundness and textural depth to a wine.

Recently a wooden, egg-shaped fermenter became commercially available. With it, winemakers who swear by wooden cask fermentation will be able to use the biodynamic-recommended egg shape as well.

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