Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Dundee Hills AVA - Oregon

Dundee Hills AVA

The Dundee Hills are approximately 30 miles to the southwest of Portland and 40 miles east of the Pacific Ocean. The first grapes in the Willamette Valley were planted in this area. The Dundee Hills AVA, established in 2005, remains the most densely planted locale in the valley and state. Within the 12,500 acres, more than 2,000 acres of grapes are planted in approximately 50 vineyards. The region is unique for its higher elevation, warmer nighttime temperatures, less low-elevation fog and frost, and lava-based Jory soil (Oregon’s State Soil). While best known for Pinot Noir, other varieties planted include Pinot Gris, White Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Meunier, Melon, Muscat Ottonel, and Muller Thurgau.

Stoller Family Estate

The Stoller Family Estate responded to our request for information and samples. The property spans 373 acres with approximately 190 under vine on elevations ranging from 220 to 640 feet. The vineyard is divided into 101 sections of seven varieties: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Tempranillo, Syrah and Pinot Blanc. Stoller wines are made exclusively from their estate vineyard.

It features North America’s first LEED® Gold certified winery and is a solar-generating, gravity-flow winery. The winery is both LIVE (Low Impact Viticulture and Enology) and Salmon Safe certified.

A few additional unique features include a 9-hole disc golf course and three guest homes available for rent.

Name: Melissa Burr
Title: Winemaker
What should people think of when they hear about your AVA?
  • The Dundee Hills is at the epicenter of the Willamette Valley – so many incredible wines are made in this appellation. Our AVA is known for being home to the state’s first Pinot Noir growers and its distinctive Jory soils, which produce elegant, red-fruited, violet and mineral toned wines.
  • More information can be found on the Dundee Hills AVA’s website.
How is your winery alike or different from others in the AVA?
  • Stoller Family Estate is the largest contiguous vineyard in the Dundee Hills with nearly 200 acres under vine across 373 property aces. 
  • With the 2013 vintage, we harvested 525 tons of grapes – 250 tons went into our estate wines, which translates to about 16,000 cases and the remaining 275 went to our vineyard clients who include Argyle, Chehalem and other noted producers.
  • Stoller is alike in that we have predominantly Jory soils and the typical aromatic flavor profiles for our wines.
  • We are different given our aforementioned size and fact that we are also an established grower in addition to being an estate producer. Additionally, we have a honed focus on conservation leadership. Our founder, Bill Stoller’s vision is to build a legacy for the industry and his family that will endure for many generations to come.
  • We are home to the largest privately held oak savannahs in the Willamette Valley; our nature preserve comprises 20% of the property. In 2006, Stoller was named as North America’s first LEED certified, receiving the gold designation. In 2012, we opened a state-of-the-art net zero energy tasting room: the building integrates environmental sustainability with high efficiency design and will harvest at least 100 percent of its energy with a 236-panel solar panel installation. A few notable design features include a green roof, skylights, salvaged timbers and an electric vehicle charging station.
What should people expect when visiting your winery?
  • In addition to valuing conservation, Stoller wants fans and guests to be able to enjoy the property. From the expansive tasting room with views of Mt. Hood and a large patio with Adirondack chairs, to a disc golf course and private park, we want people to relax while here. Those wishing to prolong their stays and explore the valley may stay in one of our three on-site guest homes available for rent year round. 
  • In short, we offer unparalleled hospitality.
Tasting room onsite? Hours or by appointment only?
  • Tasting room on site open daily from 11 am to 5 pm. Appointments encouraged for groups of eight or more people so that we may best host them.
Other comments:
  • In 2012, Stoller was named a Wine Spectator “Vineyard to Watch” and a Wine & Spirits Magazine “Top 100 Winery in the US.” We encourage your readers to join us.
Tasting Notes:
Stoller Family Estate 2011 Pinot Noir

2011 Pinot Noir

6,412 cases produced, estate fruit; approximately 10½ months in oak barrels; beautiful light and bright ruby red color; violet, cherry, and red berry aromas; raspberry, rhubarb, sassafras, subtle tobacco or earth flavors; medium mouthfeel with a nice balance between acidity and tannins; screw top closure; 12.7% ABV; SRP $25.

Stoller Family Estate 2010 Reserve Pinot Noir

2010 Reserve Pinot Noir

3,290 cases produced, estate fruit; aged for 10 months 60% new French oak; ruby tending to garnet in color; rose petal, oregano, and cherry aromas; mushroom, plum, green tea, with cinammon and vanilla flavors; into a cedary finish; full bodied with a satin mouthfeel;  cork closure; 13.5% ABV; SRP $45.
Thanks to Stoller Family Estate for giving us their time and samples of wine - more information about this producer can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Disclaimer: These wines were provided for review purposes.

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