50 shades of gris

Thursday, August 08, 2013

For the past three years, I’ve been a featured speaker at the Oregon Pinot Gris Symposium, organized by Jo and Jose Diaz, and hosted by Greg Lint at Oak Knoll. This event has generated some excellent technical and marketing discussions, but until now, nothing to directly impact or inspire consumers.

Next weekend that will change. Taking my original proposal, for a designated Pinot Gris weekend shared by as many tasting rooms as wanted to participate, the members and guests at the Symposium have decided to fête the grape with two days of special events. I had hoped to call it 50 Shades of Gris, but cooler heads prevailed and it is being advertised under the title “Oregon, Get Your Gris On!”

Quite a fine lineup of wineries will be participating, with events spread over both Saturday and Sunday, August 17th and 18th. Though no ticket is required, it is always a good idea to call ahead to make certain of the hours for any specific tasting room you plan to visit.

In the newest (September) issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine, I have written a feature on Oregon Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. Here are the participating wineries, and their notes regarding their plans for the weekend:

Airlie Winery ~ Will be pouring the 2009, 2010 and 2011 PGs as a vertical. Winemaker Elizabeth Clark will be at the winery for questions. She is not usually there, so this is a real treat.

A Blooming Hill ~ Our next Wine Club party is the 18th and our 2012 Pinot Gris is one of the selections! We'll be making it very festive.

Anindor Vineyards ~ We’ve completed and opened our new tasting room which is an eco-friendly, Oregon-made yurt. As far as I know we are the only tasting room inside a yurt, with a L.I.V.E. certified vineyard producing wines that reflect the elegance of Oregon in the newest AVA, Elkton.

Apolloni Vineyards ~ We're definitely doing something special for this weekend including discussion of the differences in style between Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio, showing both of these wines, and the tasting in our new beautiful barrel cave.

Christopher Bridge and Santori Springs Vineyard ~ Pouring two distinctly different current vintages of our Estate Pinot Gris from 2011 and 2012. If “wild tropical and exuberant” fits your style of attributes for Pinot Gris, we have the wines.

Emerson Vineyards ~ We’re excited to be a part of ‘Get Your Gris On.’ We’ll be building on the concept of ‘Pinot Gris and Things from the Sea’ by offering seafood to enjoy with our 2012 Pinot Gris.

The Four Graces ~ Offering small appetizers paired with our Pinot Gris and special pricing over the weekend.

Kim Kramer ~ We’re still discussing possibilities as to what to do, but very thrilled to be participating.

Naked Wines ~ We will offer a vertical tasting of our 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 vintages from the Willamette Valley and Rogue Valley, paired with Pacific Northwest artisan cheeses.

Oak Knoll Winery ~ We’re doing a vertical tasting of our Oregon Pinot Gris, and pairing it a cheese tasting of House of Castello fine cheeses.

Phelps Creek Vineyards ~ We’ll be showcasing our popular Phelps Creek Pinot Gris and providing a paired treat or two.

Pudding River Wine Cellars ~ We’ll be offering a six-year vertical tasting (2007-2012) of our Domaine Margelle vineyard, award-winning Pinot Gris, to celebrate the weekend and showcase how Pinot Gris ages. We’ll also be pairing with seafood, to showcase a food and wine complement.

Seufert Winery ~ We’ll participate in the weekend. We’ll also be offering paired bites and recipes.

Spindrift Cellars ~ We’ll be tasting cellared Pinot Gris from older vintages matched with some light foods.

The Four Graces ~ Not yet shared what they’ll be doing.

Tyee Wine Cellars ~ Taste the newest release of Tyee Estate Pinot Gris plus some Gris from the Tyee library, along with Great With Gris appetizers.

Walnut City Wine Works ~ We'll be pouring our Walnut City Wine Works Pinot Gris, as well Lundeen Wines Pinot Gris, our winemaker Michael Lundeen's own brand. We’ll also be sharing some small appetizers in the tasting room.

Pick of the Week – Benton-Lane 2012 Pinot Gris; $17
This lovely bottle from the outstanding 2012 vintage balances its fleshy fruit flavors with highlights of peppery spice. A hint of brioche adds a lightly yeasty element as well.

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