Get Your Gris On – Think Appetizers

On November 14 and 15, 2015, Oak Knoll Winery is again getting its Gris on.

Long standing proponent of Oregon Pinot Gris, Oak Knoll Winery has historically supported this variety. And, it has good reason to do so… Pinot Gris is the state’s largest wine grape crop. Many would love to have Chardonnay catch up in Production, but those who are in the business of wine grape growing in Oregon have weighed in, by continuing to plant what demand is currently dictating.

Oregon Pinot Noir has its partner and it’s Oregon Pinot Gris.

As a result, Oak Knoll is continuing with Get Your Gris On in a couple of weeks.

President Greg Lint, came up with the idea of having a weekend, before going into the holidays, for suggesting Oregon Pinot Gris to winery fans. “Knowing that most families love to have sparkling wine and Pinot Noir with their main course, why not think Oregon Pinot Gris for the appetizer portion of our meals? It’s a natural!”

Since bounty is associated with Thanksgiving, starting with lighter wines makes a whole lot of sense. Starting with a heavy wine will destroy your palate’s ability to enjoy a lighter wine later, if you chose to go backwards in your tasting. A crisp white, like an Oregon Pinot Gris is a great place to start. As an experiments, take a few sips of a big meaty Petite Sirah and then try a few sips of your Pinot Gris. You’ll quickly understand. (This experiment can be done anytime, when a white wine and a red wine are open simultaneously. Taste the red first, then taste the white.)

And so, we’ve gathered a group of suggestions, in the event you’d also like to Get Your Gris On this coming Thanksgiving, with your family and friends.

Goat cheese is a favorite with most people, for Pinot Gris, so we’ll start there, but end with a bigger Jack cheese to end this list.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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Oregon Pinot Gris is getting its Gris On, Once More

Oregon Pinot Gris is once more Getting its Gris on, with a statewide tasting to celebrate this varietal wine.

Oregon, Get Your Gris On!™ is wine and food nibble tasting event for consumers and is happening at wineries that want to join the fun, on Saturday and Sunday, September 27 and 28, 2014.

The second largest grape variety being grown in the state of Oregon continues to be Pinot Gris, and Oregon wineries continue to want to build on the strengths of this grape variety:

STRENGTHS of Oregon Pinot Gris

  • Oregon is an perfect appellation, for place of origin
  • Pinot Gris a perfect partner for Oregon Pinot Noir lovers
  • The hallmarks of this variety are purity of fruit, acidity, and brightness
  • It’s an extremely aromatic variety
  • Price works well in restaurants for their by-the-glass program
  • Pinot Gris is an excellent wine for seafood, fish, and certain cheese
  • Oregon Pinot Gris’ palate texture is full and long, versus the Pinot Grigio style
  • It’s a perfect “entry” wine for tasting room customers

As a result, an Oregon Pinot Gris weekend has been created, and consumers can, for the second year in a row, get ready for “Get Your Gris On!™” fun.

So far, the following wineries are committed to Getting Their Gris On!

  • Christopher Bridge
  • Naked Winery Hood River
  • Naked Winery Bend
  • Oak Knoll Winery
  • Pudding River

If you’re an Oregon Winery and want to Get Your Gris On, on September 27 and 28, please just send an Email to me at and I’ll list you, too.

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Update from Our Oregon Pinot Gris Producers This November

Here’s a November update from our Oregon producer friends… I mostly wanted to know what harvest was like for them, even though some are still finishing up on harvest. This is why, I know, that the following wine companies were so busy they couldn’t participate in this survey. More from these guys later…

From those with a bit of breathing space…

Airlie Winery ~ Mary Olson, Owner ~ We just finished barreling down the last of the Pinot and there always is a big sigh of relief. Ah, the calm after the storm. Our winemaker Elizabeth Clark says this is the first time she really can step back and evaluate what’s now in tank and barrel, and the report is good. The Pinot is showing great red fruit notes balanced with nice acidity and tannins and the whites, still fermenting, fill the winery with scents of pineapple, pear and orange blossom. We’re making our first Estate Pinot blanc this year, genetic cousin of Pinot gris, and we’re looking forward comparing the wines. While our production was a little lower than expected, the birds certainly found us this year; the quality was high, due to timely sprays and judicious thinning of troubled fruit.

David Hill Vineyards and Winery ~ Jason Bull, Winemaker ~ The Pinot Gris from the Estate property this year is showing wonderful potential. Our first pick was on the 27th of September and the second on the 4th of October. Both of these wines are either still going through or have just finished a long, slow, fermentation process, almost 30 days. In the end both batches will be blended together and eventually put into a bottle and released soon. It’s one of our fastest selling white wines, get yours before it is all gone.

Naked Winery ~ David Barringer, President ~ The 2013 Harvest is shaping up to be even better than 2012 and that was a fantastic vintage. We’re continuing to expand our winery in Hood River and we’re thankful – as we head into the time of Thanksgiving – for all of the support from our national Naked Winery fans!

Oak Knoll Winery ~ Jeff Herinckx, Winemaker ~ Thanks to Mother Nature, harvest was fast and furious this year. We got our first grapes in on September 17, just before it began to rain. It was the wettest September ever in Oregon. We had as much as three or four inches per day at times. When it rains that hard, the grapes get water-logged; and can begin to rot from the inside out, if they’re not harvested quickly enough. The grapes end up tasting watered-down and will produce a diluted wine. They’re also lower in sugar than we’d want them to be in this situation. It really was unfortunate because, based on the spring and summer weather we had, many people were predicting a very good crop for this year. Unfortunately, especially in Oregon, you just never know what will happen with the crop until it’s time to harvest. The weather can change on a dime. We expected to receive 240 tons this year from our growers, based on their estimates, and we ended up with 190 tons because of the rain and because of the birds. In some vineyards this year, the birds really decimated the crop. The growers have air cannons and other tools to try to scare them away, but they get used to the noise. Unless there are nets, it’s nearly impossible to keep them out. One of our Pinot Gris growers harvested less than one ton per acre this year because he had such a problem with birds.

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Oregon, Get your Gris On!™ ~ Will you be there to be Foursquare?

Oregon, Get your Gris On!™ is coming right along….

On August 17 and 18, 2013, each winery below will be focused on their Oregon Pinot Gris…Oregon’s Other Pinot, with an Oregon Get Your Gris On!™ day.

Oregon, Get your Gris On!™ ~ Will you be there to be Foursquare?

  • Airlie Winery ~ Will be pouring the 09, 10, 11 PGs as a vertical. Winemaker Elizabeth Clark will be at the winery for questions. Not usually there, this is a real treat.
  • 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!
  • David Hill Winery ~ We’re delighted to be part of this weekend celebrating Oregon Pinot Gris, and exactly what we’ll be doing will be determined shortly.
  • Naked Wines ~ Vertical Tasting of our 08, 09, 10 and 11 Vintages from the Willamette Valley and Rogue Valley paired with Pacific Northwest Artisan Cheeses. We expect share with our guests the different flavor profiles that are expressed in the fruit of these very different growing regions e.g. we love the fruitiness of Rogue Valley fruit while we treasure the minerality of our Willamette Valley fruit.
  • Oak Knoll Winery ~ We’ll doing a vertical tasting of our Oregon Pinot Gris, and pairing it with 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.
  • Terrapin Cellars doesn’t have any wine for this event… his Oregon Pinot Gris is always a sell out – he’ll be with us in heart and spirit!

Oregon, Get Your Gris On!™ is an event that’s a result of the 2013 Oregon Pinot Gris Symposium, sponsored by Oak Knoll Winery. Oak Knoll is the leader in the Oregon Pinot Gris movement, and took to heart what wine writer Paul Gregutt has had to say for the last three years… “You need to have a tasting event for the people, if this is ever going to become ‘Oregon’s Other Pinot.'”


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