Get Your Gris On™, Oregon!

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.'”

This year’s focus was “What the marketing efforts for Oregon Pinot Gris should cohesively be.”

Because Oregon Pinot Gris is now beginning to gather national awareness, and the effort to increase understanding continued with the Third Annual Oregon Pinot Gris Symposium on June 13, at Oak Knoll, many of those who attended the symposium were ready to just move forward. So, with the blessings of Oak Knoll Winery’s Greg Lint, I quickly organized an August weekend to celebrate. It will be held on August 17 and 18, 2013, at each winery who wants to focus their day on Oregon Pinot Gris…Oregon’s Other Pinot.

Everyone has been jazzed about doing something, but the initiative had yet to take off with an official sponsor. (Someone has got to hire someone else to get it rolling, right?) This year Oak Knoll is just continuing with its efforts to help the Oregon Wine Industry promotion, by extending its Symposium to also have this follow-up Get Your Gris On!™ statewide tasting, for those who want to join in the promotion.

To date, the leaders of the movement:

  • 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.
  • Airlie Winery ~ We’ll be pouring the 09, 10, 11 PGs as a vertical for $5. And… winemaker Elizabeth Clark will be at the winery for questions. She’s not usually there, so this is a real treat for you all.
  • Anindor Vineyards ~ We’ve completed and opened our new tasting room which is an eco-friendly Oregon made Yurt, which is an incentive to visit as well as the quality of our Pinot Gris. As far as I know we are the only tasting room inside a yurt. We feel we are a Novel place with a L.I.V.E. certified vineyard producing wines that reflect the elegance of Oregon in the newest AVA, Elkton, OR!
  • 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 Hill and Santori Springs Vineyard ~ We’ll be pouring (and offering for sale) 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! Our Satori Springs Estate Vineyard is LIVE certified in the East Willamette Valley of Oregon near Oregon City.
  • 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.
  • Emerson Vineyards ~ We’re excited to be a part of “Get Your Gris On.” We’ll be building on “Pinot Gris and Things from the Sea” by offering seafood to enjoy with our 2012 Pinot Gris!
  • Kim Kramer ~ We’re still discussing possibilities as to what to do, but very thrilled to be participating.
  • Melrose Vineyards ~ We’re down for this cooperative, fun day, and will have T-shirts available to tasting patrons. “Get Your Gris On!”
  • 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 to 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 be 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 in Hood River ~ We’ll be celebrating the “Get Your Gris On!” event with the release of our barrel-fermented, 2012 Estate Reserve Pinot Gris. Join us for some paired treats that complement this new wine.
  • 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 Highly Rated Cellared Gris releases from older vintages matched with some light foods.
  • Tyee Wine Cellars ~ Expect Newest Release Tyee Estate Pinot Gris plus some Gris from the Tyee Library plus some 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.

While these are the leaders of the movement, others will certainly follow. Meanwhile Oregon, Get Your Gris On!

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Third Annual Oregon Pinot Gris Symposium is announced by Oak Knoll Winery

The Third Annual Oregon Pinot Gris Symposium is announced by Oak Knoll Winery, as Oregon Pinot Gris continues to gather national awareness and the effort for understanding it continues.

The Third Annual Oregon Pinot Gris Symposium will be held on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at Oak Knoll Winery.

This year’s focus is going to be “What the marketing efforts for Oregon Pinot Gris should cohesively be.” The event continues with the interactive prototype panel discussion brought to Oregon wine producers, winemakers and wine grower, by Oak Knoll Winery. This year’s event will have a new twist; producers are encouraged to bring their marketing directors with them. Nationally renowned wine writers continue to also participate, offering their perspectives. The discussion will also include a technical tasting of Oregon Pinot Gris from the panelists.

Wineries in attendance to date:

A Blooming Hill Vineyard Melrose Vineyards
Adelsheim Vineyard Naked Wines LLC
Airlie Winery Oak Knoll Winery
Anindor Vineyards Phelps Creek Vineyards
Apolloni Vineyards Ruby Vineyard
Coelho Winery, Inc. Sokol Blosser Winery
David Hill Vineyards &   Winery Spindirft Cellars
Del Rio Vineyards Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
Eola Hills Wine Cellars Tyee Wine Cellars
Iris Vineyards Union Wine Co.
Left Coast Cellars Walnut City Wineworks
Lumos Wine Co.

Oregon Pinot Gris Symposium presented by Oak Knoll Winery

For Proprietors, Winemakers, Grape Growers and MARKETERS

Seating is Limited.

Attendees will be welcomed by President Greg Lint and Jeff Herinckx (Winemaker):

  • KEYNOTE ~ “Oregon Pinot Gris, Regarding its Terroir” ~ Andy Perdue (Author, Wine Writer, Judge, Publisher Great Northwest Wines) and Eric Degerman (Co-owner, Great Northwest Wine, covering the wines of WA, OR, BC and ID)
  • ENOLOGY ~ “Historical Perspective of Pinot Gris in Oregon, the First State in the U.S. to Plant Pinot Gris, Oregon Leads the Way” ~ David Adelsheim ~ Adelsheim Vineyard in Willamette Valley
  • MARKETING ~ “Beginning of SWOT Analysis: Strengths and Weaknesses of Oregon Pinot Gris” ~ Paul Gregutt ~ Author, Wine Enthusiast, paulgregutt.com, Waitsburg Cellars
  • MARKETING ~ “Continuing of SWOT Analysis: Opportunities and Threats of Oregon Pinot Gris” ~ Dewey Weddington ~ Oregon Wine Board
  • MARKETING ~ “Decoding and Recording the Marketing Message for 2013 to 2014, from SWOT” ~ Greg Lint ~ Oak Knoll, Hillsboro, Willamette Valley

LUNCHEON w/MEDIA ~ 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

  • BEST OF THE OREGON PINOT GRIS TASTING ~ 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. With MEDIA

The event continues to be one of exploration, education, and enlightenment.

Registrations on line: https://www.oakknollwinery.com/pinot_gris_symposium.asp

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Holiday White Wine ~ Oregon Pinot Gris is a perfect match for holiday foods

The range of flavors from Oregon Pinot Gris is similar, I’ve personally found, to California Petite Sirahs… The range being huge!

It’s a winemaker’s palate; and I’m not referring to a wine palate, I’m referring to an artist’s palate. Just as an artist begins his or her oil painting by filling the palate with all of the colors available for that piece of art, so do Oregon Pinot Gris winemakers use a diverse range of shades…

Most have said, during the first two of Oak Knoll Winery’s Oregon Pinot Gris Symposium, that viticulture is not playing a major role in the variety’s flavors. Terroir seems to be the same throughout the northern part of Oregon, where most Pinot Gris is crafted. They’ve even discussed in which direction the vines are facing for sun exposure. It seems that in most years – having the amount of rain they do, which is similar to France’s Burgundy region – placement of the vines’ facement isn’t the issue.

The real affecting factor: when Oregon Pinot Gris gets into the hands of their winemakers, the use of an artist’s palate exerts the most influence.

The next important information is to state which Oregon winemakers do what to influence the flavors of their Pinot Gris. Here’s our general guide:

  • Airlie Winery
    • Stainless Steel Fermentation
    • No Malolactic Fermentation
    • Alcohol: 12.9%
  • Apolloni Vineyards
    • Stainless Steel Fermentation
    • No Malolactic Fermentation
    • Made in the traditional style of an Italian Pinot Grigio
    • Sugar at harvest: 20.5° Brix
    • pH: 3.15
    • Alcohol: 13.1%
  • Christopher Bridge Cellars & Satori Springs Estate
    • Stainless Steel Fermentation
    • Most of the wine doesn’t go through Malolactic Fermentation
  • David Hill Winery
    • Stainless Steel Fermentation
    • Brix at harvest: 21.5 and 24
    • Residual Sugar: 1.0%
    • TA: 0.78
    • pH: 3.21
    • Alcohol: 12.5%
  • Oak Knoll Winery
    • Stainless Steel Fermentation
    • No Malolactic Fermentation
    • No Oak Aging
    • TA: .56
    • pH: 3.31
    • Residual Sugar: .82
    • Alcohol: 13.73%
  • Pudding River Wine Cellars
    • Stainless Steel Fermentation
    • No Malolactic Fermentation
    • TA: 7.0
    • pH: 3.43
    • Residual Sugar: 0.56%
    • Alcohol: 12.1%
  • Terrapin Cellars
    • Stainless Steel Fermentation
    • No Malolactic Fermentation
    • TA: 7.5 g/l
    • pH: 3.25
    • Residual Sugar: 0 .6
    • Alcohol: 12.0%
  • Yamhill Valley Vineyards
    • Stainless Steel Fermentation
    • pH: 3.38
    • TA: 5.4 g/L
    • Residual Sugar: 0.4%
    • Alcohol: 13.9%

Finally, the foods that would pair wellw ith each Oregon Pinot Gris, from this group of savvy marketers, as recommended by the wineries:

  1. Airlie ~ Homemade Black Bean Veggie Burgers
  2. Apolloni ~ Pesto perfection, Giada shows three ways to make it
  3. Christopher Bridge ~ Chilled Poached Halibut with Fresh Apricot Salsa,
  4. David Hill ~ French Potato Salad with White Wine and Celery Leaves
  5. Oak Knoll ~ Curry-Rubbed Salmon with Mango-Pear Relish
  6. Pudding River ~ Sweet & Spicy Asian Seafood Meatball for National Meatball Day!
  7. Terrapin Cellars ~ Chicken and Mushrooms in a Garlic White Wine Sauce
  8. Yamhill Cellars ~ Chili-Lime Chicken Kabobs

Please feel free to use this indicator that we’ve created for Oregon Pinot Gris. E-Mailing me: jo@diaz-communications.com

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At the Oregon Pinot Gris Symposium, Oregon winemakers define their style to Paul Gregutt

At the Second Annual Oregon Pinot Gris Symposium presented by Oak Knoll Winery, Paul Gregutt was asked to return as the keynote speaker. The reason for this is multilayered. First and foremost, Paul’s been writing about Northwest wines for over 25 years. He’s tasted Oregon Pinot Gris during that time, now understanding them better than most as to style and how they’re presented from a critical perspective.

Secondly, besides being a preeminent wine writer, being published in Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, and Seattle Times (as well as many other publications), Paul Gregutt also has a background in marketing. He’s worked with a wide range of technology companies with the highest level of people… the CEOs and CFOs… to determine how to market their products, doing this for many years outside of the wine industry. That kind of expertise is very helpful, even when looking at the wine industry. Marketing concepts are – when it’s all said and done – marketing concepts.

Finally, Paul perfectly fits the criteria for a great keynote speaker.

My partner Jose Diaz has written about what makes for a great keynote speaker, based on our history of hiring them. Paul Gregutt fits this criteria as being accomplished, in our opinion. Seven Traits of a Good Keynote Speaker

Paul began his keynote stating that “Oregon is the original home of American Pinot Gris, first planted here more than 40 years ago. Oregon Pinot Gris is unique and distinctive – a versatile, aromatic, textural white wine, with bright fruit and exceptional balance. Expressive of both place and vintage, it belongs beside Oregon Pinot Noir as the state’s iconic white wine.”

Next, he asked the winemakers and grape growers to close their eyes and imagine a mental flavor map of Italian Pinot Grigios… and then to do the same with Pinot Gris from Alsace. “What does that taste like?” he asked. “Next, Oregon Pinot Gris…what does that taste like?” To him, the first two were easy with a really clear image. “For Oregon Pinot Gris, “It’s a rainbow of flavors. It’s not one thing, so it’s very difficult to generalize from a flavor standpoint.”

He threw this question to the group prior to the symposium, then used their comments as a basis for where he would be going as the keynote speaker:

  • What is your Oregon Pinot Gris Style?

Here are the winemaker’s answers:

Jeff Herinckx (Oak Knoll): A lot of winemakers in Oregon try different yeasts, striving for different flavors in their Pinot Gris. In my opinion, regardless of yeast variations, it’s the acid in the Pinot Gris that defines those tropical fruit flavors. Oregon’s fruit isn’t as ripe as other regions, and that’s what is allowing us to be making the different style known as “Oregon Pinot Gris.”

Jeff Kandarian (King Estate): Oregon Pinot Gris style is defined as bright but balanced, fruit forward, and food friendly. Nine times out of 10, stainless steel fermented at cooler temps to retain fruity esters and that fruit forwardness.

Alfredo Apolloni (Apolloni): Light and fresh with tropical fruit and citrus, refreshingly bright wines with minerality, lower in alcohol but higher in flavor and in typical Oregon style there is a huge diversity of styles ranging from fresh and fruity to woody and weird.

Rob Clarke (Terrapin Cellars): The words/descriptors that come to my mind when I think about OR P.G. are vibrant, fresh, lively acidity balanced with distinguishable fruit flavors ranging from pear, tropical fruit and melon to citrus flavors of lemon and grapefruit to green apple and a hint of mineral in the background. Oregon Pinot gris should be a wine that can be enjoyed on its own as a refreshing aperitif and more importantly a great compliment to food.

Kevin Green/Stephen Webber (Montinore): On the positive side, OR PG exhibits bright acidity, often with an understated nose and mineral notes which make it a food-friendly, complimentary wine on the neutral/negative side, OR PG comes in a vast range of styles (some sweet/some not, some with ripe aromas and flavors/others with more reserved citrus characteristics) and (to some) the most annoying characteristic is a too-common bitter finish.

Aaron Lieberman (Iris): Oregon Pinot gris should be made in a style that emphasizes fruit flavors with a minimum of oak or reductive character that may come from excessive lees contact. On the other hand the high acidity which comes with cool climate viticulture needs to be balanced with a touch of RS and some palate weight (lees contact/stirring). Vineyard practices are extremely important in achieving stylistic goals. In this case balanced yield, correct canopy management and control of mildew and botrytis are critical components.

Trish Ridgeway (R. Stuart): It’s a double edged sword. If we use pre-existing style understandings or a generalization to talk about our wines, then Oregon is in a comparative position rather than a region shouting its own identity, self defining. Looking at other styles may certainly be useful in dialogue, but 30 years later, shouldn’t we leave that behind and proclaim what we believe we do best now – is it necessary to have a consensus on a styling to define us?

David Barringer (Naked Winery): I found this a difficult task in terms of defining the wine characteristics. I don’t think our PGs are as easy to describe/group as e.g. our PN’s. It’s sort of like what does Oregon Beer taste like. I think of our PGs as not having an over-arching style but rather being more a reflection of the winemaker’s style.

 

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Oregon Pinot Gris Symposium: What individual Oregon wineries can do to market the benefits of their own Pinot Gris

At the Second Annual Oregon Pinot Gris Symposium presented by Oak Knoll Winery, Paul Gregutt was asked to return as the keynote speaker. The reason for this is multilayered. First and foremost, Paul’s been writing about Northwest wines for over 25 years. He’s tasted Oregon Pinot Gris during that time, now understanding them better than most as to style and how they’re presented from a critical perspective.

Secondly, besides being a preeminent wine writer, being published in Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, and Seattle Times (and many other publications), Paul Gregutt also has a background in marketing. He’s worked with a wide range of technology companies with the highest level of people… the CEOs and CFOs… to determine how to market their products, doing this for many years outside of the wine industry. That kind of expertise is very helpful, even when looking at the wine industry. Marketing concepts are – when it’s all said and done – marketing concepts.

Our last press release ~ Oregon Pinot Gris Symposium Sheds More Light on Oregon Pinot Gris as a Regional Specialty ~ began Paul’s keynote stating that “Oregon is the original home of American Pinot Gris, first planted here more than 40 years ago. Oregon Pinot Gris is unique and distinctive – a versatile, aromatic, textural white wine, with bright fruit and exceptional balance. Expressive of both place and vintage, it belongs beside Oregon Pinot Noir as the state’s iconic white wine.”

He threw this question to the group:

  • Do you market terroir?
    • Start by making sure you know what you’re talking about, with a real focus.
    • Some combination of older vines, site specific wines, consistent stylistic choices in winemaking.

Next, he asked the winemakers and grape growers to close their eyes and imagine a mental flavor map of Italian Pinot Grigios… and then to do the same with Pinot Gris from Alsace. “What does that taste like?” he asked. “Next, Oregon Pinot Gris…what does that taste like?” To him, the first two were easy with a really clear image. “For Oregon Pinot Gris, “It’s a rainbow of flavors. It’s not one thing, so it’s very difficult to generalize from a flavor standpoint.”

When marketing individual wines, he suggested to be very specific. “Here’s what our Pinot Gris tastes like,” without referencing anyone else’s brand or style.

Generalizations are for the collective marketing effort. Questions to ask yourselves as an individual brand:

  • Do you want to talk about PG as a grape?
  • What’s special about your AVA?
  • What makes your site special and specific?
  • Define what your particular take on OR Pinot Gris is like, what are the attributes?
  • “Here’s how we do Oregon Pinot Gris.”
  • Talk about individual vintages, even when they’re the difficult ones.
  • Riper vintages ~ You make a somewhat different style of Pinot Gris.
    • FEATURE: Cooler vintages are an asset ~ Lower alcohol, high acid, very refreshing wines with tremendous amount of style… They’re deliciously crisp, loaded with minerality wines.
  • Talk about what YOU do…
    • Lower alcohol.
    • How to pair with food.
    • Use of oak, or no oak, do you do a mix?
    • Not just the technique, but what that does to translate into flavor that helps a consumer to understand what he or she’s tasting.
    • Talk about old vines, or single vineyards. Look at what you have and what makes you unique.

Oregon Pinot Gris, the “other” Pinot…

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