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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Why Oregon Winemakers love working with the state’s largest grape crop… Pinot Gris

Here are a few quotes for you…. Straight from the winemakers to you…

Rob Clarke, Terrapin Cellars

I’ve released my 2012 PG, so I am back in the game. I work with Pinot Gris because this is the perfect climate for it, and besides pinot noir it’s our signature grape in the Willamette Valley.

Elizabeth Clark, Airlie Winery

I started working with PG because that’s what is planted here.  The two blocks at Dunn Forest (our estate vineyard) were grafted over from Riesling and Gewurztraminer in the early 90’s, and each block seems to have its own ripening characteristics.  I haven’t had the chance to ferment them separately, so I’m not sure if there are flavor differences as well. I found I really liked working with the grape because of its flexibility and food friendliness.  We ferment ours in stainless steel with no malo to keep the bright but middling acidity alive and well.  I can take it to dry and end up with a balanced wine.  I don’t consider it an aromatic white and I think that sometimes that makes the wine more adaptable and actually increases its food friendly nature.  At home it is our go to white when I think Riesling might have a little too much acidity or be distracting from the food.  Pinot gris doesn’t have to be in the spotlight it seems quite happy in the supporting role and that can be a great thing. 

David Barringer, Naked Winery

Why Pinot Gris? Simply put, I believe there’s more to white wines than Chardonnay and we needed to let American’s know that. Pinot Gris is a great food pairing wine. Pinot Gris will creates new white wine drinkers as they discover American white wines don’t all taste like an oak barrel. On a personal style note, I also wanted folks to know how great Pinot Gris can be with very little dissolved C02 and fermented bone dry or very little RS… Contrasting my general, if biased, opinion of most Italian Pinot Grigios.

Sean Driggers, Pudding River Wine Cellars

I’ve been a big fan of Oregon Pinot Gris for more than 20 years, as a consumer being introduced to the variety by producers like King Estate and Adelsheim. I began my career after college in Washington State. One of the things that really frustrated me back then was the huge variety of residual sugar that was left in the wine by producers. Over the years this has become focused on a more consistent style with less RS, which I think is exactly where we need to be. In 2004, when I came to Oregon to plant our vineyard, I began searching for a top source of Pinot Gris in our area. I attended classes with King Estate’s vineyard manager at the time, and he put me in touch with a grower that he felt produced their best fruit in the Willamette Valley. The site is now called Domaine Margelle in Scotts Mill, and is sited at 700 feet elevation on the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. It produces some of the most concentrated and fragrant Pinot Gris that I’ve ever experienced. We’ve fallen in love with this fruit and have been producing single vineyard wine from this vineyard since 2007. Our style is consistent with the overall trend in the state; stainless steel fermented at cool temperatures, with a hint of residual sugar to off-set a brilliant and bracing acidity. This style gives Pinot Gris its incredible versatility as a great food pairing wine.

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Perfect for Oregon Pinot Gris: Annual Pacific Coast Oysterwine Competition Seeks 10 Best West Coast Wines for Oysters

We may be pretty biased, but we believe that an Oregon Pinot Gris is the perfect match for this one… But then, we’re somewhat connected and invested in Oregon Pinot Gris’ success.

Oregon Pinot Gris… Let’s see how it all comes out.

Here are the details… You’ve got until Friday to submit your wines, and let’s see how many of the Top 10 will be Oregon Pinot Gris!


The 2013 Pacific Coast Oyster Wine Competition is underway! California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington wineries are invited to submit entries for this popular annual dating service for West Coast oysters and wines.

Typically “oyster wines” are dry, crisp, clean-finishing white wines. Judges include food and wine writers, restaurateurs, retailers, oyster growers and other oyster-loving individuals without winery affiliations. The Competition, organized by founder Jon Rowley, Jon Rowley & Associates of Seattle, and sponsored by Taylor Shellfish Farms of Shelton, Washington, will select ten equal winners for the prestigious 2013 “Oyster Award”. For entry information visit

Oysters on the half shell are one of the fastest growing restaurant trends. “Oyster Award” winning wineries enjoy immediate sales results. Restaurants serving oysters use “Oyster Award” wines on wine lists, regular by-the-glass programs and special oyster bar features.

Wines are judged blind, each with a Kumamoto oyster. Judges rank what we call the “bliss factor”, the wine’s affinity for the oyster. Deadline for entries is 6:00 pm, Friday March 22. Preliminary Judging will take place in Seattle March 25-April 1. Five veteran preliminary judges will select 20 wines for the Final Judgings which will be held April 23 in Los Angeles at Water Grill, April 24 in San Francisco location TBD and April 25 in Seattle at Anthony’s Home Port at Shilshole Bay with a panel of 12 judges in each venue. Scores in the three cities are combined to select the 2013 “Oyster Award” winners.

There is something about oysters! For 2000 years writers have tirelessly boosted the oyster’s lusty reputation and they continue to do so. In addition to being a fun and truly unique food experience…we consume them alive with their primal oceanic essences. There aren’t many wines that pair well with oysters but when one clicks…bingo! It’s a beautiful thing. With oysters on the half shell growing in popularity, “oyster wines” are an exciting new wine category.

Taylor Shellfish Farms is a fifth generation family-owned company producing Manila clams, Mediterranean mussels, geoduck and oysters for national and international markets. For information on Taylor Shellfish Farms visit

“Oysters are a celebration…romantic, sexy, luminous…The right wine makes them even more so.” —Sheila Lukins

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Pinot Gris Food Pairings ~ Your Best Resource ~

When you’re thinking about enjoying a glass of Pinot Gris, regardless of the region from which it came, the Oregon Pinot Gris site has the best “Food Recommendations” page, in three easy categories:

  • Vegetarian Dishes
  • Fish and Seafood Dishes
  • Meat Dishes

Each recipe suggestion within the categories has a link to an external site with the complete recipe. If you or your readers are looking for interesting food pairings for Pinot Gris, this site is a great resource. As you write about Pinot Gris, please feel free to reference the Oregon Pinot Gris site for great dishes. Here’s a sampling for you


French Potato Salad with White Wine and Celery Leaves, by Martha Steward

This is a great way to freshen up a potato salad.

Homemade Black Bean Veggie Burgers, by

This recipe is so great, you’ll never want to eat a frozen veggie burger again. Pair them with Oregon Pinot Gris and they’ll become a spring or summer grill-out favorite.



Recipe for Oregon Coast Salmon, from Our Oregon Coast

A recipe for grilled salmon, straight from Oregon. Your wine should be, too.

Seared Scallops with Pinot Gris Butter Sauce, contributed by Hugh Acheson

From Food & Wine Magazine. Yum!



Chili-Lime Chicken Kabobs, by

An easy dinner on the grill to enjoy with your Oregon Pinot Gris.

Creamy BLT Pasta, by Rachel Ray

We know that creamy pasta is wonderful with Oregon Pinot Gris. Doesn’t bacon make everything better? Yes, indeed!


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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:

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