Thursday, March 15, 2012

Two Trucks, One Tractor, and 475 Cases of Viognier

-by Gabriel

Last week, we bottled our first wine from the 2011 vintage. After two months of fermentation and a month of filtration, our 2011 Willamette Valley Viognier was bottled March 8th and 9th, 2012. The cooler vintage brings bright flavors of meyer lemon and pineapple that are rounded out by fleshy flavors of peach and nectarine. But let’s forget about the wine for a second, and talk about the bottles.

Our bottles were scheduled to arrive the day of bottling. We spent the past two weeks filtering and testing the wine, prepping it to be bottled March 8th. The most amazing thing was that the bottles showed up on time. The second most amazing thing is when Brad told me that our truck driver had re-defined the term “jackknifed”. I stepped outside to see a truck with its cab pointing uphill and north, but his trailer pointing downhill and east.

We called across the street to Dave McKibben, the cattle farmer at McK Ranch, because he owns a giant tractor. The vineyard crew rounded up some thick chains, and Mr. McKibben set to towing a stuck 50-foot truck with his tractor. He spun his wheels for a good twenty seconds before he got that thing moving, but in less than a minute he had towed rig right up a hill. Check out the video:

I bet you think I’m gonna start talking about the Viognier now, don’t you. Nope! Because when we stepped outside later in the day, to enjoy a rare sunny Oregon afternoon, guess what we saw? A second truck, bringing more botttles, stuck in a ditch on the side of the road.

While we were watching from the patio, Brad turned to Lowell and said, “Your turn to call Dave. I called him last time”.

Needless to say, Dave McKibben was the first person to receive a bottle of our 2011 Viognier. We will officially release it at our Annual Earth Day Event on April 21st. Last year’s vintage sold-out unfortunately fast; this year we had more mature plants, which allowed us to increased our production to 475 cases. The grapes come from Goschie Farms in Silverton, OR. It is the only fruit that we don’t grow ourselves, and Gail Goschie does an amazing job of sending us delicious grapes every year. The fleshy fruit flavors make it a great wine to drink on your porch in the late afternoon. While it’s not a traditional food pairing, I suggest you drink it while grilling McK Ranch beef.

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