Posted by: David Stewart | March 20, 2010

Bargain Oregon Pinot Noir from a Yard of Sticks

Last summer, Deb and I were driving around Oregon wine country for our anniversary and stopped in at Cooper Mountain Vineyards because they are so close to where we live in Beaverton. If you are familiar at all with Beaverton, you might be surprised if that this little bedroom community has a winery, but there are at least two.  The winery sits in the middle of their estate vineyard, which is totally surrounded by impressive-looking houses.  Not surprising given the killer views.

Cooper Mountain has decided to be totally organic and “biodynamic” (whatever that means). So no pesticides are used on the grapes. The wines were acceptable, and bought some 2007 Reserve Pinot ($24) and 2008 “Tocai Fruilano” ($14) which was quite unique. I had never seen Tocai in Oregon before, apparently it is mostly available just in Italy. Only 100 cases are made of it each year.

I heard that they were blowing out the 2007 Pinot Noir this month for $16.80, so we stopped by today to pick up some more.

The vineyard in winter is such a different looking place – the vines have been pruned back so far that they just seem to be sticks standing in a row in the yard, attached to their supporting cross-wires. To get the best grapes with the most intense flavors, it seems like you must punish the vine by pruning it heavily. But by summer, they are leafy and bursting with fruit.

How like me – when I am pruned severely, I seem to grow more and produce more fruit.


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