Why fall is my favorite time of year

I love the fall. Harvest time fills my heart with joy! The smells of the season, of ripe fruit overlain with a cool, earthy aroma make me glad to be alive. Of course, it helps that we love to cook – we love fresh ripe tomatoes, pastas, grilling outdoors and, of course, great red wine!

Ripe tomatoes

Ripe tomatoes

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The Pinot Noir harvest is in!

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir

October 1, 2008.
The weather has taken a turn for the worse, predictions are for 4 days of rain with a probable accumulation of 2″ or more. On Wednesday, October 1 we decided to harvest the Pinot Noir.
The fruit looks superb. ETS lab results report brix at 23.6 degrees, with a TA of .78g/100ml and a pH of 3.23. Not quite the numbers we’ve seen in the past few vintages (excluding a very wet 2007, of course) but very promising none the less.
Although I was filled with anxiety (what if it does’nt rain and it could hang a few more days!), Buddy Beck, owner of Advanced Vineyard Systems, our vineyard management company reminded me that it’s been a strange year (slow, cold spring) and that I am lucky indeed to have fruit at this level of maturity.
We walked the vineyard prior to harvest, the grapes are softening, the seeds are brown and nutty in flavor, the flesh has all but dissolved. Physiologically, the grapes have matured and are ready to pick. Pick we shall!

New website launched!

We’ve launched a new website. You can now find information on our wines, upcoming events and special club functions at our new website at www.TerraVinaWines.com

Syrah in the Northern Willamette Valley ?

Mt. Hood in the background

Mt. Hood in the background

Yes, call me a contrarian but I’ve planted Syrah in Pinot Noir country (I’ve planted Pinot Noir too, of course).  You see, I love cool climate Syrah. Syrah can be so elegant when grown in a cool climate and I’m confident that our unique terroir will contribute flavors and subtleties to the resulting wine. Now, if we can just get mother nature to help out this year and hold the rain at bay for another3-4 weeks!

We are a small, family owned wine producer in the nortthern part of the Willamette Valley, in the recently designated Chehalem Mountains AVA. I’ve formed this blog to chronicle my experiment with making Syrah here in the Pacific Northwest, as well as to express my opinion on life, wine making, food, sustainable living, politics and whatever else strikes my fancy.

Karl Dinger