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Westrey Wine Company

Amy Wesselman may be best known as the Executive Director of the annual International Pinot Noir Celebration in McMinnville, Oregon, but she is also a terrific winemaker. Together with co-winemaker David Autrey, the two founded Westrey Wine Company in 1993. The name Westrey comes from their collaborative winemaking effort (Amy WESselman and David AuTREY). Each has had extensive winemaking experience (Amy at Oregon’s Bethel Heights, Rex Hill and The Eyrie Vineyards and Burgundy’s Domaine de L’Arlot; David at Oregon’s Adelsheim, Cameron and Burgundy’s Domaine Dujac). The two met while studying philosophy at Reed College in Portland and their philosophy of winemaking is nicely summed up in their tag line: “Texture and terroir amidst post-industrial splendor.”

Initially Westrey owned no vineyards but sourced from some of Oregon’s top vineyards including Croft, Abbey Ridge, Bethel Heights, Temperance Hill, Anderson Family and Laurel Hood. In 2002, they purchased around 50 acres in Yamhill County adjacent to Abbey Ridge Vineyard and planted 5 acres to vines. This was advantageous for they had worked with Abbey Ridge Vineyard fruit for several years.

Starting with 400 cases in 1993, Westrey currently produces around 3,200 cases, with a goal of reaching 6,000 to 8,000 cases over the next ten years. In their winemaking, new oak is kept to a minimum for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Alsatian-inspired Pinot Gris sees no oak or MLF. Their style is a departure from many Oregon producers with an emphasis on structure, texture and aging potential. To that end, their wines tend to have higher acidity, a nod to their Burgundian training.

2006 Westrey Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $18. · The nose is shy but quite charming featuring red Pinot fruits. On the palate, there is a panoply of red fruits including cranberry, pomegranate and raspberry enhanced with a subtle oak flourish. The finish is tangy and refreshing and the overall balance is spot on. A very attractive wine which oozes finesse and well worth the tariff..

Westrey Wine Company is located at 1065 NE Alpine St, McMinnville. The phone is 503-434-6357. The wines, including older vintages, are available at www.northwest-wine.com. Prices are very sensible, ranging from $18 to $36. the website is www.westrey.com. I am sure Amy or David would be happy to have you taste by appointment.

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