Anne Amie Vineyards
Proprietor Dr. Robert Pamplin, Jr. is a man of many talents. He has earned degrees in business, economics,
accounting, education and theology. He is President and CEO of the R.B. Pamplin Corporation
and is the founder of the Portland Tribune newspaper, Columbia Empire Farms, Your Northwest retail
stores and Anne Amie Vineyards. After purchasing the former Chateau Benoit Winery in Carlton,
Pamplin gathered an impressive staff to pursue the goal of producing world-class wines.
President Craig Camp came on board in 2004. He has more than 25 years of experience in fine wine
marketing, importing and distribution, and has had a long-standing love affair with Pinot Noir. He also
is an accomplished wine journalist, serving as wine forum host for www.egullet.org, the internet’s largest
wine and food forum, and the author of the popular blog Wine Camp located at
Winemaker Thomas Houseman became intrigued with fermenting wines from fruits and root vegetables
at a young age. Later he brewed beer in his New York City apartment. After pursuing a career in
modern dance, he enrolled in the enology program at California State University Fresno. His love for
Pinot Noir led him to winemaking at Husch Vineyards in the Anderson Valley of California, and later to
New Zealand where he worked at both the Blenheim Winery and at Bell Hill in North Canterbury
owned by the Giesen brothers. Upon returning to the states, he perfected his winemaking skills under
the tutoring of Dick and Luisa Ponzi at Ponzi Vineyards in Oregon. Like most winemakers, he professes to be a minimalist in the winery (if Pinot makes itself and the winemaker’s job is to do as
little as possible, what do they earn the big bucks for? - just kidding of course). At Anne Amie, the
Pinot Noir grapes are de-stemmed and 80% of the berries reach the open-top fermentors intact. The
wines are moved by gravity-flow and aged in about 25% new French oak. No fining or filtration is
In wine publications, talk rarely turns to the viticulturists but their role has become very important in
the production of Pinot Noir. Director of Viticulture at Anne Amie, Jason Tosch, is an Oregon native
who came to Anne Amie from Ponzi Vineyards. He has transforming all of the estate vineyards at Anne
Amie to LIVE (Low Input Viticulture & Enology - www.liveinc.org) and Salmon Safe. He notes,
“Encouraging the vines using balanced and sustainable practices in the vineyards creates the stage
for what Pinot Noir in Oregon soils is meant to do: perform beautifully.”
I had the opportunity to taste through three Pinot Noirs from the Anne Amie portfolio. There are three
levels: an entry-level Pinot Noir - Cuvée A, a Winemaker’s Selection Pinot Noir, and The Vineyard Designates.
2005 Anne Amie Vineyards Cuvée A Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., $20, screw cap. The more fruit-forward
barrels of wine are selected to make a reasonably priced wine for everyday drinking.
A very light
wine with subtle oak and fruit highlights, especially raspberry. A good summer quaffer served cold. Add
pomegranate juice and berries for a cool wine slushy.
2004 Anne Amie La Colina Vineyard Dundee Hills Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., $50.
a “Cru” selection that reflects a particular terroir. Less than 200 cases. Proprietors
Dee and George Hillberry farm the La Colina Vineyard located due east of
the winery. This is always the richest and most velvety Pinot Noir in the Anne
More plush stuffing here. Deep aromas of black cherries and blackberries
carry over in the flavors to follow. Very soft and silky in texture. The wine
picks up a little oomph with air time and still tasted quite good the next day from the
previously opened bottle.
Annie Amie Vineyards is located at 6580 NE Mineral Springs Road in Carlton.
The beautiful tasting room (below) is open daily. Wines may be ordered from the website at
www.anneamie.com. 503-864-2991. The winery produces Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, and Riesling as well.