Hudson Ranch Expanding Lee and Cristina Hudson have expanded operations to include a state of
the art winery and hospitality facility in Napa Carneros. Clayton Kirchhoff has joined the team as winemaker.
He comes to Hudson with 12 years of winemaking experience and has been involved with the winemaking at
Hudson for the past five years. Besides the wines produced from 200 acres of vineyards for the Hudson label,
the winery sells grapes to 27 wineries in Napa and Sonoma counties and is perhaps best known for
Chardonnay. Visit www.hudsonranch.com.
City of Sonoma Limiting the Plaza to 25 Tasting Rooms The Sonoma City Council recently
voted for regulations limiting wine-tasting businesses in downtown. There are about 34 wine rooms in the
downtown area all 34 would be grandfathered in, with the number reduced to 25 over time with attrition and
relocation. Since 2012 the number of tasting rooms on the Plaza has increased from 17 to 26.
U.S. Wine Industry Outlook A recent summary at www.napavalleywineacademy.com reported that
labor costs, grape prices and vineyard land prices are all rising and few vintners are able to raise prices. Sales
of luxury wines through wholesale channels have been slowing since 2015. Silicon Valley Bank found that
consolidated annual volume growth of wine consumption was close to becoming negative in 2018 for the first
time since the early 1990s and price increases on average were zero. Winery costs have been rising far faster
than producers could possibly raise prices. Housing costs for winery workers and immigration laws are
restricting worker availability. Undaunted, new producers continue to enter the market, with more than 1,100
new wineries added in California since 2013.
Bills Argue for Content Standards of Willamette Valley Wines There are two bills sought
by the Willamette Valley Wineries Association that starting in 2030 would require Willamette Valley wines that
carry a varietal name such as Pinot Noir to be made entirely from the named grape and grown entirely within
the boundaries of the Willamette Valley AVA. The current standards call for 90 percent of the named variety for
Pinot Noir and other varieties and 95 percent sourcing from the AVA. David Adelsheim, founder of Adelsheim
Vineyard and Ken Wright, founder of Panther Creek Cellars and then Ken Wright Cellars, have been strong
supporters of the change. Southern Oregon wineries, many of which supply grapes to Willamette Valley
producers, are fighting the legislation and are backed by the Oregon Winegrowers Association. Another wine-related
bill is also under consideration that would put new requirements on out-of-state wineries making
Oregon—sourced wines (a result of the Elouan-Wagner controversy).
Noted Oregon Wine and Restaurant Writer Lisa Shara Hall Passes Away Lisa began
writing about food and restaurants for Willamette Week and then for The Oregonian. Eventually she became
bored with food writing and began reporting on wine tastings and new wineries in Oregon. She eventually gave
up food writing in 2000. In 1999 she organized an Institute of Masters of Wine trip for existing MWs to the wine
regions of Oregon and Washington and this was to become the model for the annual Oregon Pinot Camp for
visiting professionals. She wrote for the Oxford Companion to Wine, Decanter and the Hugh Johnson Pocket
Guide, and was senior editor for Wine Business Monthly. It was the book, Wines of the Pacific Northwest,
published in 2001, that most inspired me. It was the only extensive reference book on Oregon wineries
available at the time and I referred to my copy repeatedly through the early years of composing the PinotFile.
The F-words: Fining and Filtration An interesting article appeared March 22, 2019, online at
www.winetitles.com.au titled “Weighing up the gains and losses from fining and filtration.” Many Pinot Noir
producers trumpet the fact that their wine is unfined and unfiltered as a badge of quality. Fining is a tool that
can be used to alter a wine’s clarity, color, aroma or flavor. It can reduce bitter flavors, unwanted aromas,
increase a wine’s stability, and add polish to a wine’s appearance. Many winemakers feel that fining should be
done only when necessary using low addition rates of fining agents (gelatin, isinglass, egg white, casein,
bentonite, carbon and a synthetic polymer PVPP) to avoid influencing aromas, mouthfeel, color and flavors.
Similarly, filtration using crossflow, pad, sterile membrane or earth filtration, can lead to undesirable changes in
a wine’s character and flavor. On the positive side, filtration can be used to clarify a wine, something many
consumers prefer as more aesthetically appealing and ensure that a wine is microbiologically stable,
particularly if there is any residual sugar.
Fourth Annual Willamette: The Pinot Noir Auction Breaks Records 92 lots of wine sold
for more than $1 million at the fourth annual Willamette: The Pinot Noir Auction held at The Allison Inn & Spa in
Newberg, Oregon, recently. The average price paid per bottle this year reached $160, a 29% increase over the
previous year, and an 81.5% increase since the inaugural auction in 2016. The auction, open to the media and
trade only, featured 86 one-of-a-kind Pinot Noir lots and six collaborative Chardonnay lots from the 2017
vintage, made in quantities of 5, 10 or 20 cases. Lots bringing the highest bids came from Duck Pond Cellars,
Domaine Serene, Antica Terra, Alexana Winery and Bethel Heights Winery. Eugenia Keegan, co-chair of The
Pinot Noir Auction, said, “Ten years ago we couldn’t have pulled off this auction. The Willamette Valley didn’t
have the cachet to do this, nationally or internationally.” The 2020 event will be held on April 3 and 4.
The French Health Agency Urge the French Consumer to Reduce Wine Drinking
Health officials in France have recommended no more than two glasses a day and not every day to reduce the
risk of alcohol-related diseases. According to the French national health agency, Santé Publique France,
almost 25 percent of French adults drink too much alcohol regularly, killing 41,000 people a year. The official
guidance of Santé Publique France is for people to drink no more than 10 glasses of wine each week. Wine
consumption in France has been decreasing and the French lag Lithuania, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg. and
Latvia among European countries in average consumption. French winemakers feel like this pronouncement
only serves to upset the moderate wine drinker.
Domaine De Broglie This new Oregon brand has been added to The Family Coppola portfolio. The
vineyard and modern tasting room is located in the Dundee Hills, 800 feet above the valley floor. The name is
dedicated to Louis de Broglie, a French physicist who won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1929. The property
was formerly Vista Hills Vineyard. Three 2017 estate single clone Pinot Noir wines as well as a Dundee Hills
blend of multiple clones have been released. Visit www.domainedebroglie.com. The gentrification of Oregon
Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association Announces Technical Conference
Agenda The Technical Conference portion of the 22nd Annual Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival will be
held on May 17, 2019, at Camp Navarro in the northern Anderson Valley. The Conference will include an
overview of the Anderson Valley by Wine & Spirits magazine editor Patrick Comiskey, a walk-around tasting of
2018 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir wines from neutral barrel, part of a larger terroir study currently being
undertaken in the Anderson Valley, and a discussion of regional microclimates reflected in vineyard designates
led by duos of winemakers and viticulturists. Admission is $100 and includes a light breakfast and lunch with
accompanying wines. Tickets for the entire Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival and the Technical Conference
are available at www.avpinotfest.com.
2019 International Pinot Noir Celebration North American Featured Wineries This
year’s IPNC will be held July 27-28 at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. Featured Oregon wineries:
Alexana Winery, Amalie Robert Estate, Anam Cara Cellars, Andrew Rich Wines, Archery Summit, Brooks,
Chehalem Winery, Cristom Vineyards, Dancin Vineyards, Del Rio Vineyard Estate, Domaine Serene, Drouhin
Oregon Roserock, Dukes Family Vineyards, Elk Cove Vineyards, Evesham Wood, Foris Vineyards, Goodfellow
Family Cellars, Grochau Cellars, Harper-Voit, Johan Vineyards, King Estate, La Crema Oregon, Lange Estate
Winery & Vineyards, Le Cadeau Vineyard, Longplay Wine, Love & Squalor, Luminous Hills, LUMOS Wine Co,
Nicholas-Jay, Owen Roe Winery, R. Stuart & Co Winery, Resonance, Rex Hill, Sokol Blosser, St. Innocent,
Tendril Wine Cellars, Tyee Wine Cellars and Winderlea Vineyard & Winery. Featured California wineries: Alma
Rosa Winery, Bouchaine Vineyards, Calera Wine Co, Cartograph, Cobb Wines, Enroute, Gainey Vineyard, J
Vineyards & Winery, Kosta Browne Winery, Laetitia Vineyard & Winery, Masut, Mindego Ridge Vineyard,
Moshin Vineyards, Paul Hobbs Winery, Perception, Sanford Winery, Siduri Wines, Ten Acre Winery and
Thomas Fogarty Winery. The full weekend experience is $1295. A la carte tickets to Passport to Pinot ($150)
and the Salmon Bake ($225) are also available. Visit www.ipnc.org for a description of the event. Look me up
if you attend. I wouldn’t think of missing this ultimate celebration of Pinot Noir!
Pour Oregon The kickoff event for Oregon Wine month, this wine festival will be held Sunday, April 28 at
the World Trade Center Portland featuring 55 small wineries from 19 Oregon wine regions. The event benefits
the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Oregon. All tickets include entrance to the event, a souvenir glass and free
tastings. Buy tickets at www.pouroregon.com.
2019 Pinot Paddle Oregon by Willamette Riverkeeper Imagine paddling down the
Willamette River for five days. Pause at a quite back channel, set up camp, then join new friends for an
evening of wine tasting featuring four local wineries (Cramoisi Vineyard, Goodfellow Family Cellars, Arcane
Cellars and Winderlea) alongside a catered dinner with live music and talks. Wake up to a great breakfast, then
paddle your way to lunch. June 15-16, 2019. Details at www.willametteriverkeeper.org.
More Upcoming Wine Events for Pinotphiles The 37th Annual Santa Barbara Vintners Festival
will be held May 4. Visit www.sbvintnersweekend.com for details. The Silicon Valley Wine Auction in
Saratoga will be held May 18-19. Visit www.siliconvalleywineauction.org. The West of West Wine Festival
will be held at City Winery in New York City on May 8. Visit www.westsonomacoast.com.
New Book: Intertwined - A Pinot Noir Parable: Grief, Gratitude and Growing a
Business A self-published book by Kerry McDaniel Boenisch who grew up in McMinnville on one of the
first commercial vineyards in the Pacific Northwest at the time of the emerging wine industry in the Willamette
Valley, tells a story about her entrepreneurial journey through the professional world of grape growing, writing
and speaking with a few near-death experiences thrown in for good measure. Available in paperback from
Why Consumers Prefer to Drink at Home
38th Annual Wine & Spirits Restaurant Poll 225 restaurateurs completed this poll. Average
price by variety: $98.70 for Cabernet Sauvignon, $93.00 For Chardonnay, $80 for Pinot Noir and $64.50 for
Sauvignon Blanc. Among wines most often offered in restaurants by the glass, #5 Willamette Valley Vineyards
Willamette Valley Pinot Noir ($13), #6 Rodney Strong Vineyards Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($13), #21
Anthill Farms Anderson Valley Pinot Noir ($18) and #22 Angeline California Pinot Noir ($10). The 50 most
popular wines in America’s top restaurants included the following Pinot Noir producers: #5 Kistler Vineyards
($150), #13 Frank Family Vineyards ($99), #15 Failla ($84), #16 Hirsch Vineyards ($125), #20 Decoy ($83),
#25 Cristom Vineyards ($73), #26 Flowers Vineyards & Winery ($103), #35 J. Lohr ($44), #38 Bow & Arrow
($58), #41 Littorai ($121), #46 Patricia Green Cellars ($76) and #47 Merry Edwards Winery ($117). Among wine varieties as a % of top-selling wines, Cabernet Sauvignon is #1, Pinot Noir #2 and Chardonnay #3. Pinot
Noir has 13.8 percent of respondent’s top-selling wines, just 1.5 percent less than Cabernet Sauvignon, and
5% higher than Chardonnay. The ten most popular Pinot Noirs: Failla, Hirsch Vineyards, Cristom, Patricia
Green Cellars, Flowers, Merry Edwards, Adelsheim Vineyard, Bethel Heights Vineyard, Sea Smoke, and
Luxury Assets Soar in Value
Uncork For Hope FoundationAn event to support helping at-risk children. An opportunity to learn and support while enjoying live entertainment, fine food and wine. The event will be held May 5, 2019, 2-6 pm, at the Center Club Orange County in Costa Mesa. Tiered ticket pricing increases as each amount are sold ($150 and $200 tickets sold out). Currently $250.00. Wineries pouring include Argot, Bevan, Herman Story, Lando, Lombardii Wines, Three Sticks and Trichero. For tickets and information, visit www.uncorkforhope.org.