John and Katherine Zelco settled in Oregon in 1983 and became enamored with Willamette Valley wines. They spent several years working at wineries to learn the basics of winemaking and began planting their vineyard in 1996 at the northern tip of the Eola-Amity Hills AVA. Their five clones of Pinot Noir and one clone of Pinot Blanc occupy 25 acres overlooking the valley. Their first commercial vintage was released in 2000, but was not sold widely.
The name celebrates Zelko's Slovak heritage and means "Z's wine." Zelko is a Portland surgeon.
In addition to Pinot Noir, Z'IVO makes white blends and white varietals with grapes purchased from neighbors in Oregon and eastern Washington. The wines are crafted in consultation with Miguel Lopez.
Z'IVO wines are available on the website and at the winery at Walnut City Wineworks, a consortium winery in the Pinot Quarter at 475 NE 17th Avenue in McMinnville (open Thursday through Sunday from 11:30-4:30 and by appointment - 503-472-3215). There is some retail distribution.
Articles About Z'IVO Wines
2011 Z’IVO Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Blanc
12.0% alc., 220 cases, $N/A. Inaugural vintage for this wine. The fruit is a rare spontaneous mutation of Pinot Noir known as the Gouges clone. Vinified in 50% neutral oak and 50% stainless steel. · Very light straw color and clear in the glass. Intriguing aromas of applesauce, apple core, sap and a subtle floral note. Light in weight with bracing lemon-lime acidity, offering flavors of green apples and honey in a crisp, dry French style. Needs food, and I would chill the wine and serve with shellfish, particularly oysters. Good. Reviewed June 4, 2013 ARTICLE »
2010 Z’ivo Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
13.4% alc., 796 cases, $36. 25% 115, 25% 777, 25% 114, 12.5% 667 and 12.5% Pommard. 5-day cold soak, aged in 25% new French oak. · Lighter reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of mixed berries, black cherry, underbrush and woody resin. Middleweight flavors of black cherry, cola, tea leaf, and tobacco. Soft in the mouth with polished tannins and reasonable intensity on the finish. An oak streak stands out. Score: 87. Reviewed October 6, 2014 ARTICLE »
2009 Z’IVO Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.4% alc., $N/A. · Light reddish-purple color in the glass. Reduction upon opening which resolves over time. Curiously light in weight for this warm vintage, but not overripe as wines from this vintage in Oregon are prone to be. Flavors of red cherries with complimentary oak in the background, mild tannins, and finishing with a good cut of citrus-driven acidity and notable persistence. Even better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Good. Reviewed June 4, 2013 ARTICLE »
2009 Z’IVO Whole Cluster Project Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
13.4% alc., 138 cases, $40. Clones are 115, Pommard, 114, 667 and 777. 100% whole cluster. Punch downs with bare feet twice a day for seven days. Wild yeast fermentation. Aged 10 months in 25% new, 35% once filled and the remainder neutral French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. This is a wine that attracts your full attention the minute the cork is pulled and all that wonderful Pinot goodness jumps from the glass. I could not get enough of this nose redolent of black cherries, spice and rose petals. On the palate, there is a delicious essence of dark cherries with a spicy touch that really pops. Very silky and charming, with a healthy backbone of fine-grain tannins. A complete and harmonious wine. When whole cluster is right, it produces the most ethereal expression of Pinot Noir in the world. Should get even better with cellaring. Reviewed June 4, 2013 ARTICLE »
2008 Z’ivo Whole Cluster Project Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.7% alc.. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Very shy nose initially, opening slowly to reveal pleasing floral aromas with hints of purple fruits and spice. Very drinkable, mid weight offering with luscious, sweet-edged plum and blackberry fruits backed by firm tannins, finish with some aplomb. Very good. Reviewed July 21, 2013 ARTICLE »
2008 Z’IVO Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., 1,000 cases, $40. All five estate vineyard clones. Ambient yeast fermentation after 1 week cold soak. 20% whole cluster. Aged in 33% new French oak. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Appealing aromatic profile featuring scents of dark red cherries and berries including ripe strawberries, and spice. Middleweight, slightly confected black cherry core with a hint of brown spices and a subtle riff of salty minerality and oak in the background. Nicely balanced with bright acidity. Good (+). Reviewed June 4, 2013 ARTICLE »
2008 Z’IVO Whole Cluster Project Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
13.7% alc., 160 cases, $40. From all five estate vineyard clones. Large harvest of 3 tons per acre. 100% whole cluster, barefoot punch downs, ambient yeast fermentation. Aged in 33% new French oak. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Appealing aromas of dark stone and berry fruits, nicely spiced and offering a hint of rose petals. Mid weight, sweet plum and blackberry flavors with firm tannins and a long, long finish. The fruit is striking in intensity and brilliance. Drinkable now, but will benefit from more time in bottle, and should readily age in the cellar. Very good. Reviewed June 4, 2013 ARTICLE »
2007 Z’IVO Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., 1,800 cases, $36. Estate vineyard fruit, clones 114, 115, 667, 777 and Pommard. 12 day cold soak, cultured yeasts, 20% whole cluster. Aged in 33% new French oak. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Marked sulfur related reduction upon opening which had largely blown off by the following day from an opened bottle. The core of black cherry fruit is juicy and fresh, complimented by a note of wood spice, caressed by supple tannins, and backed by good acidity. Decent. Reviewed June 4, 2013 ARTICLE »
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