2020 Chenin Blanc is 100% sourced from Union School Vineyard, the same place we get the Sauvignon Blanc for Fool's Gold. I travelled to Matthew Rorick's Heritage Vineyard a few years back and collected cuttings from his Chenin block after finding a grower willing to graft for me. The site is perfect for SB and Chenin - slightly warmer, good drainage, crotchety old German at the helm... I ripen till the fruit turns yellow and speckled like a bird's egg and then direct press to large 500 liter casks for fermentation and aging. The elevage ranges from 12 to 18 months. The goal is to make a dry but extracted expression more akin to Savennière rather than say a Vouvray Sec.
UNION SCHOOL VINEYARD
JUNCTION CITY, OR
The source for one or our first Sauvignon Blanc and our Chenin Blanc, Union School is a part of Dieter Bohm’s impressive operation in Junction City. This warm site (by our standards) is ideal for producing the expressions of Chenin and Sauvignon we strive to make.
Vine age: 7 years?
Elevation: 450 feet
Locaton: Junction City, Willamette Valley AVA
Wines: Willamette Valley Chenin Blanc, Union School Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc
Hello and welcome,
My name is Scott Frank and Bow & Arrow is my interpretation of the Willamette Valley’s humble terroir. The most important parts of that equation are the Willamette Valley and “humble.” Our growing region is frequently approached as a grand terroir destined to produce prestigious wines with an implicit Burgundian influence. I’m honored to make wine here. Still, the valley I know and love is as much a blue-collar agricultural area as it is a boutique wine destination. It’s as much a collection of relatively simple, clay dominated soils as it is home to multi-generation family estates and renowned AVA’s. Bow & Arrow uses a different template to explore this different, simpler side of the Willamette Valley. Instead of Burgundy, we pay homage to the refreshing and decidedly working class wines of France’s Loire Valley.
I’m certainly not the first person to have this notion. Loire Valley grape varieties like Melon, Chenin Blanc, and Gamay were planted in the Willamette Valley decades before I moved here from New York in 2001. As a newly immigrated grocery store wine buyer in Portland, I was always excited when local winemakers shared their interpretations of these less typical grapes. I fantasized about creating my own winery devoted exclusively to such wines. Even after one of Oregon’s great contemporary Pinot Noir and Chardonnay masters, John Paul of Cameron Winery, drafted me as his unproven assistant winemaker in 2007, the thought of bottling Loire Valley varieties was never far away.
So, in 2010 I had an offer for fruit I couldn’t refuse and that began this wild ride. I bootstrapped it for the first few years but today, Bow & Arrow is a full fledged, subterranean winery located in Northeast Portland. I source my fruit from a small group of reliably outstanding farmers who were willing to take a risk grafting or planting the varieties we needed and to farm them in a way that was aligned with my beliefs. While there is no one “house style”, I embrace a principal of drinkability and low-intervention; a humble word that embodies the spirit of wine drinking we celebrate.
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