Strawberry Mullet Rosé, Columbia Valley AVA 2021
Vineyard: Hillside Region: Columbia Valley AVA Elevation & Exposition: 620-680 ft
Soil: Deep, unconsolidated silty loam soils derived from both the Missoula floods as well as volcanic mudflows and debris from ancestor volcanoes to Mount Hood about 6 million years old. Low in water retention and organic material.
Vineyard Age: Planted in 1983 Spacing: 4 x 10
Farming: No synthetic herbicides or fungicides are used at any time. Practicing Organic.
Terrior Notes: Surrounded by the cherry orchards and wheat fields central to Wasco County agriculture, Hillside Vineyard is an arid, warm and windy locale. Planted in 1983-5 by Harold Haake and Lonnie Wright, Hillside is 80 miles east of Portland along the Columbia River in the loamy, sandstone foothills south of The Dalles. Approaching the high desert of central Oregon and the Columbia Basin, there is a rugged beauty here that few connect with the image of Oregon, or at the very least, Oregon viticulture.
Winemaking/Vintage Notes: The Zinfandel in 2021 was stressed from early in the season with frost all the way to the historic heat wave during bloom, both of which drastically affected yields. It was the earliest vintage for Zinfandel to date coming in on September 6th, and last year, for example, it came in on September 27th for the same pick and with ultimately similar results from a wine chemistry standpoint (get used to this narrative while talking about the 2021’s in the Gorge). We dodged the fires though this year and what fruit we had was clean and delicious. At the winery, we pressed the fruit whole cluster direct press and allowed the juice to settle in tank for two days before racking to barrel for fermentation. Once in barrel on its fine lees it remained until spring and was bottled on April 27 & 28th without fining or filtration. 25 ppm sulfur added.
213 cases produced.
MICHAEL GAROFOLA, PROPRIETOR
I'm originally from Indiana and the Midwest and have been a wine buyer and/or in the restaurant business through out my adult life in Portland, OR, Santa Fe, NM and even way back in Phoenix, AZ and beyond. The interest in the vineyard and wine making has come to me after years of tasting and focusing on the wines of the world both traditionally made and everything but that. All in all, I have been in love with wines that are possessed with energy and purpose. But when I took some classes some in viticulture everything changed, everything had to be re-calibrated, and I've gotten after it with a similar enthusiasm as when I set out to study wine back so long ago. I source fruit from what I would call micro-leases, where I am present from pruning to harvest and manage each block in accordance to the rhythm of the season and how I feel the best way to express the vintage through the medium of wine. At this moment in my evolution I don’t own any land or machines, but I offer time and ideas.
While I govern myself with the feeling that wine's most poignant expression is as a narrative that should recall a place and time through one's effort, I would also be a fool to abandon the notion that wine is something to enjoy once in a moment and leave behind forever. It's just wine. In fact, all of the wines from the vineyard will be made for the simple pleasure to drink them and nothing else. Whether or not you derive the sense of place and time from a glass I can't control that nor does that really matter, but all I can do is make the wine through this lens . . . of one who values the simplicity of nature and yet the often confounding and beautiful way that that happens. There will be some experiments along the way. It could be an epic failure but it will be true and if it all lines up ok, it'll with any luck make you feel something.
I am an aggregate of all my crushing errors, ennui, small victories, narrow misses and am the metamorphism of said forces. A wine can in its way be this way too if not fussed around with too much or put on an altar. I want it to be fun to drink the wines. I want them to be alive. From my perspective, nothing else really matters, but they aren't mine anymore once they're in your hands.
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