2014 Day Wines Pinot Noir Cancilla’s Vineyard
Region: Willamette Valley < Oregon
Grapes: Pinot Noir
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic/bioD farming; calcareous clay soils with decomposed seashells and seaweed; aged in French oak for 11 months (85% old, 15% new); 20ppm SO2 added at bottling; 450 cases produced; 13% ABV
Winemaker: Brianne Day
Brianne Day’s story reads like a modern-day fairy tale: in 2006, recently divorced and alone in the world, having been cut off from her family after abandoning the Jehovah’s Witness religion with which she was raised, the spunky blonde with a trademark pixie cut sold everything she owned and began traveling through wine regions all over the world. Over 8 years she visited 80 different regions, working at wineries in Burgundy, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand, before re-establishing her home base in Oregon and picking up a “winemaking habit”, as she describes it. To support this habit, she waited tables at Little Bird in Portland, where she met a wealthy couple who eventually ended up funding her fledgling wine business. Now she’s making 2500 cases of wine per year, working only with small family growers working organically or biodynamically. She’s also paying her good luck forward – her new 14,000-square-foot winery in the Dundee Hills was designed to be sort of a commune, where small-scale producers working naturally can rent facilities for their own wine labels. Guys, this is a winemaker to watch. Not only is she a badass chick, but she’s making wines that are pure, pristine and so, so beautiful, almost ethereal. This pretty Pinot from a vineyard with direct exposure to Oregon’s rocky seashore is vibrant and nervy, with energetic black raspberry and bitter cherry, and a hint of salty ocean spray. Feminine, elegant and delicious (not to mention organic) single-vineyard Pinot under $40 – yes please!