2016 Day Wines Vin de Days Rouge Pinot Noir
Region: Chehalem Mountains < Willamette Valley < Oregon
Grapes: Pinot Noir
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming; soil is a mix of Laurelwood (a particular type of silty loam Ice Age loess, a remnant of the last big glacial retreat found only in the Chehalem Mountains) and iron-rich, volcanic red Jory; Noel Family fruit went into a large open top tank whole cluster and Nemarniki fruit was destemmed and added on top, then a sealed lid was placed on the tank until fermentation began; 1 pump over/day then transferred to a new tank to finish fermentation; bottled unfined and unfiltered with minimal SO2; 367 cases
Winemaker: Brianne Day
One of our favorite new Oregon producers is Brianne Day, whose single-vineyard Pinot we featured in February. In case you missed that wine or her story, here’s a refresher: 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. This wine is her take on the light, juicy and extremely drinkable Vin de Table everyday wines of France. The grapes hail from the high altitude, organic Noel Family and Nemarniki vineyards in the Chehalem Mountain AVA, each with a distinctive soil type that gives the wine bright red fruit and intensely earthy notes. You get ripe strawberry, red cherry, candied raspberry and rose petals balanced by some wet forest floor. Energetic and exotic – you want this, with a slight chill, on a warm afternoon as you’re prepping the grill. Or with Moroccan food, would be so nice with all the spices.