2018 Troon Vineyards Applegate Valley Zinfandel
Region: Applegate Valley > Oregon
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified regenerative organic (2020) and Demeter-certified biodynamic (2018), heavy focus on regenerative agriculture; de-stemmed, fermented in stainless steel and aged in old neutral oak (7yrs average); bottled unfined/unfiltered with zero added So2; 12.8% ABV
Winemaker: Nate WallIt is not every day you hear about a domestic winery converting to biodynamic farming, so when we heard the Troon story we were thrilled to get behind it. Troon Vineyards was founded in 1972 by Dick Troon, considered one of the pioneers of Oregon winemaking. He established one of the first vineyards in southern Oregon, and he was the first in the entire state to plant Zinfandel. When he decided to retire and sell the property the new owners planted several new varieties, yet they kept the zinfandel vines, which are now nearly 50 years old! Unfortunately they also let the wine quality slip and the reputation of the property began to suffer. After yet another ownership change in 2017, Troon is moving forward again, this time with an identifiable vision that includes certified organic and biodynamic farming, with a focus on regenerative agriculture, and mostly Rhone varietals. This means goodbye zinfandel vines but we can get over seeing them go if it means another voice for soil health and biodiversity. At Troon, GM Craig Camp is a firm believer in both of these things and also low intervention winemaking. He sees his work as nurturing the mirobiome of the soil, allowing the natural bacteria and fungi to flourish, and doing so by introducing a variety of plants and animals to the vineyards. These now include cider apple trees, vegetable gardens, sheep, chickens, grains, bees, and pollinator habitats. And he uses So. Much. Compost. to keep that nitrogen flowing. His motto, taken from the new Regenerative Organic Certification, says it all ‘farm like the world depends on it’. We couldn’t agree more and while we won’t be able to enjoy the zinfandel after this year, there is plenty more from Troon to come. In the meantime, stock up on this truly last chance wine! Purposefully made to be a lighter expression of this variety, it is light and fruity and easy to drink with silky tannins. We recommend it slightly chilled and paired with a post-pandemic picnic or BBQ!