Here’s your Harvest 2017 update:

October 1st:

This year our winemaking interns hail from around the US – Florida, Pennsylvania, Utah, California and Oregon, with a single international student from Italy. Their experience varies, between them they have an average of two harvest seasons under their belts working in New Zealand, France, Pennsylvania and Oregon. This year we have our interns housed on two vineyard sites: Mount Richmond and Goodrich. We are enjoying 12 hour work days, hearty lunches made by Pat Campbell and daily riddles – if anyone has any good ones send them along!

Also on our crew, Elk Cove’s Shirley Brooks, VP of Sales and Marketing. Shirley is taking a “break” from the world of selling wine and managing our sales and marketing team to punch down, sort, rack and clean.

October 23rd:

We’ve brought in 90%+ of our fruit so far with some record-breaking days. Wednesday October 9th was our biggest day ever, with 110 tons landing on the crush-pad in one day. That’s enough fruit to produce 6,600 cases cases of wine. At 800 grapes/bottle, that means over 63 million grapes!

November 2nd:

November is upon us & we finally are getting a chance to catch our breath. All fruit is now in the cellar with red ferments bubbling away in open tanks and white ferments undergoing slow cold fermentation in closed tanks.

This harvest has been a classic Oregon vintage with plenty of sunny days and refreshingly cool nights only interrupted by rain a few times in late September and mid-October.

With over 40 vintages under our belt and amazing hillside vineyards we were able to pick the right harvesting windows and pick beautifully ripe fruit. Even at this very early stage we are seeing ripe tannins, fully developed flavors & classic cool climate freshness in all the wines. As always it is really too early to make any pronouncements on the vintage so stay tuned!

We got our hands dirty at IPNC, diving into the three dominant soil types of the Willamette Valley!

“Elk Cove is one of the Founding Wineries of the International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC) held in Oregon each Summer and it is by far the best wine event on the planet!

Educational, inspirational, and super-fun, this Pinot Celebration brings together the best winemakers from Burgundy, Oregon, California as well as top folks from New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, Germany, Australia (too many to list) for a weekend of seminars, tastings, sharing of ideas and amazing meals in the relaxed collegial setting of Linfield College in McMinnville.”

-Adam Campbell, Elk Cove Vineyards Owner & Winemaker

Our 2017 IPNC seminar at the Elk Cove Winery Estate explored the three main soil types of the Northern Willamette Valley: Willakenzie, Laurelwood & Jory.

On a knoll overlooking some of the oldest vines in the Willamette Valley, our winemaker Adam Campbell was joined by three International and American Pinot Noir winemakers for a blending seminar exploring the relationship between soil and aromatics and fruit expression. We tasted barrel samples of our La Bohème (Willakenzie/marine sediment), Five Mountain (Laurelwood/windblown silt) and Clay Court (Jory/volcanic clay) vineyards. IPNC guests then tried their hand at crafting the perfect blend!

Curious how soil affects wine? Our IPNC Soil Trilogy is a great way to experience three wines made with the same varietal, by the same winemaker, our own Adam Campbell, from grapes grown on each of the three primary soil types here in the Willamette Valley. We are very fortunate to farm Pinot Noir on each of the three major Willamette Valley soil types: Willakenzie (marine sedimentary), Laurelwood (windblown silt) and Jory (volcanic clay).

What is the signature of soil types in Oregon’s Willamette Valley? This is your chance to find out first-hand and taste for yourself.

Our Single Vineyard Wines are made in small runs, this offer is only available while supplies last.

Buy the Trilogy >

Our 2015 Clay Court Pinot Noir received an excellent 91 point rating from Wine Enthusiast.

“Pommard and Dijon clones planted in 2001 fuel this tasty wine. Its dusty plum and black cherry fruit carries a touch of dark chocolate, all framed by firm yet polished tannins. Built to age, it can be enjoyed now with a good decanting.”-P.G.

This review will post in the October issue of Wine Enthusiast Magazine and at winemag.com. According to Senior Tasting Director Joe Czerwinski, Wine Enthusiast blind tastes wines for review and rates their wines according to a 100 point scale:

Classic 98-100: The pinnacle of quality.
Superb 94-97: A great achievement.
Excellent 90-93: Highly recommended.
Very Good 87-89: Often good value; well recommended.
Good 83-86: Suitable for everyday consumption; often good value.
Acceptable 80-82: Can be employed in casual, less-critical circumstances.
Wines receiving a rating below 80 are not reviewed.

On July 9th we hosted our Roosevelt Club Members for our annual BBQ. Thanks to everyone who made this event possible: Elk Cove staff, our Volunteers from the Forest Grove Swim Team and Pacific University Cheer, Harvey Brindell and the Table Rockers, Jessica Hansen of Middleground Farms, Zeph Shepard of Proletariat Butchery, Parties By Inez and most importantly our wine club members!

Elk Cove has made wine writer Chuck Hill’s “Wines of the Week” in his feature pairing Pinot Noir with a classic Northwest dish: Salmon. This is a lesser-known pairing outside of our region, but here in Oregon it’s standard fare for a celebratory dinner or summer BBQ.

“It is a true pleasure to linger over delicious Copper River salmon from the grill paired with perfectly balanced Pinot Noir from Oregon’s best vineyards. The Elk Cove Willamette Valley blend comes from all five estate vineyards plus some purchased fruit. Different soil types and a variety of clones assure a complex and flavorful bottling. Look for dark cherry and chalky mineral with hints of citrus, toasty oak and red plum. ” – Chuck Hill

Thanks for reviewing our wine Chuck! To see more wines of the week, go to winesnw.com