The daffodils may be coming up, but for us bottling Rosé is the true sign that Spring is coming to the Willamette Valley. This is the first wine of the new vintage we release every year. When Summer hits, we’ll be toasting to the return of sunshine with glasses of pink wine.

We bottle our 100% Pinot Noir Rosé in clear glass because we want everyone to see its beautiful, pale rose color. After all, part of the joy of drinking a pink wine has always been admiring its color! Just like with all of our white wines, we add inert gas (CO2 or Nitrogen) at multiple points to prevent oxidation. To finish, we use a screwcap, the best closure for protecting the fresh aromatics of cool-climate white wines.

CO2
Inert gas is added to the head-space and the screwcap after filling.

Like all of our wines, our Rosé is put into bottle in-house, with multiple checks for quality control. Every half hour we ensure caps are tight enough to protect the wine, but loose enough to open by hand:

Adam and José checking screwcap closures
Winemaker Adam Campbell and cellarmaster José Sotto check screwcap torque.

We hope you enjoy our Rosé – it’s one of our favorite wines to make and to pour.  Happy almost Spring!

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

We’ve been featured on Grant’s Getaways! Grant McOmie is one of Oregon’s favorite travel journalists and we are honored to be included on this feature on the Oregon Wine Country Electric Vehicle Byway, otherwise known as Plug & Pinot.

You can explore many Oregon travel destinations with Grant on the Travel Oregon website as well as at KGW.com.

Spring Growth BannerA lot has been happening this spring! Here’s what’s been going on at Elk Cove over the past three months.

In the Vineyard:

We officially have 100% budbreak. We’re still about 2 weeks behind our average year so we anticipate a later harvest than in 2016. On a warm day this time of year you can almost watch the vines grow, they’ll gain an inch or more in height in 24 hours!

Travis and the vineyard crew have planted an additional 10 acres of Pinot Noir (Adam’s favorite Dijon clone 777) at Mount Richmond Vineyard. We still have a bit more room for planting at Mount Richmond. This is our largest vineyard site just outside the town of Yamhill, Oregon.

We’ve been mowing or disking in our cover crops. These grasses and legumes help us retain soil moisture, balance soil fertility and prevent erosion.

In the Winery

Winemakers Heather and Adam are tasting every single barrel in the cellar, some more than once! We can laugh about what a cushy job this is, but it’s real work trying to maintain your palate all day. Heather says peppy music is essential. They are choosing blends for each of our Single Vineyard Pinot Noirs as well as our Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.

Bottling of our 2016 white wines (and our 2016 Rosé) is finished! Our 100% Pinot Noir Rosé, Pinot Gris, and Estate Riesling have all been released but it will be another year or so before the 2016 reds are available.

In the Tasting Room

We recently hosted members of our Roosevelt Club for our Spring Dinner. Chef Jessica Hansen of the Kitchen at Middleground Farms did a great job with the menu and Kari and Katherine presented Roosevelt magnums to 12 members who’ve been in our Wine Club for 10 years or longer.

Katherine, Elissa and the Tasting Room crew are gearing up for Summer. Oregon has such beautiful weather in June, July and August so we expect a lot of visitors in the coming months. We’re especially excited about our collaborative event with the Portland Opera, Opera in the Vineyard as well as our sister winery Pike Road Wine’s Eclipse Party.

Here are a few photos of the spring season: