2020 Pinot Blanc
VINTAGE 2020 was a challenging vintage with nicely concentrated wines. The COVID-19 outbreak brought labor and safety challenges that we overcame in step with increased seasonal demands in the vineyard and cellar. Luckily our vines are 6 feet apart and well suited for social-distancing, but creative solutions saved the day – we even recruited our sales team for our harvest crew.
Cool, wet conditions in spring led to a 25% lighter than average fruit set with small clusters and berries, ideal conditions for flavor intensity. Summer brought steady heat and cool nights, increasing our expectations for a fantastic vintage across the board here in the Willamette Valley. Then, in August and September, Oregon experienced one of its worst wildfire seasons in history, bringing with it worries of smoke-affected fruit. Ripening slowed until the winds shifted eastward and the skies cleared in mid-September.
The silver lining for Elk Cove is that our vines are located in the northwest corner of the Willamette Valley, where smoke effects were minimal. We will not release any wines that exhibit smoke taint, and have aggressively tested for it. We sent a great many samples to the laboratory in 2020. We’re confident that we made some fantastic wines from intensely concentrated fruit.
The fruit for this Pinot Blanc is all hand-harvested from our own hillside vineyards, including our Five Mountain, Mount Richmond and Estate Vineyards.
The Willamette Valley has an ideal climate for Pinot Blanc, a delicate grape variety – enough sunlight and warmth for ripening, with cooler night temperatures that help retain varietal character. To preserve the freshness, our Pinot Blanc is whole-cluster pressed then fermented at very cool temperatures in small stainless steel tanks, all of which accentuates aromatics and enhances the richness and viscosity of the wine.
Viticultural & Enological Data
- Vine Age 5-27 Years
- Harvest Sugars 22.9
- pH 3.08
- Vatting Whole-cluster pressed and cold fermented in small stainless steel tanks.