Release 17 - February 2018

Foot of the Bed Willamette Valley Pinot Gris 2016

 Winemaker: Dan Rinke of Johan Vineyards

Winemaker: Dan Rinke of Johan Vineyards

Finding A New Home


Although Pinot Gris is essentially a white wine version of the Pinot Noir grape, it is rare to find
versions that even come close to rivaling its red counterpart in intensity or complexity. In fact,
many of the most simple, unremarkable, yet pleasing examples are actually some of the most
popular worldwide. Known as Pinot Grigio in northern Italy, the grape produces highly quaffable
light white wines. In Alsace, France, the wines become fuller and more dense with ripe citrus,
baked apple and spice notes. The grape first came to the Willamette Valley over fifty years ago
and has adapted nicely to its new home. Winery owner Dag Johan Sundby has also adjusted
nicely to Oregon wine country, having moved from Scandinavia in 2004. Winemaker Dan Rinke
worked at several top-notch California wineries before heading north himself.
 

Extremely Organic
 

Johan Vineyards is known for their adherence to biodynamic principles. Biodynamic grape
growing can be thought of as organic farming take to a whole ‘nother level. In addition to
avoiding pesticides and other chemicals, biodynamic producers must treat their vineyards with
certain preparations of herbs and minerals. Vineyard tasks, such as pruning and harvesting,
must be timed so as to maximize the “positive power” of the earth, moon, and sun. While this
may sound like a New Age farming experiment taken too far, the practice was originally
developed in the 1920’s and has since been adopted by many of the world’s most esteemed
domaines. We certainly think this Pinot Gris is some of the best out there from Oregon, with
juicy white peach and fragrant honeysuckle notes driving the wine.

 

Foot of the Bed Cellars Sonoma Valley Red Wine (NV)

 Winemaker: Ned Hill, formerly of Durell Vineyards

Winemaker: Ned Hill, formerly of Durell Vineyards

Composition:
 

2016 Merlot - 39%
2014 Zinfandel - 36.5%
2013 Petite Sirah - 14.5%
2016 Grenache - 10%
 

Over The Years
 

We are thrilled to be featuring our second release from Sonoma native Ned Hill. Here, the “NV”
stands for non-vintage. Although blending multiple vintages to create a very complete blend is
common for sparkling wines in the Champagne region, it is not something you see as often in
California red wines. The Merlot and Grenache from 2016 add a sense of freshness. Both of
these grapes are known for their red fruit character, and this wine is brimming with notes of ripe
raspberry and grilled red plums. The Zinfandel and Petite Sirah are both known for their spicy
character. This spiciness is even more prevalent since these two wine components have had
time to develop complexity over the course of the past few years prior to blending. While a wine
like this may not tell the story of a specific growing season, it certainly shows off the bounty of
the Sonoma Valley area over the course of several years. The wine is incredibly full-bodied, with
unabashed fruit and spice and a smooth, round finish.
 

The Other Valley


Although not as famous as the Napa Valley a few miles east, Sonoma Valley is responsible for
some of California’s finest wines. California’s first winery, Buena Vista, was established in the
region in 1857. The valley is protected by mountains to the east and west, but open to cool air
coming up from the bay to the south. This diverse terroir is home to over a dozen different grape
varieties and over a hundred wineries. Ned Hill has long served in leadership roles in the local
grapegrower alliance. He is certainly part of the current generation’s commitment to producing
world-class wines from the historic region.

Martin Sheehan-Stross