Sno Road Winery 2012 Zinfandel

You can taste Echo in the wine

Growing up farming amidst the sagebrush, Lloyd Piercy craved adventure. And he's found it - exploring the world through his work as a world-class ski race course builder. That's right: If you're looking for someone to organize the crew to build and manage a World Cup or Olympic downhill ski racing course, Lloyd is your guy.

It was in those experiences - often in France, Italy, Austria, and Switzerland - that Lloyd discovered his love of wine. His international crews would share affordable, guality wines from their home countries over simple meals and big laughs.

So in 2004, Lloyd and Lois planted grapes at their ranch in Echo, Oregon. Echo? That's right, they're growing 39 acres of grapes at an 850-foot elevation about ten miles southeast of Hermiston. It is wind-swept land rich in volcanic ash and bright sunshine - perfect for growing grapes.

And as a globe-trotting adventurer, Lloyd knows that Echo can stand up to the best that the world has to offer. As he told the Hermiston Herald, "People that have discovered the fruit from Echo know that Echo has a taste, it has a flavor, it has a smell, and you can find it in the wine."

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Sno Road Winery, Echo, Oregon
2012 Zinfandel

Zinfandel is an ancient grape, though "Zinfandel" is the name that Americans gave in the middle of the 19th century. It is genetically identical to the Italian Primitive and the Croatian Crljenak Kastelanski, though some winemakers report slight variations in flavors, even when grown in the same vineyard.

Whatever its provenance, Zinfandel in the USA has long been considered the domain of the Californians. But as writer Cole Danehower put it, Oregon is home to "a small but surprisingly vibrant Zinfandel community". In fact, there's another winery in the Columbia Valley - The Pines 1852 - that has had eight acres planted for the last 165 years.

Sno Road's Zinfandel was planted at the Echo West Vineyard in 2006. Grown in volcanic ash, Lloyd Piercy notes "a stark quality and minerality in the wine" that's unusual for the usually fruit-forward varietal. You'll pick up cracked pepper alongside the marionberry and boysenberry notes. On the finish, you might even pick up cloves and cocoa as you let it linger.

A Cellar 503 selection in July 2017, Eastern Oregon Columbia Valley | Zinfandel

Explore Oregon Wines: Wineries | Varietals | AVAs | Cellar 503 Selections