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Brick House Vineyards

Brick House Vineyards 2013 Gamay Noir

Finding peace in caring for the land

Oregon native Doug Tunnell spent nearly two decades covering war zones for CBS News, much of that time in Lebanon, Iran, and Chad. Stationed later in Germany and France, he fell in love with wine. And when he learned that a prominent French winemaker had bought acreage in Oregon, he decided to follow suit and returned to Oregon to found a small farm in the Willamette Valley.

What originally started as a sad little hazelnut farm choked with chemicals was cleared and turned into an entirely organically-farmed vineyard. Doug’s fruit was in high demand and his connection to the land deepened. His light-on-the-land approach was a deliberate counterpoint to the ravages that he had seen war wreak on the landscape in the Mideast. Eventually moving beyond organic, the Brick House Vineyard became one of the first biodynamic vineyards in Oregon.

Doug explains: “While the organic practices are largely passive, the Biodynamic practices are pro-active. They feed our farm and our imagination. We have come to regard the farm as a holistic organism – much like the human body — built on interdependent relationships that, when in good health, act and react in harmonious balance.”

Brick House Vineyards

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Brick House Vineyards, Newberg, Oregon
2013 Gamay Noir

Gamay Noir is an unusual varietal. It is largely found in Beaujolais, France. Fortunately for us, Ribbon Ridge in the Willamette Valley has much in common with Beaujolais. A few other folks in the Willamette Valley and some wineries in British Columbia are making the wine but that’s it.

Gamay Noir can be a luscious, dark wine with enough acidity to match a wide array of foods and this wine is no exception. It is a hearty and flavorful wine, bright with acid, floral and often laced with notes of anise or licorice. A wonderful alternative to Pinot Noir for folks want to explore more reds from the Willamette Valley.

A Cellar 503 selection in April 2015, Biodynamic, Organic & LIVE Certified Wines Ribbon Ridge | Gamay Noir