Cana's Feast Winery 2014 Primitivo

Old world wine with Oregon flair.

Believe it or not, it’s possible to draw a straight line from the culinary wasteland that is TGI Fridays to the exquisite old world wines found at Cana’s Feast.

Here’s the story: For winemaker Patrick Taylor, it all started when he was an uninspired history major. He quit school and took a job at TGI Fridays to pay the rent. Alongside the lineup of bland American pilsners were a handful of microbrews that made his tastebuds sing. Before long, he decided to head home to Oregon and try his hand at brewing beer.

At Oregon State, studying fermentation science, his passion for beer turned into a passion for wine, and a winemaker was born. Working on big red wines with famed winemaker Andrew Rich, and later with Cana’s Feast founder Gino Cuneo, Patrick fell in love with big Italian reds. He experiments and tinkers, tweaking his barrel strategy, his aging strategy, and more.

Over the last decade, as head winemaker at Cana’s Feast, Patrick has led the way toward their “decidedly uncommon” style, producing Pacific Northwest wines inspired by old world wines from Italy, Bordeaux, the Rhône, and Burgundy. Just don’t serve his wines with the endless mozzarella sticks.

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Cana's Feast Winery, Carlton, Oregon
2014 Primitivo

Primitivo is an Italian varietal first documented in the 1870s, but one that traces its history to the Phoenician seafarers that settled in Apulia (that’s the heel of Italy’s boot). Dark, inky, and tannic, it is increasingly popular here in Oregon.

Similar to the Zinfandel grape found in America, it was long thought to have been imported to Italy from the United States. But DNA research conducted in the 1990s revealed that both grapes are actually related to a grape native to Croatia, Crljenak Kaštelanski. Serious science, but a viticultural mystery that was only revealed when researchers found a single 90-year-old grape vine in the garden of an elderly woman on the Adriatic coast of Croatia.

Cana’s Feast obtains its grapes from the Northridge Vineyard in the Columbia Valley. You’ll notice bright red strawberry notes alongside richer flavors like figs and dates. Enjoy it this winter with braised beef, roasted vegetables, or perhaps barbecue ribs and okra.

A Cellar 503 selection in January 2018, Italy in Oregon Columbia Valley | Primitivo

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