Helioterra Wines 2014 Starthistle Cuvee

For the love of the land

How did a gal from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, grow up to become one of Oregon's up-and­coming winemakers?

Growing up on the shores of Lake Michigan, Anne Ebenreiter Hubatch felt a deep connection to the land around her. In college, she studied geology with an eye toward becoming an environmental policy wonk. She started down that path, as a political organizer and environmental activist.

But politics doesn't often come with tangible results, and as Anne says, "it'll drive you to drink!"

Soon enough, her passion for the land found its expression in her hands - as a winemaker. After several years of working for well-known wineries in the Willamette Valley, Anne struck out on her own and launched her own label and her first vintage in 2009.

Of course, once an organizer, always an organizer. In addition to her own labels, Whoa Nelly!, Alter Ego Cider, and Helioterra, Anne has helped organized Guild, a cooperative of four winemakers working together to make great wine.

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Helioterra Wines, Salem, Oregon
2014 Starthistle Cuvee

What in the world is Huxelrebe? It's a German grape varietal so obscure that the federal government won't recognize it as an official varietal for use on wine labels. First developed in 1927 in the Rhineland, it achieved modest recognition in the 1950s, often as a dessert wine. Today, there are barely 2000 acres grown worldwide, mostly in Germany and England.

A decade ago, Anne was working at Madrone Mountain Vineyard. Working with Don Mixon, they produced three vintages of a Riesling and Huxelrebe blend that was so striking that, years later, fans were still begging Anne to bring it back.

And now, here it is. 57% Riesling and 43% Huxelrebe, the Starthistle Cuvee is balanced, off-dry, and a little bit racy. You'll notice spicy notes of jasmine and cardamom along with a notes of honey and beeswax. When the rain comes, this bottle of sunshine will be great paired with your favorite upbeat tunes and dancing in your underwear!

A Cellar 503 selection in September 2016, Back to School: Unusual Varietals Oregon | Huxelrebe, Riesling

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