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Illahe Wine

Illahe Wine 2015 Estate Grüner Veltliner

Seriously old-school winemaking

Unlike a certain global beer brand, Illahe’s horses aren’t just for show. A team of Percheron draft horses mow and deliver handpicked grapes from the vineyard to the winery. They even have one wine, their 1899 Pinot Noir, that is made entirely in a 19th century style – no electricity, pressed and bottled by hand, and delivered to Portland by a fleet of canoes and bicycles.

At Illahee, the Ford family is seriously committed to making wine as naturally as possible. No enzymes, no additives, no chemicals, and above all, they dry farm their 80-acre vineyard.

Lowell Ford planted his first grapes back in 1983 and for years sold most of it grapes to surrounding wineries. Lowell was a founding force behind the enology program at Chemeketa Community College and remains an integral part of the Oregon wine community.

His son, Brad, helped with his first harvest back in high school – and now, years later, is the head winemaker. He and his wife Bethany have overseen rapid growth at Illahe and worked hard to bring their old-fashioned, classic-style wines to the public.

Illahe Wine

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Illahe Wine, Dallas, Oregon
2015 Estate Grüner Veltliner

I’m so excited to share a Grüner Veltliner with you.

This is one of those wines that I am passionate about but haven’t found the right one to share – until now. Traditionally found in Austria, there’s not much of it grown in Oregon. It is a light, dry white wine with a wonderful minerality to it and fantastic herbaceous qualities.

This 2015 wine from Illahe is a wonderful example of how enjoyable Grüner Veltliner can be. It’s particularly aromatic, with hints of grapefruit, lemon peel, and white pepper. And it is aged in acacia barrels – an unusual wood barrel that imparts lovely soft floral and herbal qualities to wine.

This is the perfect food wine during these gorgeous warm spring days.

A Cellar 503 selection in April 2016, Dry Farmed Wines Eola-Amity Hills | Grüner Veltliner