Dion Vineyard 2016 Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

The god of the harvest and wine

My son is obsessed with Greek mythology. Has been for years. Learning the various gods’ and demigods’ names, powers and lineage with astounding facility is only one of his talents. Zeus, Apollo, Athena, Poseidon are all big in our house.

Of course, in the wine business, it’s Dionysus that looms large – the god of the harvest and wine, and the namesake of Dion Vineyard in Cornelius, Oregon. First planted in 1973 by Kevin’s parents, Ron & Joanne, their beloved Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes have been in demand for many well-known winemakers for decades.

At first, Kevin had no interest in the family business and was content to manage the vineyard from a distance and sell their entire crop. He nurtured his own passions for aeronautical engineering and created his own path in the world of airplanes, space shuttles and drones. But a decade ago, the viticulture bug bit and Kevin gave up his engineering career.

Under his direction, Dion Vineyard became LIVE Certified back in 2009. For him, and his equally talented marketing-guru/assistant winemaker wife Beth, sustainable farming has a direct impact on the expressiveness of his wines. With fewer inputs, the land can shine through more clearly.

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Dion Vineyard, Cornelius, Oregon
2016 Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a delicate fruit, a major reason why it’s so prized by wine lovers. The land, water, and climate shine through so clearly – and it certainly does in this 2016 edition by Dion.

It was August 31, 2016. Way too early to harvest grapes in most years, but in 2016, the heat was unbearable, but cooling off as the sun set. What did it mean for the wine?

Well, it was certainly unusual. This wine has a bright acidity and lower alcohol levels like a cool-year wine, with the big punch of fruit you’ll find in warm-year wines. It’s a rare combination and makes this an extraordinary wine.

You’ll pick up citrus notes at first, along with some spice and mineral aromas. When you taste, you’ll pick up those bold cherry pie notes – big fruit and lovely acid. Then, you’ll notice those ripe fruits are joined by cola, white pepper, and clove notes, finishing with a creaminess that lingers.

A Cellar 503 selection in March 2019, North Willamette Valley Wineries Chehalem Mountains | Pinot Noir

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