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Winter's Hill Estate 2016 Pinot Blanc Reserve

Travel the world, come home to Oregon

As a young woman, Emily left the family clover and wheat farm to discover the world. Her destination? Ecuador, as a Peace Corps volunteer. Before long, she met Peter, a fellow Peace Corps volunteer and budding academic. After Ecuador, home became Michigan. But Oregon called, and they left academia to try their hand at growing grapes on that old family farm.

At the time, their son Russell was just 18. Wine was definitely in his blood, but he too felt the call of the wide world out there. First, New Zealand, where he explored the techniques used to make wine on the other side of the globe. Then, back to Oregon, where he met a nice French girl, Delphine, working in a winery. From there, France – of course – where the young couple studied winemaking in Burgundy.

In 2004, Russell and Delphine were married and they came right back to Oregon. Delphine spent a decade as head winemaker for Winter’s Hill, and now Russell leads the way. Under his leadership, Winter’s Hill has built a reputation for excellent wines and deep stewardship of the land. They are working to restore Oregon Oak forests and ensure habitat-friendly vineyard management practices.

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Winter's Hill Estate, Dayton, Oregon
2016 Pinot Blanc Reserve

We’re excited to be featuring Winter’s Hill for the first time at Cellar 503. A third-generation Oregon farm, the wines nonetheless have a French character, as winemaker Russell Gladhart studied winemaking in France — and his French wife, Delphine, served as winemaker for a decade.

So, no surprise, this Pinot Blanc is a bit more complex than you might be used to, more French in style.

Nicely concentrated flavors of ripe pear, Meyer lemon, and white peach pair nicely with perfumed notes of chamomile and vanilla. Pay attention and you might pick up an interesting hint of smoky minerality. The acid is soft in this wine – it doesn’t hit you over the head, but the backbone is there.

This wine is a fabulous winter wine, as its best pairings are going to be comfort foods -- coq au vin or roasted salmon with stewed root vegetables.

A Cellar 503 selection in January 2020, Winter Warmers Dundee Hills | Pinot Blanc