Girardet Vineyard & Winery 2016 Sangiovese

Rhone rogues: Like father, like son.

Growing up near the headwaters of the Rhone, Philippe Girardet was frustrated by the rules, regulations, and stodgy traditions of European winemaking. So, after a chance visit to the Umpqua Valley on vacation, he came back to Oregon and founded Girardet Cellars in 1971.

Oregon was a place where experimentation and new ideas were welcome, so it’s no surprise that Philippe was the first winemaker in Oregon to grow Baco Noir.

Today, you’ll still run into Phillippe in the tasting room outside Roseburg, but the winemaking duties now belong to his son, Marc. The youngest winemaker in Oregon when he started, just 24 years old, Marc’s also made a name for himself. In wine, but also because he made headlines when a light plane he was piloting lost power.

Marc managed to safely guide the plane and his sole passenger to safety by cleanly landing the crippled plane right on Interstate 5. He dodged the power lines, avoided the cars, landed on the highway, and pulled the plane onto the median.

So, if you’re visiting Girardet, toast his skill as a pilot and a winemaker with a taste of their Touchdown Red!

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Girardet Vineyard & Winery, Roseburg, Oregon
2016 Sangiovese

As you come around the bend, you may be stunned to see unusual-looking vineyards at Girardet. Rather than the typical straight rows, with vines stretching along wires, you’ll see “bush vines”, singular grape plants growing like wine goblets tied to individual stakes.

In fact, the bush-vine method is the historic and traditional method. Training vines to grow along wires is a relatively new innovation. So, why has Marc Girardet found inspiration in the old methods? Well, bush vines provide a lusher canopy, shading grapes from the heat of the sun. It also tends to produce a fewer grapes with thicker skins and concentrated flavors.

This 2016 Sangiovese is extraordinary. Smooth and silky, you’ll get floral aromatics; flavors of currant, cedar, and leather; and a finish reminiscent of strawberry jam and spice. An Italian varietal, pair it with your favorite Italian food – or try it with cedar-plank salmon or an earthy mushroom risotto.

A Cellar 503 selection in August 2019, Umpqua Valley AVA Umpqua Valley | Sangiovese

Explore Oregon Wines: Wineries | Varietals | AVAs | Cellar 503 Selections