Day Wines 2017 Aligoté

Wearing her heart on her sleeve

Hollywood is full of stories of stars getting discovered by producers and directors while waiting tables. But a winemaker? The story of Brianne Day is almost too good to be true.

She was waiting tables part-time at Portland’s Little Bird restaurant, when a customer asked about the wine-grapes tattoo on her forearm. She struck up a conversation about her love of wine — and her dream of building a world-class winery.

You see, Brianne Day fell in love with Oregon’s wine country when she was 16. With a new driver’s license, she drove the hills and valleys and knew she wanted to be part of it. Later, she explored Europe, trading vineyard work for lodging. Finally back home, she worked every angle of the business — in a wine shop, in a restaurant, selling barrels, at a distributor, and at a winery. And in 2012, she started Day Wines, with just 125 cases produced.

But those customers at Little Bird saw her potential along with that tattoo, and offered — on the spot — to invest. Now, she’s up to 6000 cases a year of fantastic wines and she’s opened Day Camp, a collaborative facility for small winemakers in the heart of the Willamette Valley.

It’s a true story. And Brianne Day is just getting started.

PHOTO BY CHRISTINE DONG

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Day Wines, Dundee, Oregon
2017 Aligoté

Aligoté is a winemaker’s wine. In France, it’s largely ignored by the wine-drinking public, though it is the third-most grown wine in Burgundy (after Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.)

In the old and new worlds, winegrowers wax eloquently about this wine that is bright and fresh, and perfect after a long, hot day pruning the vines or racking barrels. As the French winemaker Jean-Marc Roulot said, “You don’t want Aligoté to be a pretentious wine, all puffed up. It was a wine for the family and the worker. Maybe I’m a prisoner of old habits, but a simple wine is a simple wine, and there’s no shame in that.”

You’ll find strong notes of citrus fruit and minerality, and a mouthwatering acidity. It’s a wine for simply prepared steamed vegetables and fish with a squeeze of lemon. Try it with Thai food too, as it pairs nicely with lemongrass, star anise, and hot peppers.

In Oregon, Aligoté is a rare find – believed to be grown at just one vineyard in Oregon. So, when Brianne Day had her chance, she grabbed it! Just 325 cases produced.

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