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Keeler Estate Vineyard

Keeler Estate Vineyard 2017 Concrete Dolia Pinot Gris

The Biodynamic Power of... Manure!

A small, energetic sprite of a woman with a charming European accent, Gabrielle Keeler bought the 200-acre Keeler Estate in 1989 with her husband, Craig. But back then, no one would have called it an “estate”. It was run down and choked with blackberries – but a great place to spread out and raise their kids and a large population of various 4-H animals.

After years of clearing land, research on climate and soils, the Keeler Estate was ready to grow grapes. It’s an ideal location for a biodynamic winery: rolling hills rimmed with dense forest, soils enriched with manure, and people who understood the delicate (and, ahem, indelicate) balance of a vineyard ecosystem in creating great wine.

For years, they sold their grapes to other local wineries, barely keeping up with demand. But never one to stray from a challenge, Gabrielle decided to jump into the winemaking business to help buyers understand the quality of the grapes they were buying.

Working with a variety of highly successful local winemakers, the Keelers have developed a line-up of classic Willamette Valley wines that are a joy to drink.

Keeler Estate Vineyard

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Keeler Estate Vineyard, Amity, Oregon
2017 Concrete Dolia Pinot Gris

What is a Concrete Dolia? It is a concrete fermentation tank inspired by the original Roman amphorae vessels. (At Keeler, they affectionately call theirs “Darth Vader”.)

Thanks to its special shape, the lees (dead yeast cells) are continuously circulated by an internal current similar to a vortex. That continuous circulation creates far more softness and roundness than wines whose lees are hand-stirred.

This Pinot Gris is a far more sophisticated wine than most on the market. You’ll pick up notes of Anjou pear and a marked minerality from the concrete. There are yeasty hints of bread and bright notes of lemon.

But what will really blow you away is the texture. Soft and round, it is unlike anything we’ve experienced!

A Cellar 503 selection in October 2019, Unusual Vessels Eola-Amity Hills | Pinot Gris