Watermill Winery 2017 Nebbiolo

From apples to wine grapes...

The orchards around Milton-Freewater produce some of the best apples in the world. Over the last several decades, the Brown family has developed a reputation for producing some of the highest-quality fruit in the region. And their Blue Mountain Cider Company is renowned for its hard ciders.

A decade ago, the Browns decided to try their hand at wine. With several estate vineyards on the Oregon side of the Walla Walla AVA and The Rocks District AVA, they were committed to using sustainable farming practices to produce grapes deeply rooted in the terroir.

At first, the plan was to grow grapes and sell them. But after a few years, the winemakers at Chateau Ste. Michelle told them the grapes were so good they should launch their own winery. And Watermill was born.

Now, Andrew Brown is the second-generation winemaker (and cidermaker) leading the way. Whether it’s the classic Bordeaux blends or single-varietal wines like Mourvèdre and Chardonnay, Watermill’s wines are a showcase for the Milton-Freewater area.

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Watermill Winery, Milton-Freewater, Oregon
2017 Nebbiolo

When I tasted through the latest wines at Watermill, a shocking idea passed through my mind. Could we do an all-Watermill month? That’s how good the wines were! Ultimately, I decided that we had to go with the Nebbiolo.

After all, there’s not a lot of Nebbiolo produced in Oregon, which is a shame because the grapes grow well here and this wine is a fabulous food wine. It’s the first single-varietal Nebbiolo we’ve been able to feature at Cellar 503.

Watermill has been growing Nebbiolo for over a decade. It’s so popular with their in-house wine club that this is the first vintage they’ve released to the general public!

Nebbiolo is a nice medium-bodied alternative to the heavier Bordeaux and Rhône style reds. It thrives in the dry-but-temperate climates in Eastern Oregon. Bright red fruit screams through this wine, more cherry and crab-apple than raspberry. Almost brick red in color, this is a lighter style than those grown in hotter climates and is a lively and lovely wine to go with most any food.

A Cellar 503 selection in January 2020, Winter Warmers Walla Walla Valley | Nebbiolo

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