Welsh Family Wines 2018 Blaufränkisch

Do something unusual. Do it well.

One evening, while vacationing in Boston, we wandered into a neighborhood wine bar. We were perusing the wine list when a commotion seemed to be happening by the bar. It was Dan Welsh, Oregon winemaker, receiving the accolades of the locals for his Blaufränkisch.

Blaufränkisch? That’s right. What Dan Welsh and Wendy Davis have come to understand is that to make it as an Oregon winemaker, you’ve got to make Pinot Noir – but it’s nearly impossible to make it exclusively on Pinot Noir. Instead, they’ve found a niche and they’re owning it.

Dan and Wendy came to wine from the world of high tech – big jobs with long hours. But when their twins were born, they reflected on their frequents trips to Europe and realized it was a time for a change. In Europe, wine is an every day part of life. So, before long, Dan was taking classes at the Northwest Wine Academy and helping with harvests in Washington and Oregon.

Before long, they found a home at the Southeast Wine Collective, the collaborative wine incubator in Portland. And having realized that “be the best at something” is good advice for both wine and business, they’re doubling down on that Blaufränkisch – and making it in Oregon wine!

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Welsh Family Wines, Portland, Oregon
2018 Blaufränkisch

Blaufränkisch is native to the Burgenland region of eastern Austria, near the Hungarian border. As a high-quality medium-bodied wine, it’s been called “the Pinot Noir of Eastern Europe”.

The Welsh Family Wines edition is grown at Dauenhauer Farms in Dayton, Oregon. The Dauenhauer family takes a minimalist approach to vineyard management, allowing the vines to develop a protective canopy that’s critical for early fall rains.

You might remember this wine from last year’s Unusual Varietals theme. It was such a hit that we decided to feature it again! And like the 2017 edition, the 2018 vintage had lots of challenges getting ripe. Dan and his team hand-harvested the fruit and picked selectively to end up with some great fruit to put in the bottle.

Ultimately, you’ll find that this Welsh Family Blaufränkisch is a surprisingly juicy wine with notes of currant and pepper, paired with plenty of spice and a soft acidity. Pair it with a grilled salmon or chicken, or with classic German dishes like braised pork and lamb.

A Cellar 503 selection in September 2019, Unusual Varietals Willamette Valley | Blaufränkisch

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