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Yamhill Valley Vineyards 2018 Pinot Gris

The second generation steps up

If you’re a longtime Oregon wine fan, Yamhill Valley Vineyard has always been there. The first winery in the McMinnville AVA, the Burger family has owned the land for 37 years. And they’ve been renowned since 1985, when YVV won top honors at the Oregon-Burgundy Challenge that pitted top global Pinot Noirs against each other in New York.

But now, the second-generation is stepping up. Jenny Burger, daughter of founder Denis Burger, is the general manager. And after a decade of mentorship under founding winemaker Stephen Cary, Ariel Eberle took over as head winemaker in 2016.

And wouldn’t you know it, but this renowned winery is getting a fresh look from national critics and winning awards all over. Wine Press NW even named Yamhill Valley as their 2019 Winery of the Year.

Sure, the YVV Pinot Noir remains a signature wine for Oregon, but the whites will knock your socks off: Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Reisling.

Stay tuned – this next generation is shaking things up. We’re excited to see what comes next!

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Yamhill Valley Vineyards, McMinnville, Oregon
2018 Pinot Gris

Sure, Yamhill Valley Vineyards is known for the other Pinot – Pinot Noir, but I have been especially impressed with all of their white wines. After all, I firmly believe that it is harder to make good white wine than red and the lineup of recent high quality white wines have proved what a talented winemaker Ariel Eberle is.

Every vintage is unique, but this 2018 Pinot Gris is something special. A long, languid, not-too-hot summer produced a wine that is complex, while retaining a fresh fruitiness and lovely floral kick. The aromas of white peach, apricot, and jasmine jump out of the bottle while stone fruits including red plum, pear, and melon come through on the palate.

This is one of those Pinot Gris wines that is rich and interesting enough to keep you thinking while you enjoy it over a meal, but light and refreshing enough to make it go down quick on a warm spring day while you’re lounging in the hammock enjoying a good book.

A Cellar 503 selection in May 2020, Women Winemakers McMinnville | Pinot Gris