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Phelps Creek Vineyards

Phelps Creek Vineyards 2019 Estate Reserve Pinot Gris

We’re at cruising altitude now.

In his day job, Bob Morus flies Boeing 777s internationally for a major airline. One advantage of being a pilot is that you can live almost anywhere that your employer flies – as long as it is close to the airport. And as far back as 1989, he knew he wanted to live on a small vineyard with a few acres of vines.

So, Bob picked Portland. He drew a 90-mile radius around the airport and started looking around.

On his first day in Hood River, a local realtor trekked him up an impossible road on a hillside. With steep, south-facing slopes and a stunning view of the valley and the mountain, he knew they’d found their place.

Today, the Phelps Creek tasting room is in town near the golf course because that impossible road is still, well, impossible. (If you get a chance to visit the winery, they’ll pick you up at the bottom of the hill in a battered old Jeep!)

But there are 34 acres now growing grapes on those steep slopes – a far cry from the 3 or 4 he was hoping to grow. And so, so good.

Phelps Creek Vineyards

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Phelps Creek Vineyards, Hood River, Oregon
2019 Estate Reserve Pinot Gris

At Cellar 503, we’ve featured some two dozen Pinot Gris wines since 2014. Almost always, you’ll get a bright, acid-forward, and fruity wine. This is not that wine.

At Phelps Creek, they have only a tiny amount of Pinot Gris on their estate – and they use it to experiment. One year, they even let the grapes freeze on the vine and made a true ice wine!

For this 2019 edition, they chose to barrel age the wine. Fermented in neutral French oak, you won’t notice that oakiness or butteriness so often associated with oak barrels. Instead, you’ll find a lovely, even weighty, mouthfeel and texture to the wine alongside the usual notes of green apple, melon, and pear. This is an elegant wine that pairs beautifully with seafood dishes.

A Cellar 503 selection in October 2021, Pinot, Pinot, Pinot Columbia Gorge | Pinot Gris