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Oak Flat Vineyards

Oak Flat Vineyards 2019 Grenache Blanc

Bringing the Rhône to Oregon

First, a little history lesson: For 70 years, in the 14th century, the Catholic papacy relocated from Rome to Avignon, in southern France. The seven Avignon popes attracted much attention to the vineyards of the southern Rhône. The most famous of these winegrowing regions? The Châteauneuf-du-Pape, or “the Pope’s new castle”.

Marc Kramer is a soil scientist and a winemaker who’s become obsessed, like many others before him, with the wines of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape, bold red blends centered on Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre (and up to 15 others). After studying (and drinking) so many wines in the CdP, Marc came back to Oregon—where he became convinced that he could plant a vineyard that that would be worthy of the Avignon popes.

His dream is on its way to becoming reality. Oak Flat Vineyards sits at the northern base of Mt. Hood along the Columbia River, where the volcanic soils and silt-rich sediments meet a hot, dry climate perfect for growing Rhône-style varietals.

Intriguingly, he makes not only a blend but single varietal bottlings as well and if you get a chance to visit his winery and tasting room in Southeast Portland you might get to create your very own blend of the three classic Rhône varietals and drink your very own personalized GSM worthy of a pope.

Oak Flat Vineyards

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Oak Flat Vineyards, Portland, Oregon
2019 Grenache Blanc

Grenache Blanc is such a treat. With less than a dozen acres planted in Oregon, it’s a rare find — and one we love when we find it.

You won’t often find this Rhône varietal standing alone, as it is typically blended with other whites — and even reds in the Cotes du Rhône. But in Oregon it’s becoming something of a cult classic.

One important thing: Grenache Blanc is a unique varietal grape, not just a white edition of the more well-known red Grenache.

This 2019 edition from Oak Flat Vineyards is a versatile wine. It is designed to be paired with food — especially foods with bold flavors — and yet is lovely on its own. At colder temperatures, you’ll notice crisp apple flavors and hints of pear. But if you let it warm up to room temperature, you’ll get discover more tropical notes. With a long, lovely mineral finish, this is a wine that won’t be around long!

A Cellar 503 selection in February 2022, Urban Wineries Columbia Gorge | Grenache Blanc