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Coeur de Terre Vineyard 2019 Pinot Gris

The heart of the earth is in the hills

Nine miles into the hills from downtown McMinnville, Coeur de Terre is certainly off the beaten path. But once you’re there, you can understand Scott and Lisa Neal’s passion for the land.

In fact, Coeur de Terre (French for “heart of the earth”) is actually named for a large, heart-shaped rock they found while excavating the grounds for the vineyard.

When you visit, you’ll see stunning hills surrounding their tasting room. And if you’re lucky enough to spend some time during your tasting, they’ll pull out these giant tubes of soil to show you the vast differences between each part of their property and how those differences affect the wine.

Scott and Lisa have put their heart and soul into Coeur de Terre. Scott’s from Minnesota and Lisa’s from Colorado, and together they moved to Oregon in 1998 looking for a piece of land to grow their dreams and their family.

Two decades later, 23 of their 50 acres are planted on an organically-farmed site that they tend themselves and a beautiful tasting room and winery. Hard work and passion have really paid off!

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Coeur de Terre Vineyard, McMinnville, Oregon
2019 Pinot Gris

When Oregon’s wine pioneers were beginning their adventures, they knew that Pinot Noir would grow well in this climate. But they initially struggled to find a complementary white. They assumed that Chardonnay would be the white grape because it is so often planted with Pinot Noir in France, but they didn’t love the results of the California style clones that were first planted. So, many early Oregon winemakers pivoted towards Pinot Gris -- a wonderful complementary wine.

This CdT Pinot Gris is a wonderful example of the depth of character in this grape. You immediately get a sense of vibrant brightness with hints of Pink Lady apple and grapefruit on the nose. And once you dive into the bottle, you’ll taste lemongrass, stone fruit, pears, and the unique floral qualities of lilac and gardenia. It has a surprisingly long finish and it will certainly keep you intrigued enough to finish the whole bottle!

This is a great food wine. It practically begs for scallops or any seafood dish and the vibrant acidity will cut nicely through cream sauces. It is also great with roast chicken or a spring salad, you won’t be disappointed pulling this bottle out for just about any meal.

A Cellar 503 selection in February 2021, Oregon Classics McMinnville | Pinot Gris