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Teutonic Wine Company 2019 Quarry Dust Pinot Noir

Alsatian style wines, turned up to 11

Barnaby Tuttle was doing great. He was the general manager and wine buyer for the famed Papa Haydn restaurant – a Viennese “Kaffeehaus” in Portland. But then, a wine importer brought him fourteen Rieslings to consider from the Mosel Valley region of Germany. He fell in love with all them, and proceeded to cultivate one of the largest German wine lists in the city.

Not satisfied with merely buying wine, Barnaby told his wife, Olga, that he wanted to craft wines with as much terroir and character as those Rieslings. So, with no formal training, they found a small piece of land and in 2005 planted two thousand vines. Barnaby quit his job and worked from the bottom up at a variety of small wineries in the valley. They now buy grapes from a variety of wineries throughout the region but are committed to sites that are high elevation and completely dry farmed.

Today, Teutonic has a tasting room and production facility in Portland’s industrial Southeast, and they’ve become known for their Alsatian-style wines with quirky character and amazing quality.

(And yes, it’s true – quite a few of their wines are named in honor of the film “This is Spinal Tap”.)

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Teutonic Wine Company, Portland, Oregon
2019 Quarry Dust Pinot Noir

Old & Cold, High & Dry, Wood & Wild. These are the words that Olga and Barnaby Tuttle of Teutonic Wine Company live by. They source fruit from old vines in cold, high elevation wineries that are dry farmed. They use only neutral oak to age their wines and only wild yeast for fermentation. Everything is done in the Alsatian style – no exceptions!

Sourced from the Wahlstrom Vineyard that they manage themselves, this wine is 100% Pinot Noir and yes, it is white! The vines were planted on a decommissioned gravel quarry and you can taste the minerality in every sip. For this 2019 edition, Barnaby decided to make it a white wine to showcase the minerality even more. The wine is the color of a light peach and the flavors are elusively Pinot Noir.

Despite their commitment to lighter-style wines, this wine is still full of flavor and character. They let their grapes hang on the vines longer than most which allows the grapes to absorb the flavors of the land.

A Cellar 503 selection in September 2020, Unusual Varietals Willamette Valley | Pinot Noir