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Holloran Vineyard Wines

Holloran Vineyard Wines 2019 Stafford Hill Tempranillo

The garagiste movement in Oregon

In Oregon wine circles, Bill Holloran is recognized as the father of the garagiste wine movement – when he converted an old horse barn into a winery. What does garagiste mean? Well, in France, it’s a bit of a derogatory term that’s been happily embraced by its afficionados. In short, garagiste winemakers produce tiny lots of wine (yes, often in a garage) with a disregard for the traditional methods and approaches.

In 1999, Bill and his wife Eve purchased a heritage vineyard on Worden Hill in the Willamette Valley. Harvest came early that year and not knowing what else to do, they converted a horse barn at their home in West Linn into a winery – and the garage winemaking movement was born in Oregon.

Twenty years later, they have a state-of-the-art facility on their vineyard property. Bill’s background in software and technology led him to lots of technical innovations – with the ability to control temperature and humidity with the touch of a button to decrease loss of wine.

Despite all the technical wizardry, Bill’s commitment to time-honored techniques are evident in the stacks and stacks of old French barrels throughout the winery.

Holloran Vineyard Wines

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Holloran Vineyard Wines, Dundee, Oregon
2019 Stafford Hill Tempranillo

Tempranillo from the Willamette Valley? Yes, it’s true. There is a small – though growing – amount of Tempranillo in the Willamette Valley. While Southern Oregon is making a name for itself growing big, bold, traditional Spanish-style Tempranillo, the Willamette Valley is quietly making a different style.

Up north, the climate is actually similar to the Rioja region and the grapes have to struggle to get ripe -- which means more flavor intensity. Willamette Valley Tempranillo tends to be a little more lean and fruit-focused and with less oak.

This Stafford Hill Tempranillo (one of three they produce!) is meant to be enjoyed while it’s young but there is enough fruit and tannin in this bottle that it will age well for the next 5+ years. (I’m drinking it now, and you have my permission to do the same!)

Aromas of black cherry, cinnamon, and cranberry will fill your nose. On the palate, you’ll taste lush dark berry fruit along with grilled bread flavors. There is a nice long finish here with some firm tannins, making this this wine a great choice for braised meats.

A Cellar 503 selection in January 2022, Oregon Classics Eola-Amity Hills | Tempranillo