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Cana's Feast Winery 2019 Vaso Bianco

Old world wine with Oregon flair.

Believe it or not, it’s possible to draw a straight line from the culinary wasteland that is TGI Fridays to the exquisite old world wines found at Cana’s Feast.

Here’s the story: For winemaker Patrick Taylor, it all started when he was an uninspired history major. He quit school and took a job at TGI Fridays to pay the rent. Alongside the lineup of bland American pilsners were a handful of microbrews that made his tastebuds sing. Before long, he decided to head home to Oregon and try his hand at brewing beer.

At Oregon State, studying fermentation science, his passion for beer turned into a passion for wine, and a winemaker was born. Working on big red wines with famed winemaker Andrew Rich, and later with Cana’s Feast founder Gino Cuneo, Patrick fell in love with big Italian reds. He experiments and tinkers, tweaking his barrel strategy, his aging strategy, and more.

Over the last decade, as head winemaker at Cana’s Feast, Patrick has led the way toward their “decidedly uncommon” style, producing Pacific Northwest wines inspired by old world wines from Italy, Bordeaux, and the Rhône.

Just don’t serve his wines with the endless mozzarella sticks.

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Cana's Feast Winery, Carlton, Oregon
2019 Vaso Bianco

Cana’s Feast likes to feature their regional inspirations right up front. Part of their Italian family of wines, the Vaso Bianco is inspired by wines you’d find in the northern Italian region of Trentino Alto-Adige, an autonomous region bordering Austria and Switzerland.

This white blend is made of 67% Pinot Grigio, 26% Chardonnay, 7% Gewürztraminer, and 2% Moscato. What are Chardonnay and Gewürztraminer doing in an Italian blend? That’s just it. The Alto-Adige region is more culturally influenced by continental Europe than by its countrymen in the south. As a result, Pinot Grigio, Traminer (as they say in Italy), and Chardonnay are the three most-planted grapes. This is truly an Italian wine.

All four grapes come from the Andreas Vineyard in the Willamette Valley, a cool-climate site akin to what you’d find in the Alto-Adige’s mountain valleys along the Adige River.

Creamy and soft up front with a lovely, crisp, and acidic backbone, this is a surprisingly flavorful wine that will keep you guessing. Aromas of apricot and honeydew pair nicely with hints of white flowers. You’ll taste tangerines and a hint of brioche with strong minerality.

A Cellar 503 selection in October 2020, Italian Varietals Willamette Valley | Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Moscato, Pinot Grigio