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Brick House Vineyards

Brick House Vineyards 2014 Chardonnay

Finding peace in caring for the land

Oregon native Doug Tunnell spent nearly two decades covering war zones for CBS News, much of that time in Lebanon, Iran, and Chad. Stationed later in Germany and France, he fell in love with wine. And when he learned that a prominent French winemaker had bought acreage in Oregon, he decided to follow suit and returned to Oregon to found a small farm in the Willamette Valley.

What originally started as a sad little hazelnut farm choked with chemicals was cleared and turned into an entirely organically-farmed vineyard. Doug’s fruit was in high demand and his connection to the land deepened. His light-on-the-land approach was a deliberate counterpoint to the ravages that he had seen war wreak on the landscape in the Mideast.

The Brick House Vineyard is dry-farmed, utilizing organic methods and biodynamic approaches to protect the land while making great wine. Doug explains: “While the organic practices are largely passive, the Biodynamic practices are pro-active. They feed our farm and our imagination. We have come to regard the farm as a holistic organism – much like the human body — built on interdependent relationships that, when in good health, act and react in harmonious balance.”

Brick House Vineyards

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Brick House Vineyards, Newberg, Oregon
2014 Chardonnay

Chardonnay in Oregon is really coming into its own. For decades, Pinot Gris has been the white wine of choice for wine growers in Oregon, but over the last five years Chardonnay has made a comeback. Figuring out exactly which clones of Chardonnay would thrive here was the key, and now winemakers are taking the grapes of these successful plants and having fun. From light and fruity, stainless-steel-aged Chardonnay to deep and characterful oak-aged wines, you’ll find the whole range here in Oregon.

The folks at Brick House want to show the sophistication and age-worthiness of their Chardonnay. Their Ribbon Ridge edition is an homage to old world wines; wines that you might see in Burgundy. The grapes are pressed whole cluster and aged in a combination of new and old oak barrels for at least 12 months on their lees and allowed to through full malolactic fermentation. The result is a luscious and complex wine, not overly oaky, that rivals its peers in France.

A Cellar 503 selection in December 2017, Holiday Wines Ribbon Ridge | Chardonnay