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Holden Wine Company

Holden Wine Company 2015 Vermentino

Yeah, it’s a little weird. But so good!

What do you do when your parents tell you that culinary school is not an option? You study Italian. And business. And then go to Italy. And fall in love with wine.

For Sterling Whitted, that was the genesis of the idea: a winery with an Oregon bent – organic, sustainable, biodynamic; but mostly Italian varietals, especially northern Italy.

But how to get there? He was a wine buyer at a Whole Foods store, earning a paycheck; not a millionaire looking for a new hobby, or an investor looking to cash in.

So, as one journalist put it, Sterling “traded manpower for real estate.” He worked the harvest at Apolloni and they shared a corner of the winery with him. Later, he made his wine at Cooper’s Hall in Portland, while working the front of the house in the evenings. Now, he’s sharing space at Medici in Newberg.

As a winemaker, Sterling is all about the weird. Unusual varietals and innovative approaches that will make you sit up and take notice. But that traditionalist streak is there too – making wine with minimal inputs, no chemicals or fussiness.

He may be doing it his way, but wine lovers are taking notice.

Holden Wine Company

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Holden Wine Company, Newburg, Oregon
2015 Vermentino

Summer is for white, winter is for red? Not so fast, my friend!

Winter is a great time for whites – as long as you’re picking up those richer, well-rounded whites with body and heft.

Vermentino is a varietal found on the northwest coast of Italy, as well as the islands of Corsica and Sardinia – and often brings big minerality and salinity to the table.

Holden’s edition has that Vermentino texture and character we’re looking for, but it’s still crisp and light enough to enjoy a half-bottle by yourself. You’ll also pick up citrus, fresh herb, honey, and floral notes, plus the expected brininess and wet stone, finishing with a touch of nutmeg and spice.

A Cellar 503 selection in December 2017, Holiday Wines Applegate Valley | Vermentino