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Copper Belt Winery

Copper Belt Winery Rancher’s Red

A modern-day pioneer.

Travis Cook is a pioneer. As a vineyard manager in the Willamette Valley, the easy path would have been to keep climbing the ranks of the corporate wine world.

But, like his pioneering ancestors, Travis isn’t one to take the easy path. You see, Travis is of the fourth generation of the Cook family to grow up in Eastern Oregon’s Keating Valley. He knew that, eventually, he’d head home – and he wanted to grow grapes and make wine.

It’s rough terrain for wine. High elevation, sub-zero winters, and surrounded by mountains. A seeming impossibility, but perfect for someone with a strong wine background and the knowledge that comes from growing up in the place.

Today, Travis Cook is growing grapes on his family’s homestead farm 25 miles outside Baker City – including Merlot, Syrah, and Riesling. At 3400 feet, their Keating Valley Vineyards are the highest elevation vines in Oregon. And Copper Belt is the only winery operating on the Oregon side of the Snake River Valley AVA.

There may have been an easier path for Travis Cook. But not a better one.

Copper Belt Winery

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Copper Belt Winery, Baker City, Oregon
Rancher’s Red

The Rancher’s Red is an unusual blend – 40% Oregon Pinot Noir, 40% Columbia Valley Merlot, and 20% Columbia Valley Syrah. That’s right, winemaker Travis Cook has committed heresy by blending Pinot Noir.

And you know what? It’s lovely.

At first, you notice how big and bold this wine is – with warm and dark fruit from the Merlot and the blackberry, pepper, and spice from the Syrah. But give it a moment… and there it is: the classic and elegant cherry notes of the Pinot Noir.

Bottled in 2015, this wine is non-vintage – meaning it’s a blend of wines from different years. Just 300 cases produced, it’s a great wine for summer grilling. Who’s bringing the burgers?

A Cellar 503 selection in August 2017, Picnic & BBQ Wines Columbia Valley | Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah