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Dry Farmed Wines

April 2016

April 22 is Earth Day. It’s a day when we can reflect on the amazing beauty that surrounds us and take a moment to consider our impact on the planet.

Here in Oregon, your contemplation and celebration can include wine! After all, what is wine if not the natural product of clean air, land, and water?

There are lots of ways for winemakers to reduce their impact on the planet. One of the key ways is to reduce their consumption of water, particularly in irrigation. Dry farming is the practice of entirely eliminating irrigation from the grape growing process, relying exclusively on rain. Of course, this increases risk and variability – always a challenge for any farmer. (In fact, the risk is so high that some banks will even refuse to finance vineyards that aren’t irrigated!)

But the winemakers that believe in dry farming think that the practice produces better wine, in addition to being better for the environment. The vines struggle to survive, which means that they put their energy into reproduction – namely, the grapes. And with less water, flavors are more intense and the terroir – the sense of the land – comes through most clearly.

Our featured wines this month all come from dry-farmed vineyards. Taste the difference!

For the whites, we’ve got a Viognier from Matello Wine and a Grüner Veltliner from Illahe Vineyards. For the reds, we’ve got a Syrah from Franchere Wine Company and a Gamay Noir from Brick House Vineyard.