Back to school: Unusual Varietals

September 2018

The best part about my job is introducing people to new wineries – and even new varietals – that they’ve never heard of. There are a lot of unusual wines being made all over Oregon that are extraordinary.

Mencia. Blaufränkisch. Rousanne.  Aligote. They’re all being made in small batches here in Oregon by wonderfully obsessed winemakers dedicated to bringing unusual varietals to your table.

So to honor the back-to-school season, we’ve dedicated our September selections at Cellar 503 to learning about unusual varietals.
Our first red is a Mencia from Analemma in the Columbia Gorge. This lighter style red wine is virtually unknown outside of Spain and this is the first production of it in the United States! Our second red is equally unique—Blaufränkisch is more commonly found in Central Europe and Welsh Family Wines is one of the only producers of this wine in Oregon.

Our first white is a Roussanne, a traditionally French grape, from Andrew Rich Wines, a passion project for one of Oregon’s most celebrated producers for several decades. Our second white is an Aligote, usually found in France and Eastern Europe, from natural winemaker Brianne Day of Day wines.

I hope you enjoy these unusual varietals as much as I did in finding them!

Cheers!