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Unusual Varietals

September 2020

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 varietals and unusual techniques being used all over Oregon that are extraordinary.

Primitivo and Kerner. A red Pinot Gris and a white Pinot Noir. 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 and unusual winemaking techniques.

Our first red is a big, bold and intense Primitivo (the sister grape of Zinfandel) from Anchor Valley in Southern Oregon. Our second red is a Pinot Gris—yes you saw that right, a red Pinot Gris—from James Rahn Wine Co. now based out of Abbey Road in Carlton.

Our first white is a Kerner, a unique hybrid grape usually found in Germany, from Minimus Wines in the Willamette Valley. Our second white is a white Pinot Noir—yes, it’s really white—from Teutonic Wine Company, an urban winery in Portland.

I hope you enjoy these unusual varietals and techniques get you excited to learn more about wine in Oregon and around the world!