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New World Wines Old World Style

March 2022

The history of wine is largely the history of Europe.

Conquering Romans planted the first vineyards in the Loire Valley in the first century A.D., and the wines there became the most-desired wines in Europe by the High Middle Ages. In Alsace, wines alternately took on characteristics of French and German wines as the region changed hands — particularly Pinot Noir, originally from Burgundy, but taking on many of the white wine characteristics predominant in Alsace. And of course, the Italians lead the way with big red wines, with regional variations that have held for centuries.

But here in Oregon, the history of wine is much more recent, with the first vines planted here in the mid 1960s. And since it’s inception, the Oregon wine community has tried to mimic the old world wines all the while putting an Oregon spin on them. But what does Old World style really mean?  It generally means lighter body, lower alcohol, higher acidity, and less fruity flavor with more minerality.

This month, we’re celebrating winemakers that produce New World wines with an Old World style. Our first red is a Gamay from Andrew Rich Wines. Our second is a Zinfandel from Cutter Cascadia Wines. Our first white is an unusual white blend of Marsanne, Roussanne and Grenache Blanc from Vino Tintoque. Our second white is a classic Riesling from Ridgecrest Wines.