It's amazing, living in California for the past 5 years every where you turn there is a bottle of Californian wine. People come from all over the world to drink it, and everyone is crazy about it. People love their California wine so much they even take bottles with them when they go out to eat. Imagine that. I worked in Los Angeles at an Italian restaurant we only served Italian wine and that made some people very unhappy.
Today I find myself in Portland Oregon enjoying the local fair. I'm shopping at farmer's markets and cooking a lot of dinners. I was here and was hoping to tryout some Oregon wine. I find the local wine shops, the nice supermarkets with all the local delicatessen and fresh pasta and cheese anyone could ever want. But no Oregon wine. They have shelves full of Italian wine even the hard to get items like Chinato (something recently rescued from the brink of extinction), and cases of French, Spanish, German. Not one bottle of Oregon wine in site.
So I head off to Oregon wine country and first stop in the Chehalem Mountains, an area located in the largest AVA in Oregon Willamette Valley. On our trek up to the top of the Chehalem Mountains we are surrounded with so much beauty of wildflowers lining the streets, long horn cattle, and many orchards of Filberts (aka Hazelnut). Oregon is 2nd in the worlds production of Hazelnuts next to Turkey.
Our first stop was Vidon where we were met by one of the winemakers Dave. Dave is a local to Oregon growing up not to far from Portland and since his family owned most of the Hazelnut farms in Oregon spent much time in Newburg. Vidon currently has 5 1/2 acre plot of only Pinot Noir in one of the best nooks of the mountains. It is above the 400 foot mark making this soil Volcanic. And with their vineyard site south facing and kind of like an ampetheather with very rocky terrane the grapes have a great growing season.
Vidon is a small winery producing at best 1,000 cases a year primarily of their 3 clones on Pinot Noir. They planed their vineyard in 1999 and it was not until 2003 that they had their first real harvest.
Using only neutral french oak they are able to create wines that really show off the terrior and the characteristics of the clones.
Their wines were great the 2008 3 clone was showing really well. Beautiful fruit, and a bit of leather and tar. After we did a taste of the 3 different clones separately and we could see how they all came together and what part each one played.
Mirabelle is the 115 clone and you could tell immediately that this was the aromatics of the blend. You didn't even need to put you nose to it to smell the sweet ripe fruit bursting from the glass.
Hans is the Pommard clone and he was the "man" of the blend. A workhorse for the wine he brought the weight and the structure to. Dark and rich with a bit of carmel notes to the finish.
Brigita is the 777 clone and she was the smallest of the bunch. She brought the feminine touch to the wine with her silky elegance she danced her way across you palate. Brighter fruit notes of currant and raspberry
Vidon's website http://www.vidonvineyard.com/