September 10, 2007

Oregon's Burgundy

Linda Murphy:

"It looks like Corton, doesn't it?" asked one man admiringly as our group gazed up at the tightly spaced rows of Pinot Noir grapevines hugging the hillside at Stoller Vineyards in Oregon's Willamette Valley.

It did look a bit like France's famed Corton, a tree-topped hill in Burgundy's Côte de Beaune region that's caressed by vines on its lower slopes. Corton is home to some of the world's finest Pinot Noir wines, and while accepting Stoller as Le Corton takes a bit of imagination, Willamette Valley vintners use the hill as inspiration as they try to produce Pinot Noirs rivaling those of Burgundy. And they're getting there.

Still, why would a Bay Area Pinot Noir buff travel to Oregon, when fine wines are made much closer to home, in the Russian River Valley, Carneros and Monterey County?

First, the wines are getting better, and fast gaining critical praise. The best Pinots, and those from the small rising stars, are sold in the tasting rooms, with little chance of finding their way to California store shelves.

Posted by James Zellmer at September 10, 2007 10:04 PM | Subscribe to this site via RSS:
Posted to Wine