Oregon earns its image as home of fine wine
By Stephen Quinn, Special to The China PostSpecial to The China Post--Oregon produces less than 1 percent of America's wine — compared with California's 90 percent — yet it receives accolades well out of proportion to the state's output. It also gets the bulk of the positive media. In recent years, 40 percent of the wines from Oregon reviewed in Wine Spectator, the American wine bible, received at least 90 points.
August 16, 2013, 12:02 am TWN
Adelsheim Vineyard was one of the first wineries planted in Oregon and remains at the forefront of innovation. It started in 1971 when David and Ginny Adelsheim purchased 7 hectares and planted vines on about two hectares of them the next year in the north Willamette Valley. With success has come expansion and they currently farm almost 100 hectares while remaining a family-owned operation.
David Adelsheim studied in Burgundy in 1974 and then worked as a sommelier in Portland until 1977. Ginny Adelsheim designed the labels when her husband made his first commercial release in 1978.
David Adelsheim put Oregon wine on the world map. He helped establish the Oregon Wine Board and founded the international pinot noir celebration held each year in Oregon, to which the elite of the wine world come.
Most of Adelsheim's 11 estate vineyards are on the slopes of the Chehalem Mountains, at elevations from 70 to 240 meters. Temperatures drop with elevation, meaning a three-week difference in ripening but concentration of fruit flavors.
“Wines from the Willamette Valley share certain characteristics — an intensity of fresh fruit aromas with a backbone of acidity combined with structured tannins that gives the wines liveliness and age-ability,” Adelsheim said.
David Adelsheim made the early wines but handed winemaking duties over to Dave Paige in 2001.