Friday, April 18, 2014

Unwine’d 2012: Highlights from Oregon Wine’s Big Event

May 2, 2012 by  
Filed under Wine

To kick off Oregon Wine Month, the Oregon Wine Board hosted a large-scale tasting event in Portland called Unwine’d, Celebrate Oregon Wine on Sunday. The concept was similar to Seattle’s annual Taste Washington event. The inaugural event featured 100 wineries pouring their wines and 14 restaurants serving small bites. With approximately 450 wineries now open in the state of Oregon, the event offered attendees the opportunity to try a large number of them in one place at one time.

Oregon ranks third in the number of wineries and fourth in wine production in the United States. In its relatively short 40-year history, the Oregon wine industry has evolved into a world-class wine region. With Oregon’s 16 AVA’s (American Viticultural Areas) found in both warm and cool climates, Oregon winemakers are able to produce wines from over 70 different grape varieties. However, Pinot Noir is the variety that propelled Oregon onto the worldwide wine stage and is still what many people think of when it comes to Oregon wine. While Oregon wine is far from a one-trick pony, Pinot Noir is still the queen. Over 12,000 acres of vineyards in Oregon are planted to Pinot Noir and production of Pinot Noir is over three times the next leading variety, Pinot Gris. As you will see in the lists below, we tasted more Pinot Noir than anything else at the event.

Unwine’d was a huge success, especially for a first-time event. By the time the doors opened to the public at 3pm, the line wrapped around the outside of the Left Bank Annex building. Once inside, attendees were treated to great wines and yummy food. Kudos to the Oregon Wine Board and Jamie Peha of Peha Promotions for a job well done!

Considering the time and gas money attendees saved not having to travel around the state visiting tasting rooms and making appointments, the $50 ticket was money well spent. Hopefully, those who attended discovered some favorite new wines and wineries and will make plans to travel to the wineries to visit and taste again. There is nothing like spending a long weekend in wine country.

Between the three days I spent in Oregon wine country on a media tour in March and attending Unwine’d last weekend, it has been a pleasure to immerse myself in all things Oregon wine and get to know so many key players in the Oregon wine industry.

With 100 wineries pouring three to five wines each, we were not able to taste wine from every winery at Unwine’d. Instead, we tried to taste wines from a good representative sample of the participating wineries. We hope you enjoy the following lists that show some of our favorite wines and wineries of those we did taste at the event.

Overall Favorite Wines (Highest Quality Ratings):
2007 Amity Winemaker’s Reserve Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $40, Quality: 4.5, QPR: 5
2009 Archery Summit Looney Vineyard Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge, $85, Quality: 4.5, QPR: 5
2009 Archery Summit Arcus Estate Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, $100, Quality: 4.5, QPR: 5

Best Wines <=$20:
2009 Cooper Mountain Chardonnay, Willamette Valley, $18, Quality: 4, QPR: 5
2010 Sokol Blosser Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, $18, Quality: 4, QPR: 4
2010 Dobbes Wine by Joe Chardonnay, Oregon, $14, Quality: 3.5, QPR: 5
2010 Montinore Estate Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $20, Quality: 3.5, QPR: 5
2010 Dobbes Wine by Joe Pinot Gris, Oregon, $14, Quality: 3.5, QPR: 4

Best Value Regardless of Price (Quality >=4 and QPR=5):
2007 Amity Winemaker’s Reserve Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $40, Quality: 4.5, QPR: 5
2009 Archery Summit Looney Vineyard Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge, $85, Quality: 4.5, QPR: 5
2009 Archery Summit Arcus Estate Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, $100, Quality: 4.5, QPR: 5
2009 Cooper Mountain Chardonnay, Willamette Valley, $18, Quality: 4, QPR: 5
2008 Argyle Brut Sparkling Wine, Willamette Valley, $27, Quality: 4, QPR: 5
2010 Montinore Estate Reserve Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $28, Quality: 4, QPR: 5
2010 Lachini Pinot Port, Willamette Valley, $28 [375ml], Quality: 4, QPR: 5
2009 Van Duzer Estate Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $30, Quality: 4, QPR: 5

Top 10 Favorite Wineries (in alphabetical order):
Adelsheim Vineyard
Amity Vineyards
Archery Summit
Argyle Winery
Lachini Vineyards
Phelps Creek Vineyards
Sokol Blosser Winery
Stoller Vineyards
Van Duzer Vineyards
Watermill Winery

If you were at Unwine’d, we’d love to hear what some of your favorites were. And if you missed the event, I encourage you to enjoy some Oregon wines during the month of May and throughout the year.

Cheers!

Unwine’d 2012: Highlights from Oregon Wine’s Big Event was originally posted on Wine Peeps. Wine Peeps - Your link to great QPR wines from Washington State and beyond.

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