We loaded a van with a winemaker, lawmaker and reporter to head down to the Rogue Valley as part of the Oregon Wine Industry Solidarity Mission to help stranded winegrowers pick grapes left hanging due to the abrupt cancellation of their contracts by the California producer of Elouan. Lab analysis shows much of the crop is well below the threshold for the resulting wine to be adversely affected by smoke.
We harvested Pinot Noir from the Bayliss Vineyard in Southern Oregon yesterday. The fruit was in perfect condition with no "smoke taint" and is on its way to the winery now to be a part of a special collaborative effort between winemakers we are calling "Solidarity Vintage." The conditions show it will be a high quality year like 2002 (Biscuit Fire).
To date, we have increased our grape purchases for our Griffin Creek wines and along with King Estate and Sylvan Ridge committed to additional grape deliveries for a new “Solidarity Vintage” Pinot Noir and Rose collaboration bottlings.
Oregon Legislative Economic Development and Trade Committee Chair David Gomberg lead the delegation to hear from winegrowers, who had their grape contracts suddenly canceled ostensibly for “smoke taint.” In total, the loss to growers could be $4 million — a devastating blow to small growers. Lawmakers will be assessing the impact of the smoke and the abrupt cancellation notice given by Copper Cane, producer of Elouan, just before harvest.
We will keep you informed. Thank you for your support of Oregon winegrowers!