Our Wines

2016 Auxerrois Zenith Vineyard


Auxerrois is uniquely grown in Alsace, and now in Oregon. It is a "sister" of Chardonnay. Often blended with and labeled as Pinot blanc, it ripens earlier, is more viscous, fruitier and has less acidity. In cool years, Alsace Pinot blancs are often mostly Auxerrois. In warm vintages, the Pinot blanc adds backbone to the blend.

The first Auxerrois in Oregon was grown at our Estate when it was know as O'Connor Vineyard. The block we currently use was planted in the original Chardonnay field six years ago. On rootstock, high density, and vertically trellised, it is the perfect place on our site for this extremely rare varietal. Our Auxerrois is a lovely match for rich seafood and pork dishes, or simply on its own.  Enjoy over the next 3 - 5 years.

Crop Level:  3 tons/acre
Harvest:  09/13/2016
Bottled:  June 2017

Vineyard Details

Zenith, our Estate Vineyard, is centrally located in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, 11 miles northwest of Salem, Oregon.  It is one of only five known vineyards in Oregon growing Auxerrois, and it has been growing at this vineyard site since 1999.  An additional 2.5 acres were planted in 2012 for on-site production.  The grapes come from six year old vines planted on a gentle hillside on old sedimentary soil.

Vintage Description

2016 was the third in a string of warm summers and early harvests. It produced the smallest crop of the three. The harvest began with a bit of heat and dehydration in the fruit. This immediately resolved with cooler temperatures and the rest of the harvest produced well balanced fruit with lovely flavors and ripe tannins. We finished picking at the end of September, producing a total of 10,200 cases. In general 2016 produced lush, early-drinking wines with lovely aromatics and accessible fruit, spice and floral notes. They can be aged and are quite accessible in their youth.

Tasting Notes

Our 2016 Auxerrois, our first release of this varietal, has viscous aromas of peach pie, pear compote, and white peony. Your mouth fills with rich white and yellow peach preserves, rose water and nutmeg. The fruit on the palate merges with a savory floral note that extends into the finish. This would be a great match with pasta and roasted vegetables or rich cheeses with persimmon paste. Enjoy this wine now.