|Was a beautiful day on September 28 when we picked at Temperance Hill|
One day in the middle of September I was delivering some of my 2014 Ribbon Ridge Pinot Noir to the bar at the SE Wine Collection and ran into Tom Monroe of Division Winemaking Company.
Hey, are you looking for any Pinot Noir? Tom asked. No, I replied. This harvest was large and I'd already turned down several offers of extra grapes.
What if it were special Pinot Noir, Tom persisted.
What does that mean, I replied.
Temperance Hill vineyard. Flat Block early 1980s plantings of Wadenswil clone.
Um, yeah was all I needed to say.
What a stroke of luck. Here was a vineyard that I'd known about since the 1990s. I'd give almost anything for a chance to work with Temperance fruit.
Here's the deal. There's a wait list for Temperance, but Tom has had a block for a few years. When extra fruit came available, Tom couldn't use quite all of it and thought of me.
I focus on the Eola Hills and just moved my production there. I'd love to feature the wine I make here in a single vineyard bottling, but I do have an Eola-Amity Hills AVA bottling that I can work it into if needed.
|Freshly destemmed Temperance Hill vineyard Pinot Noir|
Temperance would only be a one time thing. I'd rather work with vineyards year over year, but the chance to work with special fruit like this is reason to make an exception.
|Free run Temperance Hill vineyard Pinot Noir after 18 days of fermentation|
On September 28 we picked the grapes, late for this year but the fruit was still in such great condition. Sugar levels were modest, 21.6 brix, with acidity still bright at 3.39pH after soaking for 24 hours (I'd estimate it started at 3.25pH but I didn't have time to measure it).
|Press wine from Temperance - notice the color difference from the free run|
I got 1.1 tons of fruit, enough to fill three barrels. The wine fermented wonderfully and is beautifully dense but restrained. It shows what I can only only describe is an old(ish) vine savory richness without adding heaviness.
|Gorgeous evening drive home after processing the Temperance fruit|