This brisk white starts out lean and opaque, its green-apple and tarragon scents needing time to reveal themselves. By the second day open, this wine has taken on a second life, presenting expansive, mouthfilling flavors of quince spritzed with lemon. 89 points & Best Buy.
- Wine & Spirits, June 2017
Vintage and Winemaker’s Notes
The whole clusters of handpicked fruit are placed directly into the press within hours of harvest. After pressing, the juice is fermented slowly to dryness in stainless steel tanks. Fermentation temperature is kept low, again to preserve the aroma and freshness of the fruit. The malo-lactic fermentation is blocked, to preserve the natural acidity of the wine.
The latest in a string of exceptional vintages, 2015 began early, with the vines breaking dormancy in late March. The spring and summer that followed were hot and dry, bringing on an early harvest in the middle of September.
Winter’s Hill Vineyard is an Estate winery located in the Dundee Hills of Oregon. The Gladhart family owns and operates Winter’s Hill, from managing the vineyard and the rest of our farm, to making our wines, to greeting you in the tasting room when you come to visit.
Thirty-five acres of vineyards are nestled into a 150 acre farm including fir and oak forests. Farming this land is a privilege, and we have followed sustainable farming practices since Peter and Emily Gladhart planted our first vines in 1990. We are certified by LIVE and SalmonSafe in recognition of our efforts.
The first wines bearing our name were 298 cases of 1998 Pinot Noir. Our production has grown slowly and steadily as wine lovers in the Northwest and around the country have discovered our Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and dessert wines such as our Golden Nectar. In 2004 Delphine and Russell joined the family partnership, with Delphine taking on the duties of Winemaker.
Our values of conservation and respect for our land guided us in 2008 when we designed and began construction of our winery. Completed for the 2009 vintage, it was dug into the hillside and built with 15 inch thick super-insulated walls to conserve energy and maintain cool, even temperatures throughout the year.
Winter’s Hill Vineyard is owned and operated by the Gladhart family. Today the third generation is developing the farm established in 1961. Together with our employees, we manage our vineyards, fields, and forests for the long term benefit of our family and our community. We are proud to share our wine and our land with our customers and visitors, and we look forward to your next visit.
Our vineyards are located in the Dundee Hills, where Oregon’s modern wine industry began in the late 1960’s. We are fortunate to have ideal conditions for a vineyard. Elevation ranges from 525-750 feet above sea level, with a gentle Southern slope. Our soil is Jory, the most sought after soil type for producing premium wines in Oregon. Our property borders several of Oregon’s best known vineyards, including Domaine Serene, Stoller, Eyrie, and Vista Hills.
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@CorTot@losthighwayz If Lost is out, I would be in for 3. While our son was at Willamette U we visited Winters Hill several times going back to when their tasting room was in a barn. We prefer their whites to their reds (no offense, Russell).
Good afternoon! My apologies for the belated lab rat report! My cohabitant sweetie @ewhac and I tasted this bottle. Those of you who attended the Kickstarter VIP event in California might have met him – long hair, vest and ruffly shirt, Amiga dude. I let him do much of the writeup, because he’s more of a wine dude than I am.
So, we have tasted the wine several times over the past few days – I’m having the last of it right now. We initially had it at cool room temp, poured right from the bottle. My first reaction was, “Is this a sparking wine???” – because there was this tingle on the tongue, like a bit of fizz. But no, nothing visible in the glass. My initial reaction was of light mineral flavors, and a muted crisp fruit flavor. I then brought @ewhac into the mix and he poured a glass and spent some time sipping that before writing the following for me:
We were selected to be Lab Rats for the Winter’s Hill 2015 Watershed Pinot Gris, which arrived this morning. If you’re hoping for a deeply detailed report from a connoiseur who can pick out plum and prune notes from a wine, I’m afraid you’ve come to the wrong guy. Adjust
The appearance is clear and light, with a pale yellow or perhaps straw-colored hue
The wine was opened at room temperature. Upon opening and first pour, the nose seemed to me to be typical of most white wines, with a mineral note in the foreground, and various fruits behind it. However, once left to stand for a few minutes, the mineral note mostly
dissipated, leaving a chiefly fruit (rather than floral) nose
suggesting mostly lighter fruits (apple, pear) with no heavy or cloying notes.
First taste left me asking, “Is this slightly effervescent?” but that, too, seemed to dissipate after being left to stand for a few minutes. It’s a quite light, mildly dry wine, with rather subtle flavors (not bright or bold). I thought the finish was ever so slightly tart, and perhaps recalled the mineral notes from earlier.
I then tried tasting it alongside a piece of medium sharp cheddar cheese, and the experience was much more pronounced. It seems that this wine asserts itself best in relation to/contrast with whatever it’s paired with.
When buying for myself, I tend to select whites with strong flavors or personalities, such as Gerwurtztramiener or Viognier, so the Winter’s
Hill was something of a departure for me. It is by no means unpleasant, and I would probably pair it with a dish with equally subtle flavors so that they weren’t shouted down by the wine.*
So, I suggested that @ewhac and I taste it again at a bit cooler temp the next day. He agreed, so we tried some more last night. Here’s what he said:
My opinion on this matter – pairing – was reinforced after having another(chilled) glass this evening after finishing off some chicken tikka masala. This time it seemed sweeter, and I thought I detected as light note of honey in the flavors. But as I drained the glass, that notion seemed to fade, and the wine returned to its original subtle profile.
I’m having some after lunch right now, a bit chilled. I find the effervescent effect is no longer present, and the wine presents a sweeter (wow, just looking at what he said!) and then a dry finish.
I will say my tastes tend toward sweet whites and lighter reds – merlot is my go-to for writing.
Thanks for the chance! I was just thinking that in several years of being a wine wooter and later here, I had never been a lab rat, and then the email arrived. I hope I’ve done well on our first outing.
@TrinSF Thanks for the notes. Our wines, especially our whites, tend towards the fresh and crisp. Our vineyard has good exposure to the coastal breeze in the afternoon and evening, which keeps us slightly cooler. My wife and I just had crab-cakes with this wine, delicious.
@losthighwayz@TrinSF Yes, the wine is still vibrant and fresh. The wine has good structure and acidity, which help preserve the aromatics. 3.33pH and 6.3 TA give it the backbone to last after bottling.
Hi all, apologies for the delay here as well! We were waiting for a good dinner pairing at our house (and failed). Tried it with my roommates and here’s what we all had to say. We rarely drink whites, so please pardon our tasting notes!
Color - we all agree it’s a nice clear light straw color. The presentation in the bottle is really nice as it matches the glass and really adds to the presentation. Gotta say the wax button top is a nice touch as well. We all agreed its presentation would be suitable for a gift.
Legs - not a lot, pretty thin
Immediately after Pop n’ Pour N:
Smell - it smells sweet and fruity with apple, and a mead-honey smell, but not syrupy sweet, fruity sweet
Flavor - surprisingly it wasn’t sweet compared to the aroma which he liked. The flavor was warm and salty on the back
Smell - Citrusy, a thick honey smell
Flavor - smooth, clean, slight honey coating of the mouth, but not super sweet, definitely tasting that salt on the back. Noted a light tingling.
Smell - she liked it, smells a bit like apple
Flavor - it had an effervescence to it very initial and is kind of sparkly. (I see the other lab rat review also noted it was sparkling.) It quickly moved to tart before mellowing out quickly and spending most of the time there and it gets softer. It’s not too sweet. The aftertaste is metallic and almost salty. There’s also a hint of the apple she tasted.
1 Hr Later
J: After an hour it tastes much brighter
Note, it didn’t end up pairing well with our dinner of coconut chicken at all. The coconut chicken easily overpowered it. This is a light white wine that would be good for a summer sipping with something more bitter and less sweet than coconut chicken. Maybe some funky cheeses on a hot day.
2 Hrs Later
M: New roommate popping in who loves a good food and booze pairing
Smell - not too scented
Flavor - crisp, clean, exactly how I like my whites. Quite enjoy it! Not very fruity, would be good with fish like a white fish. It’s very clean and leaves quickly. Might go well with a swordfish or tilapia
After reading the professional review, we definitely agree it has a quince and tarragon flavor to it. The quince comes in as a hint of bitterness but still with citrus, and the tarragon aroma is definitely there.
Overall impression: Good at the $7-9 price point. Perfect white for someone who likes it light and crisp. The presentation is great. Definitely a hot afternoon sipper, but be careful not to overpower it!