Hyland Estates’ vineyard is located in the McMinnville AVA and the first grapevines were planted back in 1971. The total property is 200 acres with 180 planted in grapes. Like many vineyards in Oregon, it’s LIVE-certified and Salmon Safe, meaning that an independent third-party verified that specific sustainable farming practices were followed.
The soil in the vineyard is well-draining, volcanic, rust-red colored Jory, which incidentally, is Oregon’s official state soil. Grapes do really well in this type of soil as they hate to have soggy “feet” (roots). The famous Van Duzer Corridor influences the terroir here too, bringing cooling coastal breezes in from the ocean during the warmer, summer afternoons. This weather phenomenon helps to retain grape acidity levels, lessens mold and rot and forces the grapevines protect their fruit by growing thicker grape skins.
I imagine this wine’s mantra is “fruit and earth, earth and fruit.” I smelled fruity aromas of black cherries, raspberries, marionberries, red plums mingled with earthy notes of eucalyptus, cedar, and mushrooms.
Aged in 34% new French oak barrels for 10 months, this Pinot was smooth with a pleasant tartness. I tasted those cherries, red plums and mushrooms from the bouquet, along with figs, cherry jam, bourbon-soaked cherries and mocha chocolate. The finish was long and continued to open up in my glass the longer it was exposed to air.
Food pairing suggestions:
Hyland suggests pairing their Pinot with a bacon mushroom cheeseburger, which I am sure is delicious. If you want to go for something more elegant, I suggest rabbit confit, foraged wild mushroom bruschetta, baked salmon with a parmesan herb crust.
Michele Francisco, a founder and regular contributor to Winerabble, a blog primarily about Pacific Northwest wines, is living the dream in Portland, Oregon. Her passion leads some to believe she's got wine running through her veins. Contact Michele at email@example.com & be sure to visit her online portfolio at www.michelefrancisco.com.