2017 Native Flora Karst of the Andaman Pinot blanc
Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Empty bottle weight: 16.4 ounces // 467 grams
132 cases produced
Native Flora is a winery that isn’t afraid to question– and even break– rules. Owners Scott and Denise Flora affectionately refer to their 33-acre property as being on the “wrong side of the hill.” They took a calculated risk when buying land with a north-facing slope, hoping their future vineyard with northern exposure could ripen fruit. Neighborly grape growers with good intentions told Scott it wasn’t possible to grow grapes on that aspect, yet he proves them wrong with each vintage. In fact, with average temperatures on the rise in Oregon, Denise and Scott continue to benefit from that fateful decision.
The 20-acre Native Flora vineyard is planted with 9 clones of Pinot noir, along with Pinot blanc, Chenin blanc, Syrah, Nebbiolo, and Pinot Gouges. There’s no need to mow since the 35 Babydoll sheep do that all day long as they graze between the rows of grapevines. To prevent the sheep from eating the wine grapes, Scott invented a unique, elevated trellising system. The sheep can’t reach the grapes growing above their heads and the grape pickers love working at the vineyard since they don’t have to stoop while harvesting the ripe fruit. I wouldn’t be surprised if more vineyards adopt Native Flora’s innovative farming and grape growing practices.
If you live near Dundee or are planning a trip to the Willamette Valley, I encourage you to book a tasting with Scott and Denise. You’ll have the opportunity to see their sheep, vineyard and beautiful views from the wrong side of the hill. 😉
Be sure to tell us how you like it in the comments!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org & be sure to visit her online portfolio at www.michelefrancisco.com.