Elkton Oregon, Umpqua Valley, Southern Oregon, Oregon
Owners/winemakers Christopher Hudson and Monja Hudson-Desmeules both have a long love affair with wine. Monja’s started as a child in Switzerland while accompanying her family on wine tasting trips through France. After graduating from the Swiss University of Applied Sciences of Changins with a degree in viticulture and enology, she then made wine in Italy, France and Spain before coming to Oregon.
During college, native Oregonian Christopher changed majors from Chemical Engineering to winemaking, graduating with a Fermentation Science degree from Oregon State University. The couple met while working together at King Estate, followed their collective wine passion down to New Zealand, eventually returning to Oregon, where they began searching for the ideal property to plant a vineyard.
In 2011, after a 4-year search, the Hudsons found the perfect site and purchased a plot of land with Christopher’s parents. It’s a warmer spot, situated south of the tiny town of Elkton, overlooks the Umpqua River, less than an hour’s drive from the Pacific Ocean. Attracted by soil with equal parts clay, silt and sand which they knew would help control vine vigor, Christopher and Monja began by first planting Pinot noir and Gamay vines, eventually adding Viognier, Malbec and Chasselas (pronounced cha suh luhs). (The most common white grape varietal grown in Switzerland, Monja is very familiar with Chasselas and has chosen to grow it gobelet style, a trellis-less method first developed by Roman grape growers.)
With notes of berries, dark sodas, and earth, this Elkton Oregon Pinot noir is quite different from the Willamette Valley Pinots we usually drink. It has such a simple, yet fun label, I encourage you to order some today and taste it yourself. Or, better yet, plan a visit to Elkton and meet the Hudsons at their downtown tasting room. 😀
Bouquet and palate:
Sasparilla // marionberries // bright acidity // black tilled soil // fresh herbs // cola // tayberries
Food pairing suggestions:
Grilled mushrooms with smoked crème fraîche // scallop tartare with green apple–endive salad // herbed grilled chicken breast
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.