…if wine growers are willing to invest time and resources in biodynamic,organic,or sustainable viticulture, then wines elaborated from those grapes are more interesting to me, and I want to support those efforts.
May is Oregon Wine Month, and the Wine Pairing Weekend group of wine and food writers are exploring Biodynamic Wines of Willamette Valley. Our host is Jade Helm of Tasting Pour. You may read her invitation post here.
What Is Biodynamic Winemaking?
The official definition of biodynamic farming according to the Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association is “a spiritual-ethical-ecological approach to agriculture, gardens, food production and nutrition.”
In other words, biodynamic farming views ecosystem functions in a holistic manner.
Biodynamics can be a complex, confusing (and controversial) topic, especially when these days, when it seems to compete for mind share with organic, and sustainable wine growing practices.
Each is different, but in my mind, if wine growers are willing to invest time and resources in biodynamic,organic,or sustainable viticulture, then wines elaborated from those grapes are more interesting to me, and I want to support those efforts.
If you would like to learn more about biodynamic wine making, I thought this article entitled Biodynamic Wine Explained offered a good overview of biodynamic wine, or visit the Biodynamic agriculture website.
About the Willamette Valley
The Willamette Valley, stretching from Portland in the north to Eugene in the south, contains about two-thirds of the state’s wineries and vineyards and has six sub-appellations. Its 3,438,000 acres are in an area that is more than 100 miles long, and spans 60 miles at its widest point.
Pinot Noir is the Valley’s claim to fame (82% of Oregon Pinot Noir is produced in the Valley) production, but Oregon wineries also produce exceptional Willamette Valley white varietals, such as Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Riesling proving that the Willamette Valley is one of the best locations in the world for growing cool-climate grapes.
Wine Enthusiast Magazine awarded Oregon’s Willamette Valley as its 2016 Wine Region of the Year.
The Wine and Food Pairings
Disclosure: The wines were provided to me as a media samples by our sponsors Willamette Valley Wine Association, and Emily Kaplan Petterson of EKP Media. I received no compensation for this post, and all opinions presented are my own.
I received two bottles of wine from Cooper Mountain Vineyards and paired each wine with a meal.
My tasting notes follow:
Color – Violet with a watery rim
Aromas – Macerated berries, plum, damp earth, lavender, and espresso
Body – Medium-bodied with fresh acidity and well-integrated velvety tannins
Taste – Mulberries, black raspberry, plum, cherry cola, warm spice and a hint of sarsaparilla
Finish – Medium plus
Organic fruit, No added sulfites 13.8% ABV|SRP – $40 | (90 pts.)
My tasting notes follow:
Color – Violet with a watery rim
Aromas – Cherry, cola, mulberry, roast coffee and damp earth
Body – Medium-bodied, elegant, and focused with mouth-watering acidity, and well-integrated suave tannins
Taste – Cherry and cranberry dominate, but complicated with hints of mulberry and blackberry and warm spice with very appealing savory notes
Finish – Long
Biodynamic fruit sourced from the Meadowlark Vineyard situated on the southern slope of Cooper Mountain. The vineyard was planted in 1982. 13.8% ABV| SRP – $60 (92 pts.)
Both of the Cooper Mountain Vineyard wines were uber-food friendly and were wonderful partners for our meals!
About Cooper Mountain Vineyards
In 1978 Dr. Robert Gross and his wife Corrine planted Pinot Noir and Chardonnay on the slopes of Cooper Mountain, west of Portland. They were attracted to the ideal of getting back to the land and raising their three kids where Corinne grew up, so they settled in the Willamette Valley to do just that.
First they were strictly growers, selling their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes in the Old Vines Vineyard, as it came to be called. In 1987, the family converted an old horse barn on the property to start their own label, and the family crafted a Pinot Noir.
After expanding to four vineyards on 125 acres, the family business is now the charge of founder Bob Gross and daughter Barbara Gross, who grew up with the vines on their first vineyard site. Today, Cooper Mountain Vineyards produces 7 varietals under 3 labels.
They became early adopters to organic and biodynamic farming practices in Oregon winemaking by the early 1990’s. All of our vineyards have been farmed certified organic and biodynamic since 1999.
Check out these amazing dishes paired with Biodynamic Willamette Valley wines!
- David of Cooking Chat has prepared “Salmon, Farro and Mushrooms with Winderlea Pinot Noir”
- Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camila is celebrating with “Simple Pleasures, A Birthday Cheeseboard, & Keeler Estate Vineyards’ 2017 Terracotta Amphorae Riesling“
- Jill of L’Occasion writes about “Peace, Bread, Land and Wine’: A Meal With Brooks Winery“
- Jennifer of Vino Travels will share “Biodynamic Wines of the Willamette Valley with King Estate“
- Lori of Dracaena Wines will present “Continuing the Biodynamic Legacy #WinePW“
- Jane from Always Ravenous pairs “Wild Alaskan Salmon with Herbed Ricotta and Oregon Pinot Noir”
- Pinny of Chinese Food and Wine Pairings combines “Biodynamic Grüner Veltliner and Pinot Noir from Johan Vineyards Plus Surf ‘n’ Turf Dinner”
- Linda of My Full Wine Glass shares “Ode to Oregon: Johan’s Biodynamic Expression of Place (#WinePW)”
- Gwendolyn Alley from Wine Predator will present “Our land is our life and our life is our wine” — Cooper Mountain Pinot Paired with Duck #WinePW
- Deana from Asian Test Kitchen has whipped up “Oregon Orange Wine Sparkles with Indian Curry“
- Wendy Klik A Day in the Life on the Farm discovers “Dammit!! These are some great wines from Willamette.
- Lauren Walsh of The Swirling Dervish will tempt us with “Pork Loin, Mushrooms, and Fiddlehead Ferns Meet Biodynamic Pinot Noir from Bergström Wines (#WinePW)”
- Jeff of Food Wine Click is pairing “Biodynamic Willamette Valley with Brick House and Harissa Chicken”
- Payal of Keep the Peas is presenting “Living off the Land: King Estate Pinot Noir + Mushroom Pâté”
- Rupal of Syrah Queen is sharing “Maysara Winery – Iranian Immigrants Achieving The American Dream”
- Jade of Tasting Pour will share “Thai Green Curry Rockfish and Montinore Estate Gewurztraminer #WinePW”
- Nicole of Somm’s Table shares “A Hunt for a Biodynamic Williamette Valley Wine: Johan Vineyards Farmland Pinot Noir and Salmon“
If you’re up early enough, please join our Twitter chat May 11, 2019. It’s scheduled for 8-9 am PT. Follow #winepw as we discuss the behind the scenes of our recipe pairings and share thoughts on these amazing wines.
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