A Taste of Cooper Mountain Vineyards at the Table #WinePW

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 ChardonnayPinot 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.

2017 Cooper Mountain Vineyards Pinot Noir Life 

2017 Cooper Mountain Vineyards Pinot Noir Life paired with Pan Seared Duck Breast and Paella Mixta

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.) 

2016 Cooper Mountain Vineyards Pinot Noir Meadowlark Mountain Terroir 

2016 Cooper Mountain Vineyards Pinot Noir Meadowlark Mountain Terroir paired with Ahi Tuna Seared in Duck Fat and Garlic Mushroom Quinoa

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.

Image courtesy of Cooper Mountain Vineyards
Image courtesy of Cooper Mountain Vineyards

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!

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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  1. wendyklik says:

    These wines from Cooper Mountain Vineyards have caught my attention this event.

    1. WordPress.com Support says:

      They really are wonderful wines Wendy! Thanks for commenting… Cheers!

  2. Jane says:

    Wow! Great looking pairings with the Cooper Mountain Pinot Noir wines, I need to track some down.

    1. WordPress.com Support says:

      Thanks for the kind words Jane! Cheers!

  3. Jill Barth says:

    Wasn’t this a great month? I’m making a long list of new wines to try!

    1. WordPress.com Support says:

      It truly was, and to cap it off we went to Portland last weekend!

  4. culinarycam says:

    Cooper Mountain is completely new to me. But, as always, you have me on the hunt, Martin. Thanks for the great looking pairings. Cheers.

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