Photography by Craig Camp
Rain clouds roll over the Siskiyou Mountains with the Applegate River in the distance. In front are Troon Estate Vineyard Tempranillo vines. There's not enough rain to be causing us any real problems and harvest continues on schedule.
Picking Troon Vineyard Estate Vermentino just after dawn in the Applegate Valley of Southern Oregon
Perfectly ripe Troon Vineyard Estate Vermentino ready to be harvested tomorrow morning.
It finally feels like fall in the Napa Valley. Some actual rainstorms and cool dew on the leaves in the morning. All the grapevines changing colors are beautiful with each variety having its own distinct hue.
The arrival of a storm brings welcome rain and beauty to the Napa Valley
Just in time for Thanksgiving I’m excited to share my new Cornerstone Oregon releases with you. Certainly there is no better match for the traditional cuisine of this American holiday than wines from America’s premiere pinot noir and chardonnay region: Oregon. With the 2014 vintage I passed my first decade making wine in Oregon and I am more convinced than ever that it is here in the United States that pinot and chardonnay can best show their true personality.
For this reason at Cornerstone Cellars we do not make any chardonnay or pinot in California as, while there are a few examples of wines that are true to these varieties, the vast majority of wines produced in California from pinot and chardonnay speak far more of winemaking than terroir. I believe in pinot and chardonnay grown in the Willamette Valley just as fervently as I do in cabernets, merlot, syrah and sauvignon blanc grown in the Napa Valley.
Very soon Cornerstone Oregon will be at the same production level as Cornerstone Cellars in the Napa Valley (about 5,000 cases each) and so these wines are of the highest priority to me.
As from the beginning of Cornerstone Oregon in 2007, our wines are a collaboration between myself and my friend and the Northwest’s premiere winemaker, Tony Rynders. The style of Cornerstone Oregon reflects my over three decade immersion in the wines of Burgundy and Tony’s two decades in the Northwest, which includes stints as the red wine winemaker at Hogue and a decade as winemaker at Domaine Serene. The wines of Cornerstone Oregon are a synthesis of our perspectives and together we are crafting wines with a classic structure intertwined with a vibrant New World personality. As always, all of the wines of Cornerstone Oregon are grown, produced and bottled in Oregon.
This Thanksgiving I am giving thanks for the privlege of making cabernet in the Napa Valley and pinot noir and chardonnay in the Willamette Valley. Certainly this is having the best of both worlds.
Stunning November dawn in the Napa Valley today
Chardonnay, Napa Valley, Yountville 8/9/14. Beautiful in spite of the fact this is no place to grow chardonnay.
August dawn Napa Valley Yountville AVA
Sandstone near the Timber Cove Inn just north of Fort Ross
Dawn Atlas Peak Yountville AVA #Napa Valley 8/25/13
Atlas Peak and #Yountville AVA vineyards 8/22/13
Dawn Atlas Peak #Napa Valley 8/17/13
First light warming the vineyards in the #Napa Valley
A cold January dawn breaks over Atlas Peak