While Bordeaux remains the standard in the world of red blends, others demand respect, too. Such is the case for Passetoutgrain. More specifically, ones made here in the New World.
Traditionally, Passetoutgrain (passe-too-grarn) consists of one-third Pinot Noir and two-thirds Gamay Noir; both are harvested and co-fermented together to make the finished wine. In Burgundy, the appellation Passetoutgrain (officially Bourgogne Passe-Tout-Grains) is dedicated to this blend, but it can be made within the entire region of Burgundy.
In Oregon, a few producers pay homage to this Burgundian heritage, crafting a version of they call “vin de soif,” or thirst-quenching wines. Drinkable, unpretentious and typically more affordable, these wines are intended to drink early, if not immediately after bottling, like Beaujolais. With no need for cellaring, Passetoutgrain is made for immediate satisfaction and best enjoyed with others.
Generally, Passetoutgrain means “toss it all in.” But according to James Laughlin, sales and hospitality coordinator for Domaine Divio, located outside Newberg, the word colloquially means “pick them all,” referring to the harvest and crush, in tandem, of the two varieties.
Laughlin adds, “We harvest the grapes on a cool morning, then crush and co-ferment the wine together. Once primary fermentation is complete, the wine goes into neutral French oak barrels for five months to soften and mature [the wine]. Voila! Passetoutgrain is ready to be released, just in time for summer.”
Read the complete story on Oregon Wine Press here.