Better Together: Transforming white wine by blending varieties

After filling my glass with wine the color of sun- kissed golden wheat, the tasting room server mentioned it contained nine varieties of white grapes. I tried to guess which grapes, but couldn’t determine a single variety.

Surprise washed over me as I thought, “What did they do, throw all their leftover juice together?” and “Ok, this wine is definitely quaffable, but it really doesn’t excite me.” More philosophically, I wondered, “How is it expressive of Oregon?” This particular wine is enormously successful as a widely distributed white blend with an attractive price point. I still question how it affected the sales of more thoughtfully-composed white wine blends Oregon has to offer.

Contrasting that experience, Dominio IV winemaker Patrick Reuter says, “Often, when the consumer tastes a compelling expression of a blended white wine, their reaction is often one of wonder and delight, followed by a smile and appreciation.”

Oregon’s white blends are gaining popularity with winemakers and consumers alike. Paul Johnson, winemaker at Satyr Fire Wines, believes “It’s important to explore blends as well as terroir-specific wines. Blends allow the winemaker to strive for balance beyond what a single variety can offer. These can be some of the most unique and balanced wines and allow for more creative direction.” Read the complete article here on Oregon Wine Press.

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