The New Frontier for American Malbec

In a state that has gambled on grapes like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and won big, Oregon winemakers who have the courage to champion grapes outside those varieties are also reaping the rewards. Since the state offers immense diversity in mesoclimates, some feel you can grow just about any grape well, depending on where you are. In Southern Oregon, that grape is Malbec.

Valcan Cellars’ winemaker/owner Juan Pablo (JP) Valot, who made the first white Malbec in the country, is one of those champions. Valot has been pushing to further Malbec’s growth for the last 10 years, and feels that Malbec is a great opportunity to diversify Oregon’s value proposition when it comes to wine. “Oregon is more than just great Pinot,” he maintains. 

“Malbec has the surprise factor and is a varietal that reaches across the lines,” he says. “It appeals to both Pinot lovers and Cabernet lovers. Oregon Malbec is complex with layers of red berries, dark berries, plum, wildflowers, and violets that you just don’t get in Mendoza Malbecs. And its dark color and mouthfeel is like a Cabernet. It’s a natural grape for Oregon.” 

And in a state where Pinot Noir is notoriously expensive, Malbec priced at $30-$40 a bottle is a win for growers, producers, and consumers alike. Read the complete article here on The Vintner Project.

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