James Rahn 2017 'Hyland' Riesling, McMinnville, Willamette Valley, OR
First planted in 1971 by four families working together (the Kreimeyers, Markleys, Welches, and Trenhailes), the Hyland vineyard spans over 200 acres with roughly 180 acres under vine; making it one of Oregon's oldest and largest vineyards.
Winemaker: James Rahn
Farming: Sustainable with Organic Practices
Terroir: Hyland Vineyard - Sitting on a south facing bench at 600 to 800 feet in the foothills of the Coastal Range in the McMinnville AVA, this site benefits from cooler temperatures in the summer and warmer temperatures in the winter; allowing for a longer and more uniform ripening period. This wine comes from a small plot of the original surviving 1972-planted riesling!
Vinification: Harvested on September 30, 2017 at 22 Brix, with a PH of 3.08. Wine fermented naturally in four neutral oak barrels, with 35 grams of RS/L (slightly off-dry)
From our October 2021 Explorer Club Notes:
Living in California, it's easy to overlook all of the wonderful wine produced throughout the rest of the country. This month, we'll look at Riesling from Oregon, specifically the Willamette Valley (pro tip: Willamette rhymes with "dammit, Janet!").
Winemaker James Rahn began his career as a sommelier in Chicago, and while working as Wine Director at Top Chef winner Stephanie Izzard's Girl and the Goat, he had the opportunity to travel to the Pacific Northwest to create a bespoke wine for the restaurant.
While there, he realized he wanted to go from the man at restaurants who poured bottles, to the man on the farm who put the juice into bottles. It was only a matter of time before he, his wife, and their old green pickup truck drove out to Oregon to begin a new life. After working for wineries and gaining experience, the Rahn family established their own roots, and the James Rahn Wine Company was born.
McMinnville is the Willamette Valley's westernmost wine-growing region, located in the Yamhill County foothills of the Coastal Range, and has the coolest climate and most complex geology. As a result, a wide range of varieties, including Riesling, can thrive. The modern Oregon wine industry was born in the 1970s, and The Hyland Vineyard, founded in 1971, spans over 200 acres and has approximately 180 acres under vine, making it one of Oregon's oldest and largest vineyards.
To make this German-influenced but entirely American riesling, James Rahn selects Riesling from the oldest vines in the Hyland vineyard. The wine, which was made entirely naturally in four neutral barrels and is slightly off-dry, has a herbaceousness and citrus-curd character that comes from an aged riesling. Enjoy this wine with some dim sum, crab, and garlic noodles. It will also be beautiful alongside roasted squash and root veggies! — Cara Patricia
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