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Technique vs. Terroir

My wine knowledge is... limited, so maybe this happens all the time: A group of five winemakers in Oregon took grapes from five vineyards and each made wine from it. Now those wines are ready for release and you can buy them as a set (for $1250). The experiment explores the technique of the wine maker versus the terroir of the vineyard as each winemaker puts his stamp on the same set of grapes. Cool stuff, says me.

Willamette Valley, Oregon (July 22, 2009) - Five renowned Oregon winemakers have tapped five Willamette Valley vineyards to create 25 unique expressions of Oregon's signature Pinot Noir - these are the wines of the Cellar Crawl. Designed to explore how soil, geology and the winemaker's approach impacts the expression of wine, this collection of 25 Oregon Pinot Noirs will be unveiled at the annual International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC) held in Oregon's Willamette Valley on July 24 - 26, and available for purchase as a set at the participating wineries.

In 2006, five winemaker friends - Terry and Ted Casteel (Bethel Heights Vineyard), Steve Doerner (Cristom Vineyards), Ken Wright (Ken Wright Cellars), Lynn Penner-Ash (Penner-Ash Wine Cellars) and Laurent Montalieu (Soléna Cellars) - picked fruit from the same five vineyards, with each winemaker creating their own barrel from each lot, then bottled and named it after their tasting group Cellar Crawl. Now, after three years, it's ready to be released.

"This is the first time that winemakers have joined forces and created a platform to help us better understand the influence that soil and individual style have on Oregon Pinot Noir," says Ted Casteel of Bethel Heights Vineyard. "This project is about education and transparency, so we're bringing it out of the cellar and making it available to the public."


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