Mr. California….Meet Mr. Oregon

I sat in my office yesterday here in Sonoma Valley and watched it rain…all day. Highly unusual.

But I did have a chance to speak with a client with many years experience growing grapes and making wine in this neck of the woods. I asked him, "just what effect is this going to have on the grapes and the harvest. Instead of giving me a response about mold or rot as I suspected he pointed out something I hadn’t even considered:

"We are getting a taste of how the rest of the world grows grapes," he said. "A colleague from Oregon tells me ‘California is experiencing what we up in Oregon wine country call a pretty good season so far’"

Which of course made me reflect on what I’ve said and what I’ve heard many others say over the years: "If Burgundians  or Bordelais could trade in their climate for our climate here in California they do so in a heartbeat."

Which of course is true, no matter what the French say about "terroir" only existing in the great vineyards of France. Grape growers in California do live a bit of a charmed life when it comes to the conditions under which they grow their grapes…this odd, fine, Oregon-like weather aside.

Posted In: Wine News


One Response

  1. Craig Camp - June 20, 2005

    Actually I would disagree with your concept of “California Envy” when it comes to pinot noir producers. While it may be true for merlot and cabernet producers, even California pinot noir producers seem to seek out sites that are the least California-like in their climate.
    Oregon pinot noir producers do not wish we had a climate like California as it is not optimum for pinot noir. A prime example is the 2003 vintage, Willamette Valley’s abnormally warm “California vintage”. You won’t find one pinot noir producer here who would want those conditions on a regular basis as most feel the “big” wines this vintage produced do not represent pinot noir at its finest.

Leave a Reply