Blog

Happenings & Musing from the Eola-Amity Hills.

Julian Elam
February 28, 2019

The 2011 vintage began forebodingly but finished with panache. Referred to as a
“miracle” by many in the Willamette Valley, 2011 was a precariously late vintage by
many measures, yet Evening Land’s wines still blossomed into singular specimens with
great freshness and complexity.

Following an unusually cold winter, spring conditions finally arrived in June, and bloom did not occur until July. However, a warm September turned what could have been a catastrophic harvest into one of the most unique vintages we’ve seen here in the Eola-Amity Hills. Revisiting these wines eight
years later is a fascinating study in what makes our Seven Springs vineyard so special, for even in a
challenging year, the quality of place persisted and prevailed against all odds to produce a
delicate vision of our extraordinary vineyard.


2011 SSV Estate Chardonnay

Hailing in part from young vines, this bottling’s refinement belies the age of its source
material. Proffering a pale gold robe and a nose hinting at lemon, Evening Land’s 2011
Estate Chardonnay still courses with vitality in the mouth; citrus notes, brisk acid, and
saline pome fruit zip through a creamy texture and land on a long finish laced with
suggestions of chalk and minerals. Drink now.


2011 SSV Estate Pinot Noir

The 2011 Estate Pinot Noir is a wonderfully elegant cross-section of Seven Springs’
distinctive terroir that encompasses plantings from all over the vineyard. Derived
predominantly from old-vine, own-rooted Pommard and a blend of three other clones,
this wine has retained its freshness while developing a sophisticated complexity in its
maturity. In the glass, the cuvée’s rich red color has earned a subtle brick patina from its years in bottle. Opening expressively with some earthiness followed by cherry and spice on the nose, this wine demonstrates restrained and balanced vigor on the palate. Succulent acidity and salt work in concert with distinct traces of herbs, exceptionally smooth texture, and a lovely weight to attain a remarkable equilibrium of beguiling depth, energy, and purity. Drink now or revisit in another 2-5 years.

Feb 28, 2019 at 11:15 AM
Julian Elam
February 15, 2019

COFFEE

The only thing more synonymous with Portland than rain is coffee! We are as serious about great coffee as we are about great wine. 

Heart



What sets Heart apart from dozens of other Portland roasters is the meticulous and
unbending care lavished upon every detail at all stages of the coffee production process.
This devotion to the craft produces technical roasts of wonderful complexity and balance,
traits that are on full display in the café’s pour-overs and espresso drinks. The downtown
location’s
outside tables are also a great spot for people watching.


Cloudforest



Fastidiously designed and sparsely furnished with pastel accents, Cloudforest is equal
parts art installation, chocolate factory, and coffee shop. Through a window near the
shop entrance, visitors can glimpse virtually the entire chocolate making process, from
roasting to packaging. At the bar, ask the barista for a luscious, umami-laden maple
drinking chocolate topped with sea salt and served in cheerfully colored ceramics sourced
from local artists. Indulge even further with a sumptuous house-made cookie, featuring
single origin chocolate from founder Sebastian Cisneros’ native Ecuador.

Feb 15, 2019 at 7:41 AM
Evening Land Vineyards ELV
February 13, 2019

HISTORY IN YOUR GLASS

It is impossible to set foot in Seven Springs Vineyard and not feel a deep connection to Oregon’s rich history. Vines planted at the outset of the 1980s stand as proud reminders of the vineyard’s role in making the Eola-Amity Hills a world-class winegrowing region. We know each time we harvest these vines, we are just a small chapter in the story of this great vineyard.

For its first 24 vintages, grapes from Seven Springs were sold to many important Oregon wineries. 

INAUGURAL VINTAGES

Pinot Noir from the old vines at Seven Springs played an important role in the inaugural vintages of 2 seminal Oregon producers. Before Evesham Wood founder Russ Raney planted his now famous Le Puits Sec estate vineyard in 1989, he bottled his first vintage of Pinot Noir with fruit purchased from Seven Springs in 1986. Evesham Wood would go on to bottle Seven Springs vineyard designate Pinot Noir for much of the 1990s and early 2000s.

The 1992 vintage marked the beginning of what would become one of Oregon’s most recognizable wineries. Cristom bottled both a Willamette Valley Pinot Noir and Reserve Pinot Noir in the 1992 vintage with fruit from the old vines at Seven Springs. Winemaker Steve Doerner’s thoughtful notes from Cristom’s earliest vintages can still be accessed online. They offer a fascinating time capsule of many classic Oregon vintages.

VINEYARD DESIGNATION

To the best of our knowledge, 1990 marked the first vintage the name ‘Seven Springs Vineyard’ was designated on a wine label. Both Adelsheim and St. Innocent bottled Seven Springs Vineyard-designate Pinot Noir in the 1990 vintage. 

These two bottlings began an uninterrupted stretch of vintages that continues today, prominently placing the name Seven Springs on the front label of every bottle of wine.

THE WINE TODAY

These same old vines now form Evening Land’s Seven Springs Pinot Noir. Our 2016 vintage is a sublime and brilliant Pinot Noir. The signature smokiness of our volcanic soils hovers over a fine balance of bright red fruits and subtle savory aromas. The old vines imbue the wine with complexity and subtlety impossible to achieve from younger vines.

It is a privilege to farm and make wine from these old vines. Our responsibility as stewards of this site feels greater with each passing vintage and with each new chapter of the vineyard we discover. We thank you for making a place for our wines in your cellar and we invite you to visit us on your next trip to Oregon’s Eola-Amity Hills.

Feb 13, 2019 at 11:50 AM
Evening Land Vineyards ELV
January 28, 2019

Evening Land's very first sparkling wine has arrived! Today (1/29/19) we release our 2015 Seven Springs Blanc de Blancs to our mailing list. The wine will be poured in our tasting room beginning in March. Read on to learn the backstory behind the incredible process that goes into making classic, méthode champenois sparkling wine. 

The Wine


THE BASE WINE

All sparkling wine begins with a 'base wine' or a 'still wine', The 2015 Seven Springs Blanc de Blancs is composed of 100% Chardonnay from block 9 of our estate vineyard, Seven Springs. 
 
We harvest fruit for sparkling wine much earlier than we would for still wines. We harvested this Chardonnay at 17 brix, which is about 2 weeks before we would have picked it for regular, still wine. As a point of reference, the brix level for grapes destined to be bottled as still Chardonnay are harvested in the range of 22-23 brix. Another way to consider the difference in the maturity of these grapes is to understand that we harvest the Chardonnay for sparkling wine 10-14 days before we harvest Chardonnay for still wine.

The grapes are gently pressed into neutral barrels where the Chardonnay juice undergoes a natural and spontaneous fermentation. The wine remained in barrel for 7 months before we sent it to our good friend Michael Cruse in Petaluma, California for the laborious process of TIRAGE and DISGORGEMENT.


TIRAGE

Step 1: Bottle the base wine and seal with a crown cap (like the metal tops on soda bottles). This bottling is done immediately upon receipt of the base wine without any settling or clarifying. We want those lees (yeast cells) to live in each bottle, undergoing a slow, enzymatic self-destruction that builds long and luscious flavor protein chains...the building block of the wine's texture.

Step 2: Prepare the bottles for disgorgement and corking. Riddling is the time-intensive process here. It involves slowly twisting the and angling the bottles downwards towards the neck so the solids fall to opening of the bottle. Below, Michael is in the midst of riddling racks checking to see where the sediment sits in the bottle.



Step 3: Disgorgement and corking under the traditional mushroom cork and cage we're all familiar with. The necks of each bottle are frozen and the crown cap is popped off, jettisoning the tiny frozen bits of lees and solids that have been dutifully riddled to the top of the bottle. This would normally be the moment where dosage is added, but this wine is 'non-dosage' meaning totally dry. 


ENJOYMENT

Now the wine is ready to enjoyed or cellared. Sparkling wines crafted in this traditional method are at their most effervescent immediately after bottling. With time the bubbles slowly decrease in size and intensity. If you are a regular drinker of Grower Champagnes you know that through careful sleuthing you can glean the vintage or vintages of the base wine and subtract it from the disgorgement date to deduce the time the wine spent on the lees. You can also subtract the disgorgement date from the date you pop the cork to determine how fine or effusive the bubbles may be. If you're on the hunt for a rich, nutty, and biscuity bottle of bubbly, look for a late disgorgement date. If you're desperately in need of something bright, bracing, and zippy, seek out a bottle who's vintage and disgorgement are both very recent. 

  


THE LABEL

Our label is a microscopic photograph of silica tetrahedrons. This is the parent rock of our weathering, volcanic clay soils here in the Eola-Amity Hills. These volcanic soils imbue all our Chardonnay, both sparkling and still, with energy and an exciting thread of minerality that makes the wines come alive in your glass. 

Jan 28, 2019 at 12:11 PM
Julian Elam
January 25, 2019

Our tour of favorites spots in Portland continues. This time, the Bars and Restaurants we love to frequent. 

Restaurants

Coquine

It is quite simply the perfect restaurant. There's no better place to nestle into a table and feel like you are being fed rather than 'dining out'. Chef Katy Millard cooks soulful, thoughtful, nourishing food and the service and wine list are low-key brilliant. Make a reservation

 

Davenport

It's a rare restaurant that places a menu in front of you and you seriously consider ordering the entire menu, top-to-bottom. Davenport is such a place. Where pristine ingredients are prepared in an honest, simple fashion. The printed wine list is brief and impressive. The 'unwritten' list inside proprietor Kurt Heilemann's head is unbelievable. The best option is to give Kurt a budget, a flavor profile, and your dinner order. Then sit back and let the remarkable wine come to you. Go see what we're talking about.

Jacqueline

This Clinton Street seafood fixture is an underrated gem, though you’ll be hard pressed to find a table without a reservation on most days. Along with the blowfish wallpaper, a highlight here is the oyster happy hour, when the going rate for the Pacific Northwest’s freshest bivalves is only $1.00. If you’re simply starving, the chef-curated 6-8 course family dinner is one of the very best values in town, particularly when washed down with a quality cocktail or a bottle from Jacqueline’s small but judiciously selected wine list. Make a reservation

 

BARS (with food...good food)

Angel Face

Angel Face is a cocktail jewel box where the beautiful u-shaped marble top bar serves as the canvas for spirituous artistry. There is no traditional cocktail menu here. Instead, peruse the spirits list and consult bartender Leah Brown, who, upon even the most threadbare and inarticulate request, will employ her encyclopedic knowledge to craft a balanced and presciently mood-matching cocktail. With French-inspired dishes like duck confit and steak-frites, the food menu is a suitably sophisticated accompaniment to the bar’s refined creations. Sidle up to Angel Face.  

 

Hale Pele

Atmospheric and otherworldly, Hale Pele is the kind of bar where the passage of time goes unnoticed and the weather outside is quickly forgotten – for good reason. Stepping through the bar’s inconspicuous façade reveals a tiki temple, complete with pufferfish lamps, the occasional thunderstorm, and Hawaiian-shirted waiters bobbling fiery cocktail goblets whose flames lick dangerously at the thatched roof above.    

 

Kachinka

With an all-day, all-night happy hour, vodka flights, and a food menu featuring veal dumplings and caviar, Kachinka is a rolling Russia-themed party. Soviet propaganda posters adorn the walls, and the upbeat Russian pop soundtrack tempts many diners to dance in their seats.       

Jan 25, 2019 at 8:17 AM
Julian Elam
January 18, 2019

Hotels

The Hoxton

A brand new addition to Portland’s Old Town, The Hoxton occupies a refreshed historic
building on Burnside next to the Chinatown Gate. Guests will find chic, affordable
rooms to go along with an unnamed basement bar serving Chinese food, a lobby-level
restaurant and bar featuring a menu heavily influenced by Mexican street food, and a
rooftop bar pouring mezcal cocktails against the backdrop of Portland’s downtown
cityscape. The hotel also hosts frequent events, such as yoga classes, brunches, and film
screenings. Book your room at The Hoxton.

Woodlark



The Woodlark is another recently completed hotel located right next to the Alder Street
Food Cart Pod and mere blocks away from Pioneer Square, Portland’s so-called living
room. Renowned Northwest chef Doug Adams’ restaurant Bullard graces the ground
floor, along with sister bar Abigail Hall and an outpost of local coffee chain Good
Coffee. Among other notable features: each room includes a Salt and Straw ice cream
menu. Schedule your stay at Woodlark

Jan 18, 2019 at 10:43 AM
Evening Land Vineyards ELV
January 16, 2019

IF YOU'RE ALREADY PLANNING YOUR VALENTINE'S DAY

 

...you're doing it right! We're big fans of dining in on Valentine's Day. Avoid the restaurant rat-race and prepare a simple, delicious meal paired with Evening Land wines. We've really been enjoying Alison Roman's new cookbook, DINING IN. Two great recipes to pair with our Seven Springs Chardonnay and La Source Pinot Noir are below! 

HOMEMADE GRISSINI

This easy, homemade grissini, dressed with good butter and wrapped with prosciutto makes for the perfect toasty and salty foil to our bright and bracing Seven Springs Chardonnay

CHICKEN & DUMPLINGS WITH MUSHROOMS


We do love our mushrooms here in Oregon. The only thing earthier and more soulful than mushrooms is Oregon Pinot Noir. This main course is comforting and pairs perfectly with our La Source Pinot Noir.
 

Jan 16, 2019 at 10:21 AM
Evening Land Vineyards ELV
January 11, 2019

We're fortunate to have several talented photographers (both amateurs and pros) visit Seven Springs Vineyard in 2018. Below are 4 of our favorite shots of Seven Springs along with the photographers Instagram handles. Enjoy!

@francis_pdx

@decanterberrytales

@veritascommon

@pecheney

 

 

 

Jan 11, 2019 at 7:19 AM
Julian Elam
January 10, 2019

Part 2 of our Destination: Willamette Valley offers our favorite tasting rooms and vineyard vistas. While we love our Evening Land tasting room, when friends and family come to town, we happily play equal parts host and tourist. Below are a few of our favorites.

TASTING ROOMS

Nicolas-Jay

This collaborative Pinot Noir project started in 2011 by Burgundian winemaker Jean-Nicolas Méo of Domaine Méo-Camuzet and music entrepreneur Jay Boberg, strives to produce wines of freshness and elegance. The speakeasy-style Dundee tasting room is by-appointment-only, and the intimate setting – a tastefully decorated living room in an otherwise ordinary house – allows for an extremely personal experience. Schedule a visit and tasting!

Antica Terra



Maggie Harrison’s winery in Dundee offers far more than a simple sit-and-sip. Tastings here rise to the level of a sensory event, with Antica Terra wines poured alongside carefully curated wines from around the world and gastronomic indulgences like Royal White Sturgeon Osetra, cheeses, and foie gras terrine. Schedule a tasting!

VINEYARDS WITH VIEWS

Seven Springs Vineyard



We are definitely biased, but the view from the Douglas fir-lined road running through the middle of our vineyard is unquestionably one of the most spectacular in the Valley. On a clear day, the snow-dusted peaks of Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, and Mt. Jefferson rise above the farmland and foothills stretching to the east of the Eola-Amity Hills. Click HERE to get a feel for our unforgettable vineyard tour experience and click HERE to email vineyard guide Tynan Pierce to schedule your visit. 

Brooks Winery



Brooks’ tasting room is perched on a hillside above the vineyard, offering guests striking views of the Cascade Range and the Willamette Valley as they sample the winery’s diverse bottlings. Ranging from Pinot Noir to Riesling to Gewurztraminer, Brooks’ wines are especially interesting for those curious about white varietals and their potential in Oregon. And few people do hospitality better than the good folks at Brooks! Schedule a visit

Jan 10, 2019 at 6:53 AM
Julian Elam
January 8, 2019

We wanted to start the year off by sharing our favorite spots in the Willamette Valley to eat, sleep, drink (ahem..taste), and caffeinate! We hope 2019 brings you out to our beautiful valley and we hope these highlights make your trip all the more memorable.

Part 1 is below. Stay tuned for our favorite tasting rooms and vineyard vistas in Part 2!

HOTELS

Atticus Hotel

Set in historic, downtown McMinnville, this incredibly stylish new hotel places its emphasis on the local. Each of its 36 rooms is unique and features work from local artists and designers. The Atticus also offers personalized, full-day wine tasting itineraries to guide everyone from newbies to connoisseurs through the best wines the Willamette Valley has to offer. CLICK TO BOOK

 

The Vintages Trailer Resort

This unconventional resort is ideal for those whose taste in lodging runs more toward Airstreams than luxury hotels. Located between McMinnville and Dundee, The Vintages Trailer Resort boasts views of the surrounding vineyards, locally-sourced pour-over coffee, and a pool. CLICK TO BOOK

BARS & RESTAURANTS

Xicha [chee-chah]
Our winery’s next-door neighbor and a harvest lunch fixture for our winemaking team, this fledgling brewery and Latin American restaurant pairs solid European ales and lagers with excellent sopes, tacos, and empanadas. In the warmer months, a patio with picnic tables is particularly inviting. 

Insider tip: Ask for the pretzels with hatch chile queso dip. Visit Xicha

Thistle

Housed in a building constructed in 1886, this mini bistro features only six tables and exudes an air of charming intimacy. With a devoutly seasonal menu and a great cocktail program, Thistle is a standout McMinnville dinner option. Reserve a Table 

The Coin Jam
You’ll find several generations of nostalgic drinkers reliving their childhoods amidst the clinking of coins at this popular arcade bar in downtown Salem.  With everything from an Addams Family pinball machine to Tron, The Coin Jam has something for just about anyone seeking a bit of throwback fun to go along with a decent beer list.

COFFEE

Archive

If you’re here early enough, you may just catch our winemaking team huddled at the bar, cradling cappuccinos and planning the day’s work. The industrial-chic space changes gears in the evening, when craft cocktails, beer, and wine become the libations of choice. Visit ARCHIVE      

Flag and Wire
After a long day of wine tasting, this McMinnville roaster’s fairly-sourced coffee serves as a welcome pick-me-up. Flag and Wire is ideally located within walking distance to nearly all of downtown McMinnville's tasting rooms. 

Jan 8, 2019 at 7:55 AM
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