Blog

Happenings & Musing from the Eola-Amity Hills.

Julian Elam
December 18, 2018

Q: How did you get your start in wine and how did you get involved with Evening Land?

“When I was living in Switzerland, I met my (future) wife Kelly’s brother, Andrew. I was looking to get out of social work and do something different. He was working in wine in Oregon, and I had always been curious about Oregon and was starting to get curious about wine. He was really kind and wanted to help facilitate my interest in wine, so they invited me out to Oregon to live and work with them.

I got my first job at J.K. Carriere, initially just doing bottlings and rackings and pulling rocks out of the vineyard. I did that with some odd jobs in Portland for a couple years, and we started working more with Brad McElroy at Ayres Vineyard. I liked the small winery feel, the attention to detail; I liked paying attention to small lots, to vineyard management and farming practices. I went back to school to gain experience and qualifications, so I got a horticulture degree in viticulture and enology from Oregon State.

Our son Henry was born as I finished my degree and Sine Qua Non hired me to manage vineyards for them, so we moved to Lompoc, CA. I managed the growing season in 2014 and oversaw harvest for a few vineyards, mostly Syrah and Grenache, some Roussanne, some Viognier, and a little Mourvèdre.

Living in Lompoc, I got to know Sashi Moorman through his winemaking team of John Faulkner and Tim Fimpler. Sashi asked me if I wanted to be a part of the winemaking team at Evening Land, and I was probably too excited about it. It was a great opportunity. Sashi was in need of someone and I was in need of a shakeup. He was looking for someone who had a little bit of a vineyard background who could help steer the vision in the vineyard at Seven Springs, which was exciting to me. To be involved in vineyard work AND in the winery is something everybody wants to do. The opportunity to do that at Seven Springs is something I never thought I’d be a part of. 

So I moved back to Oregon and started the process of blending the 2014s, trying to get them assembled and bottled. It’s a good job; I feel really lucky to be able to work with Jessica and Daniel in the vineyard, and Julian, John, and Tim in the winery.”

Q: Which Oregon producers inspire or excite you?

“In Oregon, I think the person who’s most inspiring to me every year is Bethany Kimmel, who makes the Color Collector Gamays. I really respect how focused and caring she is about each lot that she makes. She has a very delicate hand with Gamay. Her vinification for those is really Gamay focused. A lot of the Gamay in Oregon is made like Pinot Noir, but she’s doing something different. Really focused, small production. She is a lovely human being and is just quietly making great wines.”

Q: Do you remember a particular bottle that hooked you on wine for good?

“When I was developing a little bit of an interest in wine, I was living in Switzerland and there were these wines by a producer named Domaine Belluard - the Les Alpes wines - that are made with this grape called Gringet [gran-JAY], and there’s a sparkling wine version and some still wines. Those wines really made me think, really made me interested to know why they were different, and really piqued my curiosity.

I don’t know that my curiosity had ever been piqued by wine before that.”

Q: What do you believe the role of a winemaker should be in guiding a wine to a faithful expression of its terroir? 

“If the winemaker is involved in the vineyard, then he’s really the only person involved in the life of those molecules from soil to grapevine to grape to the fermenter to bottle. A winemaker has a lot of say in what a wine ends up being. You can pick early or pick late, you can ferment in any number of vessels, you can control the temperature, you can add sulfur, and you can add yeast. What we like about wine does obviously color our winemaking process. We want the wines from Seven Springs to straddle the line of elegance and accessibility. 

The starting point is always the wines that inspire you. We’re inspired by Burgundy. We’re inspired by old world wines that strive for responsibility in the vineyard - with organics or biodynamics - to be very restrained with the use of sulfur in the winery, to preserve every bit of nature. We always use indigenous yeast, we very rarely temperature control fermentation. We want the wines to be alive. Usually, at Seven Springs that means that the best wines we make are picked to retain the acidity in the wine because when the fruit is most elegant is when there’s enough acidity to make the wine fresh. When we pick and there’s acidity in the grapes, we’re allowed to smell and taste the more subtle aspects.”

Q: 2018 was one of Oregon’s driest years on record.  How do you see climate change affecting Seven Springs and its wines?

“We have a small advantage in the Eola-Amity Hills. We’re a little bit cooler than areas south and north. Seven Springs is on the east side of those hills, which is a little bit cooler still, so if the trend is getting warmer - the hotter seasons getting hotter - we might be shielded from the worst. If we have too many more seasons like 2018, it’ll certainly be a challenge to continue to farm without irrigation. If we have even one or two more seasons like this one, we’ll have to dig a well and if the seasons get really hot we’ll have to irrigate. It’s hard to say how that would change the wines.

Whether or not that means we’ll have to adapt our winemaking I don’t know. 2015 was a really interesting test case. It was really hot and Evening Land made pretty delicate wines. Either way, climate change is very real and it’s not going away.”

Dec 18, 2018 at 8:44 AM
Julian Elam
December 5, 2018

2018 Vintage Retrospective - Balance Abides


Half-drunk coffee mugs litter the winery like a residue of harvest’s coordinated pandemonium, perching upon any available flat surface: the side of a forklift, the door of a fermentation tank, the head of an empty barrel. The sorting line now stands silent, our concrete tanks are empty, and wine ferments quietly in French and Austrian oak. Out in the vineyard, the leaves yellow and a cover crop of clover blankets the ground in green. The abrupt end of harvest engenders a tranquility unique to the waypoints of a natural cycle and offers an opportunity to reflect upon the vintage that was. 

2018 was one of the driest years in Oregon history, but in the end, a fairly normal Oregon vintage defied the unusually arid conditions. The growing season was warm, but days eased into cooler nights than we experienced in 2017. Thanks to the steady rhythm of ripening, we were able to pick at our own pace. Within the typical mid-September and mid-October Willamette Valley picking window, the vineyard essentially underwent two harvests: chardonnay first, then pinot noir. As a result, we were able to nurture each and every cuvée to the fullest extent, ensuring exceptional quality.

Our excitement is enhanced by the ideal condition of the fruit at harvest; perfectly lignified stems, ripe seeds, and good acid all resulted in wines of exceptional balance. We continue to watch (and taste) the 2018 wines develop with enthusiasm and pride. The winemaking team believes that this vintage could be one of our very best yet, and we cannot wait to share it with you. In the meantime, we’ll start washing those coffee mugs.     

 

Dec 5, 2018 at 11:07 AM
Evening Land Vineyards ELV
November 7, 2018

We invite you to join us for 'Head for the Hills' this Thanksgiving weekend. Twice a year, we open the gates to our Seven Springs Estate Vineyard and welcome lovers of Eola-Amity Hills wines to visit our vineyard and the vineyards and wineries of our neighbors. We're hosting Head for the Hills with 4 terrific wineries that are all close by. Feel free to start your day with us, end your day at Seven Springs, or catch us coming to and from Lingua Franca across the road. 

The event is 'rain or shine' and well, it's Oregon...so, ya know. We'll have a cozy tent as well as the tractor barn for shelter and warmth. 

NO RESERVATIONS NECESSARY - COME AT YOUR LEISURE

The Particulars
DATE:    Saturday, November 24th & Sunday, November 25th
TIME:    11:00 am to 4:00 pm
PLACE: 4180 Lone Star Rd. Salem, OR 97304 (map)
 

WINES: 2014 La Source Pinot Noir
              2016 Anden Pinot Noir
              2016 La Source Chardonnay
              2016 Summum Chardonnay
              *top-secret bonus pour(s)

BITES:  Oregon cheese & charcuterie plates
COST:   $20 tasting fee per winery - Our fee is waived with 3+ bottle purchase.

Our Eola-Amity Hills Friends
Bethel Heights
Cristom
Lingua Franca
Walter Scott

 

Nov 7, 2018 at 5:31 PM
Evening Land Vineyards ELV
October 26, 2018

The holiday season means large gatherings with large bottles of everyone's favorite wine! An incredible vintage like 2016 offers the perfect time to invest in magnums. 

Here are our TOP-5 reasons to go BIG with magnum bottles.

1. MAGNUMS SHOW YOU CARE!
Show up to a party with a big bottle and we guarantee you
it will be opened, enjoyed, and appreciated that night. 

2. MAGNUMS AGE LONGER.
There hasn't been a better vintage to lay down for the long haul since 2012.
2016 magnums are a wise cellar investment.

3. REMEMBER SPECIAL OCCASIONS.
Did you get married in 2016? Did you become a parent or grandparent?
Mark that magnificent memory with a 2016 magnum. 

4. MAGNUMS ARE EFFICIENT.
Pull one cork & serve 2x the wine? Yes Please!

5. THEY MAKE THE PERFECT DONATION!
It is the season of giving after all. Don't know what to donate to your favorite
charity's annual auction? Offer an Evening Land magnum! 

Oct 26, 2018 at 1:28 PM
Evening Land Vineyards ELV
October 23, 2018

Whatever did we do before this wonderful invention came along? We love using the Coravin Wine System in our tasting room and winery because it preserves the freshness and liveliness in our wines and allows us to share each bottle with as many guests as possible. 

Coravin - I want one ! from Coravin on Vimeo.

 

In the tasting room, we use the Model Two Elite Pro, featured in the video above. It's easy to use, sleek, and quite the conversation piece. Our Evening Land Tasting Room is proud to be one of the very few retailers in the entire country to offer Coravin's new Model Eleven. If you live in an internet connected home with nest thermostats, ring doorbells, Amazon alexas and the like, then this is the Coravin for you. 

Coravin Unboxing Model Eleven from Coravin on Vimeo.

 

We use Coravin's everyday. We know a lot about them and we're happy to answer any questions you may have both before you purchase and after you begin using your new Coravin.

Call us anytime and if we miss you, we'll ring you back 503.538.4110

All our best,
-AJ & Tynan

Oct 23, 2018 at 8:49 AM
Evening Land Vineyards ELV
September 25, 2018

 

Sep 25, 2018 at 10:52 AM
Evening Land Vineyards ELV
September 6, 2018

Today marks the start of our 2018 vintage. Before sunrise, our vineyard manager Jessica Cortell and her team harvested the first crop from a young vines Chardonnay block at Seven Springs. Our tasting room team is headed to the winery to see winemaker Ben DiCristina load the press with the first juice of the vintage. It's an exciting time in the valley and it will only get busier! 

Sep 6, 2018 at 7:48 AM
Evening Land Vineyards ELV
August 14, 2018

Our Zaltos are here. Our tasting room team is standing by to receive your call and send some of these epic Austrian wine glasses and decanters your way. Scroll down to learn more about Zaltos and to see what we have available. 

 

Aug 14, 2018 at 1:26 PM
Evening Land Vineyards ELV

We are ardent lovers and supporters of Zalto stemware. In both the winery and the tasting room we exclusively use these delicate, mouth-blown Austrian glasses to evaluate and enjoy wine. Read on to learn more about what makes Zalto such an exquisite glass for wine lovers like us. 

Our tasting room always has a large selection of Zalto stems and decanters for sale. Whether you're considering investing in great glassware for yourself or need a special gift to impress the wine lover in your life...we've got you covered!


 

HISTORY
In the northern part of Lower-Austria, the tradition of glass blowing goes back to the early 14th century. The Zalto family, a glassmaking dynasty whose roots reach back to Venice, settled down in this region six generations ago. Since then, Zalto has been producing high quality mouth-blown glass in Neunagelberg and has made a name for itself among bon vivants beyond all borders.

SHAPE
The curve of the bowls are tilted at the angles of 24°, 48°, and 72°, which are in accordance to the tilt angles of the Earth. The ancient Romans utilized this triumvirate of angles with their supply repositories, finding that produce stayed fresh for a longer time, and that it also showed improved taste. Due to these cosmic parallels, Zalto believes that a wine can reach its utmost potential in a Denk`Art glass.

DURABILITY
Despite its feather-light weight and delicate edges, the Denk'Art series of glasses maintains all the best attributes of a modern day glass as far as care and longevity are concerned. They are lead-free and resistant against clouding. Denk`Art glasses may be washed in the dishwasher and should be considered your everyday glass as well as the glass to use for your most special occasions.

Aug 3, 2018 at 9:52 AM
Evening Land Vineyards ELV

The most memorable and magical corner of the Seven Springs property is our waterfall. Shrouded in trees, ferns, and moss, and nestled in the woods below our old vines Pinot Noir, it is a cool and magical respite from the mid-day sun. We recently hosted a small group of ardent Evening Land supporters for a picnic lunch and wanted to share some pictures from that magical afternoon. 

Our next waterfall tasting and lunch is scheduled for Saturday, August 25th. Call us to reserve your seat at the waterfall. 503.538.4110

Aug 2, 2018 at 6:48 AM
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