Happenings & Musing from the Eola-Amity Hills.

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


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.


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. 


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. 



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. 



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



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.


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.    



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


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.


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'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! 


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


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!








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.



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!


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!


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


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


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.



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
Julian Elam
December 28, 2018


What are you doing New Year's Eve? We asked our Tasting Room Manager, A.J. McCafferty, Vineyard Tour Guide, Tynan Pierce, and Assistant Winemaker Julian Elam what their plans entailed. Let us know in the comments what you are drinking, eating, and doing to celebrate the new year!

What are you drinking to ring in the New Year?

Moussé Fils “Special Club” Champagne for a celebration of Pinot Meunier.
Peter Lauer “Sekt” Sparkling Riesling for something a little different.
Commando G’s “La Bruja de Rozas” (Garnacha from the Sierra de Gredos) for a taste of Spain.
Finish with a touch of Calvados to aid our post-festivities digestion.

Ulysse Collin “Les Pierrieres” Blanc De Blanc is calling my name!

Billecart-Salmon & Aubry Champagne
Old Fashioneds with High West or Eagle Rare whiskey

What’s for dinner on New Year's Eve?

Julian: My ideal menu is Cornish game hens for dinner with a
Galette des Rois (large circular puff pastry with frangipani filling) for dessert.

A.J.: Normally, I am a huge fan of anything off the Raw Bar! Oysters are one of my
favorite indulgences and I always look for an excuse to consume copious amounts of
them. This year, some friends and I wanted to switch it up a bit so we will be doing a
PDX Pizza Tour, visiting 15(!) different pizzerias across the city.

Tynan: Homemade smoked salmon dip to go with the Champagne.

Do you have any favorite New Year's traditions in Oregon?

Julian: I start the year snowshoeing on Mt. Hood AND surfing at Cape Kiwanda.

A.J.: This marks my first New Year’s in Portland, so everything is new, but I’m glad to celebrate the New Year in a fantastic city, surrounded by great friends and great wine!

Tynan: Whale watching, agate hunting, and cooking with the family on the Oregon Coast.

Dec 28, 2018 at 6:45 AM
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

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