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Brando in Willamette: Part I


Lately you may have noticed a gaping Brandon Chapple-shaped hole in our shop. That's because said Brandon is - as we speak - harvesting grapes in Oregon's Willamette Valley, for none other than shop fave Grochau Cellars. Brandon got a short-term gig for the season, and already he's started dropping the knowledge. I wanted to share his insights, because while they are terse, they are certainly worth our time.

. . .

First day on the job yesterday. Hand bottled 35 cases of Pinot. Freelance work, got paid with a case of wine.

Funny story, we didn't notice until we bottled everything that one of the fill-noxzles had fallen into one of the bottles... Had to go thru each case and shine a flashlight in the punt of the bottle til we found it.


Rainy day collecting vineyard samples. Here's Lia's vineyard which y'all know from Patty Greene.

Two different vineyards. The Lia's vineyard all had better color and organoleptic development. The problem they're starting to see out here with climate change pushing temperature up is "ripeness" in terms of Brix but withoutcorresponding organoleptic development. Waiting for that development sometimes means making a wine pushing 14-15%, losing the prettiness that is Pinot. Some are suggesting planting more of the late ripening varietals you find out here like Syrah and Tempranillo