Rain Dance Winery

Last November, my friend took me to her favourite Oregon winery Raine Dance.

It is a small winery located among its own vineyards in Chehalem Mountains AVA. Cozy tasting room and the personnel are ready for a nice talk about wine. Riesling was good; Chardonnay didn’t impress me, too oaky, but lovers of American-style Chardonnay should appreciate it. The main variety, as among most Oregon wineries, is Pinot noir. They offer three different cuvees. Good Oregon Pinot noir. Prices are not low, which is typical for Oregon, from 20 to 60 dollars.

All those mentioned above, it is what you expect from any good Oregon winery. I was surprised by their Gamay. Generally, Gamay is a variety with a quite simple taste, and you don’t expect something outstanding from Gamay-based wines. Did you try Beaujolais? Here it is. These experimentations had a small parcel of old Pinot noir vines. They decided to play a little bit, and grafted branches of Gamay on those vines. The result is a three-component vine. Pinot noir vines were already grafted on Vitis labrusca roots (as with any other wine grape vines, it is a necessity caused by Phylloxera), and on top of them added Gamay branches. The wine from these vines was much more interesting, complex, and structured than any Gamay I tasted before. I liked it (and I am not a fan of Gamay in general), and I even took a glass. I am not sure how to explain it from the biological point of view. Old vine improves the taste of wine in general. Probably Pinot noir vine is more sensitive to age than the Gamay vine – Pinot noir is a plant more gentle to everything than Gamay. Anyway, the result is not bad. Unfortunately, it is a small experimental vineyard, they produce a tiny amount of this wine, don’t have it in store, and only serve on tasting.

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