Although we typically celebrate the fresh start of the New Year on January 1, the annual life cycle of the vineyard begins in late winter through the careful process of pruning. According to Vineyard Manager, Alex Moeller, pruning is the most impactful step in the life cycle of our vines. The pruning process is usually done by hand, but with the help of a pre-pruner, preliminary work reduces the labor involved in hand pruning.
The pruning process involves the vineyard crew carefully selecting canes that are best suited to bear fruit for the coming vintage. Pruning is truly an art, sculpting the architecture of the vineyard for the coming year.
Prune well, and the rest of the year will go smoothly.
We are thrilled to be in the process of bottling our first offering of the 2018 vintage: our Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Rosé!
Pinot Noir Rosé has been a cornerstone of our production for more than a decade. We harvest intentionally to achieve a style that is balanced and bright. Whole cluster pressed and fermented in stainless steel, this vibrant wine has us dreaming of summer wine tasting. (148 days, but who’s counting?)
Join us as we celebrate the release of the 2018 Willamette Valley Rosé February 9-10!
Searching for a special holiday gift for a client, colleague, or loved one? You are in luck! As it so happens, wine pairs perfectly with everything during the holidays.
Our carefully selected gifting options make it quick and easy to find the wine for any occasion.
Happy Holidays from Stoller Family Estate!
As the final grapes travel from the vineyard to the winery, a commemorative forklift parade honors the hard work poured into Harvest 2018. Although the weather may be turning, the mood of our harvest interns and production team are anything but gloomy. The excitement and comradery are contagious as another successful harvest is added to the list for Stoller Family Estate.
Cheers to a job well done!
If your vision of heaven includes wine and puppies, we know just the place for you. At Stoller, it’s rare that we go a day without seeing a four-legged friend. Meet Champers and King Floofus; golden retrievers of Assistant Tasting Room Manager, Devin Andolsen. The four-year-old pair can often be found entertaining the guests of the tasting room and exploring our beautiful property.
Next time you visit, make sure to bring your furry friend!
As the crisp autumn air rustles the fiery orange vines, and the last “snip” of a pruner rings throughout the vineyard signaling one thing - Harvest 2018 is officially complete.
As always, the last fruit in our vineyard to harvest was our Single Acre Syrah, a warmer climate variety that must ripen at length to achieve varietal typicity.
The 2018 vintage presented a warmer and drier growing season. The vintage kicked off with an early bud break. June saw a cool, wet weather period during bloom that put the vintage back on track for a traditional September harvest. Cluster sizes were smaller and more conducive to producing high-quality wines. The most notable climatic feature to the 2018 vintage, was our extended summer harvest weather that continues as we post this video. This allowed us to pick based on ripe flavors and near perfect natural acidity.
Cheers to all those who made Harvest 2018 a success!
Essential to harvest, the Braud New Holland Grape Harvester assists with low maceration of our fruit while protecting the vines and trellis system from damage. This innovative machinery contains auto-leveling capabilities, sensors, and control systems; resulting in ease for the operator and the ability to tackle a variety of vineyard terrains. The harvester picks the fruit off the vine while preserving its quality, ensuring the highest caliber of winemaking. Only small amounts of MOG - or materials other than grapes - make their way into the harvest, which makes the next step, sorting, even more efficient.
Hooray for modern winemaking!
Why do we punch-down grapes?
Our Vice President of Winemaking Melissa Burr explains: “During fermentation, yeast consumes the sugar in grapes and makes alcohol, but also makes a lot of CO2, which pushes all the grapes to the top of the tank of fermenting juice. We ‘punch-down’, or mix the grapes back into the juice to make sure to extract all the beautiful color and flavor from those grape skins, to get eventually into your glass!”
Cleverly described by Dr. Vinny of Wine Spectator, punching down is similar to the process of making tea. If the tea bag is floating at the top, it will not extract the flavor or color desired until it is dunked into the liquid to steep.
If you are looking for variety in your exercise routine, try punching-down! You are in for a workout!
In order to ensure the finest quality of our wine, harvested grapes are hand-sorted to eliminate imperfections. Unripe or rotten fruit is removed from a large conveyor belt called the sorting table, exemplified by Jason Toch, Vice President of Vineyard Operations. Debris from the vineyard such as leaves or dirt clods, often called MOG - or materials other than grapes - are also discarded. Only the best fruit continues to the next stage of the vinification process, crushing.
In the vineyard, much of our fate lies in the hands of the weatherman. No two years have the same weather pattern, therefore no two vintages yield the same expression of our vineyard. As revealed by Vice President of Vineyard Operations, Jason Tosch, characteristics of the 2018 vintage can only be predicted a week before harvest due to unpredictable weather conditions.
During a year that experienced colder than average conditions, fruit will be less ripe and more tart. The excess water from rain creates higher levels of acidity and lower levels of sugar. Lack of sugar results in a lower percentage of alcohol, creating a wine with a lighter body.
In contrast, a year that is warmer than average will yield a harvest of ripe fruit that is sweet and soft. Lowered acidity results in higher sugar and alcohol content, culminating a fuller body.