At Stoller, we take great care in harvesting our grapes at optimal maturity. In order to determine ripeness, a representative sample of each fruit is macerated - the process of soaking crushed grapes, seeds and stems into a must - to mimic the crushing process. The residual juice from maceration is then evaluated for its brix, which is the measurement of dissolved sugar within the liquid. Sugar ultimately indicates the potential alcohol content present within the fruit and serves as a sign for when to harvest.
As the birds welcome the day with their morning song and the sun reluctantly begins to assume its post in the clear September sky, a special feeling is in the air. In the vineyard, the sound of footsteps can be detected. The footsteps come to a halt and the “snip” of a pruner rings throughout the vineyard. This is no ordinary day at Stoller Family Estate. Today marks the first day of harvest.
After testing the fruit for physiological ripeness, a process that includes examining factors such as brix, pH, acidity, and flavor development, it was determined that the Pinot Noir for the 2018 LaRue’s Brut Rosé would be the first to leave the vineyard. Hand-picked in the early morning to beat the heat, the clusters are gathered in five-gallon buckets, loaded into bins, and transported to the winery to begin the process of becoming sparkling wine.
The 2018 vintage is officially underway.
If you haven’t heard it through the grapevine - Stoller Family Estate was named the “Best Tasting Room in the Nation” by USA Today 10Best. We are thrilled to gain national recognition and welcome fellow wine enthusiasts from around the world. A warm thank you to everyone who participated in the voting process!
Cheers to a great tasting room and an even better community of tasters!
Are drones the future of vineyard management? Not only are they able to capture epic shots of our vineyard, Dr. Greg Crustinger of Scholar Farms reveals how drones are instrumental in vineyard management through vegetation mapping. Using aerial footage that is transformed into digitized heat maps, the vineyard is divided and assigned into levels of necessary care. Through this technology, Crustinger is able to assess the health of our vineyard and pinpoint problem areas. If that wasn’t cool enough, a thumb drive of the digitized map can be inserted into smart tractors or sprayers where action can be taken in precise locations.
Welcome to modern farming!
Calling all wine enthusiasts, foodies, and adventurers! It’s time to add Oregon to your summer bucket list. Sit back and relax in one of our adirondack chairs as you enjoy superb wine, weather, and scenery. Oregon is not just a land flowing with wine. It also offers the perfect blend of excellent shopping, delicious food, and outdoor adventures waiting to be explored.
Treat yourself to a well-deserved trip to wine country and discover why everyone is falling in love with Oregon. After all, nothing beats summer in the Pacific Northwest.
As the sun breaks from the clouds and tasting room guests rise from their rain-induced hibernations, the countdown to harvest begins. In the vineyard, the Dundee Hills Pinot Noir is starting to show signs of individual florets while their neighbor, the Dundee Hills Chardonnay, has already reached full bloom. Flowering is a crucial time for the vineyard as wind, rain and cold weather could dislodge the delicate flowers. Roughly 400 feet up the hillside, Pinot Noir for our Legacy tier wines shows a much slower rate of development. Vice President of Vineyard Operations, Jason Tosch, points to elevation as the primary explanation for bloom disparity.
Our vineyard is divided into 101 meticulously farmed sections of seven varieties, ranging 220 to 640 feet in elevation. Just like the suntan Oregonians desperately need at this time of year, grapes at higher elevations develop an increased pigment concentration resulting in firm tannins, vivid color, and thicker skin to weather climate changes. The concentrated sunlight and cooler temperatures experienced by grapes at higher altitudes slows the ripening process and creates an excellent balance between flavor-activating sugars, acidity, and other chemical complexities. The combination of elevation and our volcanic soil help sweep rainfall from the roots and protect the vine.
Elevation creates unique differences between each of our wine tiers and our vintages, giving us an opportunity to showcase the many expressions of our vineyard. Click here to learn more about our vineyard with our interactive map.
At Stoller, we are committed to leading the charge in sustainable winemaking. Through energy efficient systems and an effort to eliminate negative environmental impact, we are proud to meet the highest standards for sustainable viticulture through LIVE certifications.
LIVE, (Low Input Viticulture and Enology), is a non-profit organization that provides education and independent 3rd-party certifications for vineyards and wineries using international standards of sustainable viticulture and enology practices in wine-grape and wine production. Examples of LIVE vineyard practices include planting cover crops, maintaining natural areas for wildlife and forgoing many chemical sprays. LIVE winery certification focuses on energy efficiency, safety, and wastewater treatment. Our vineyard became LIVE certified in 2006, and the winery achieved certification in 2009.
Our mission at Stoller is to not only make award-winning wine but to make our mark (or lack thereof) on the world. That is why we are proud to be B Corp Certified, a global movement to build a sustainable economy and use business for the power of good. B Corp certification not only assesses the success of our business but the sustainability of our practices as a whole. This certification holds us to the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability. We are honored to be in the company of other like-minded businesses on the mission to solve social and environmental problems through progressive, mindful, and ethical practices. With our B Corp certification, we pledge to make decisions that cultivate a sustainable future for generations to come. B Corp works to create healthy communities, diminish poverty levels, eradicate inequality and commit to maintaining a healthy environment. We are proud to be unified in the mission to revolutionize the world of business and look beyond the bottom-line. To take a look at our B Impact report, click here.
The symphony of tirage marks an exciting milestone for the creation of the 2014 Legacy LaRue’s Brut Rosé. As one of the most technical aspects in the winemaking process, sparkling wine has been a longtime dream of Associate Winemaker, Kate Payne-Brown.
After aging 10-months in neutral French oak, the base wine – 25% Chardonnay, 75% Pinot Noir – undergoes tirage. Tirage is the process of adding a solution of active yeast cultures and sugar to the original base wine to kick-start the second round of fermentation. The added solution releases carbon dioxide, responsible for the effervescence that puts the “sparkle” in our beloved sparkling wine. At full maturity, the bottles are riddled to displace the spent yeast, during which the sediment is driven to the neck of the bottle to be disgorged.
The 2014 Legacy LaRue’s Brut Rosé spent two years on the lees before being corked and capped into 275 stunning cases.
Stoller is committed to leadership in sustainable winemaking practices through energy efficient systems, and the mission to reduce negative environmental impact.
Not only do our scenic hills provide a breathtaking backdrop for wine tasting, they also foster traditional gravity flow winemaking. Gravity flow utilizes the natural pull of the earth to perform the heavy lifting in transporting the wine from crush to cellar. This method reduces the need for pumping and therefore conserves energy while maintaining the consistent quality of our grapes.
We love being a company of “firsts.” In 2006, Stoller became the world's first LEED Gold certified winemaking facility. But, we didn’t stop there. We were also the first winery in the Northwest to become energy neutral, with more than double our estate’s electrical needs harnessed from our south facing roofs through our 1,200 solar panel electric system.
We use natural ventilation and lighting, efficient heating and cooling systems, and an efficient building envelope to reduce energy use. Located below grade on one of our many knolls, the barrel cellars are kept cool by the earth itself and stabilized through our concrete structure. Our office space also utilizes efficiencies where switches, motion sensors, and timers are used to conserve energy.
To reduce transportation impacts and support our local economy, we employ regional materials and local fabricators whenever possible. To conserve natural resources, we use materials with a high percentage of recycled content. Reclaimed wood from Northwest Portland dawn our beams and columns on porches and stair treads. In addition, 96 percent of our construction waste was recycled back into the manufacturing process as reusable materials.
Our B Corp, LIVE, and Salmon Safe certifications embody our dedication to environmental sustainability. These certifications hold us to the highest standards of social and environmental performance, sustainable building, and erosion prevention.