News & Opinions

Climate Change: Will we still enjoy Pinot noir?

earth-photo The article “Climate Change Will Alter the Taste of Wine”,
by Kimberley A Nicholas
was published in the January 2015 issue of Scientific American.

Some quotes:

“Climate change is beginning to affect the singular flavors that people expect from different wines from around the world—the experience you have come to know and trust from your favorite reds and whites. As a result, grape growers and winemakers are beginning to make some difficult and intriguing decisions about how to respond. ”

“Wine is a literal message in a bottle, captured for our enjoyment. It lets us visit parts of the world we may never see in person. It reflects the fabulous environmental and cultural diversity of the planet, as well as humankind’s deep reliance on nature to provide us with everything we need to live and many of the things that make life worth living. Today we are on course to fundamentally disrupt life on earth. Unless we make major changes very soon, the lost flavor of my hometown wines will likely be one of the less serious casualties.”

The Wine Snob Praises Rie-Chard Swine Wine

January 20, 2015

the-wine-snob-blog-300pToday The Wine Snob blog had all kinds of nice things to say about EIEIO’s white Swine Wine, a blend of Riesling and Chardonnay known fondly as Richard (Rie-Chard).

Some excerpts:

About Jay, the horcrux of of the area:
“Jay is sort of like a Horcrux of this area… but in a good way. I’ll explain. Jay opened The Tasting Room in Carlton back in the day right in the center of town in a really cool old bank building. I can’t find an exact date, but suffice to say it was right when a lot of Oregon winemakers that are now very well-established were just getting their start. The Tasting Room was a retail store/tasting room (go figure) where local producers could get their wines out to the people before they were big enough to have tasting rooms of their own. Legend holds that many-a now well-known winemakers had help from Jay in the beginning. Thats why he’s a Horcrux- he has a bit of all of their souls. But again, not in a sinister way.”

EIEIO-Swine-White-500pAbout the 2013 Rie-Chard:
“So whats the story on this little Piggy? It is a blend of Riesling and Chardonnay, not your most common bedfellows; obviously no one told them that, because they make a lovely couple in this wine. It captures the cool-climate persona of the Willamette Valley with finesse. Gentle, yet with a bracing […]

Four Oregon Vintages: an EIEIO Update


Oregon 2008 through 2011

What a strange word when you really think about it… Where else do you see this word in use other than to describe something as being “old but collectable”? Mostly in the mention of wine! Vintage, the realm of farming, has to do with the year in which the crop was grown. More specifically in the case of wine it has to do with the year in which the grapes were grown. And as we all know the weather is what we are referring to when we speak of “vintage” since most years are of the same length!

These four vintages, 2008 through 2011, represent a broad range in weather and subsequently, a wide range of finished wines. Each of these wines represents what the vintage brought or wrought, depending upon how you look at things.

I describe my EIEIO Cuvee E in this article as an example of what each vintage produced. All of the wines are beautiful and for the most part balanced. Each will smell, taste and drink just fine although some will benefit from more time in the bottle while others are ready to consume.

Drinking a vertical of the same wine is an educational gift for those who want to experience vintage variation in one sitting. This is what I suggest as you will learn more from having four different vintages of the same wine opened over a nice long dinner than by drinking them separately. So if […]

Aged A Decade to Perfection

past email offer 12-16-2014

Meredith Mitchell Vineyard
Pinot noir Vertical: 2004, 2005, 2006

The Wines

For many years I used the grapes from the Meredith Mitchell Vineyard as a blending agent to assist in prolonging the life of my EIEIO wine. The vineyard produces fruit that has high tannins, high acids and dark color, adding the desirable components known as structure to wine. The Meredith Mitchell Pinot noirs I made in the mid “00’s” are some of my longest lived, and these three are just now hitting their prime time for drinking. In the words of this email, they have been aged a decade to reach their perfection.

The Vineyard Site

Meredith Mitchell sits high upon a shelf overlooking the Willamette Valley to the south. The word “exposed” also is used when describing this site from most any person who has been there. Being exposed is not necessarily a bad thing as it gives you intensity. My section on the southwestern corner of the property was planted in 1988 to the Pommard clone and remains trellised in the old “single-wire” method causing the fruit to be even more exposed to the elements. This elemental exposure causes thicker skins due to wind and sunlight, resulting in higher tannins and due to the radical temperature changes every day; higher acids.

Meredith Mitchell Vineyard is owned by Susan Meredith and Frank Mitchell. The property encompasses 104 acres located between 450 and 650 feet in elevation in the Foothills of the […]

Jay McDonald has a better way to sell wine

Wine + Patience = Happiness

The “Amazonification” of the American consumer continues and we all are to blame.

I find this amazing fixation on Amazon to be spreading across many levels and am worried that consumers have come to expect too much for too little in a timeframe that is unrealistic, especially in the realm of wine. While I too love Amazon with their “free shipping” and “one-clicking” and almost immediate deliveries of commodity type goods, it is no surprise that they are not earning money on their sales of goods…

With wine, especially my wine, it takes a long time to not only grow the grapes, but also for it to ferment. Then I let the wine rest in various containers for quite some time to fully blossom into what it should become. It is at that point where I drink a few bottles to see if it might be time to offer it up.

Many of you purchase the wine and need to have it stored as where you might want it delivered is experiencing the wrong temperatures at the time of the sale so I store it in a climate-controlled warehouse for quite some time for free. For some of the better customers on this list, I have stored wines for several years. Unfortunately, when it is “the right time” to ship, I am in the middle of harvest and cannot accomplish the re-packaging and shipping as I am not going to delegate my winemaking. Sure, I could hire this packing […]

Oregonian on Jay McDonald

Jay McDonald: A driving force, and a product of Carlton’s wine boom


On November 19th the Oregonian’s 2014 Holiday Wine Guide praised Jay McDonald and his career as wine shop owner, negotiant, and winemaker whose contributions to the Oregon wine industry are nationally respected.

“If you want the history of Carlton’s wine boom in a nutshell, just look at Jay McDonald’s resume…he’s gone rom being on the winemaking fringe, to negotiant to bonded winery owner making his own wine.”

Author Danielle Centoni describes Jay’s evolution from Texas to New York’s financial markets to Carlton, purchasing a historic downtown bank building and converting it into a wine shop selling Oregon’s most distinguished wines.

The article is a well deserved compliment to one of Oregon’s best loved winemakers.