A little about us...
And a little more about us...
Husband and wife winemakers Stewart and Athena hand craft local, sustainable and critically acclaimed wines grown is Oregon's Willamette Valley. Our focus is quality, our love is the elegant, food friendly Oregon Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc, grown by the finest vineyards in the Willamette Valley. We craft Pinots naturally, with indigenous yeasts and small ferments. The Pinot Noirs are our heart and soul, we love to sink our arms in the fermenters to feel the temperature, inhale the aromas and taste the wines at every stage of their evolution. We base our decisions on the instinct and science, there is so much our industry has learned in the last 20 years! Yet our house style is very traditional, at the end of the day it is the aromas and flavors that drive our winemaking. We stir each barrel by hand and of course French oak is all we use. Our coopers vary depending upon the vintage and the vineyard, and our signature cuvees rest 18 months before they are bottled, the last 9 months in completely seasoned or neutral barrels.
Founded in 2003 in Carlton, Oregon we set out to craft elegant, terroir driven Pinot Noirs. With care and time our Signature Cuvees have come to reflect not only the terroir and vintage, but also our own individual palates.
Classic and refined, the Stewart is our Pinot Noir full of red fruit and bright acidity with soft tannins and herbal aromatics. The essence of the Athena cuvee is an earthier toned Pinot Noir with a black to blue fruit core and heartier tannins, components redolent of the clones developed in Dijon.
As climate, vineyard and clones all influence the flavors of the grapes, as winemakers we encourage and celebrate the unique qualities each vintage provides.
Quality is key for cellar worthy wines, and while our grapes are hand sorted in the vineyard we also sort in our winery. We ferment in small lots, maintain each vineyard separately and monitor each lot by touch, by smell and by taste.
We age our Pinot Noirs in French oak barrels 18+ months. The first 9-10 months the wine is sur lie (on the lees)and then we rack the wine off the lees into another set of barrels for another 9-10 months.
In order to determine which barrel of wine will bear the name of Stewart or Athena, we blind taste through each barrel,as many as 60 barrels at a time, discussing and arguing getting tipsy and learning from each other as we discuss the body, character, the aromas, the flavors...what it is in the wine that makes us ‘see’ and ‘feel’.
After 5 years of making wine in a rented space with 10 other winemakers, we built our own winery in Portland, Oregon. We have 1 roomate now, as sharing expenses means you can buy the best equipment! But our focus has stayed true: small lot, naturally crafted with minimal intervention, small production, world class Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs.
Reducing our carbon footprint
Boedecker Cellars have bottled our wines in lightweight bottles with screwcap closures since our beginning. For us it is a practical matter; we guide the wines with care diligence from vineyard to bottle. Our wines reflect our passions; lightweight packaging honors the environment, stelvin closures honor the wines.
We are also offering wines on via kegs to restaurants throughout the West coast and soon in NYC. Wines in keg save bottles, labels, closures and waste. And the risk to the wine? Well that depends upon the winery. We ensure our kegs are sterile, sparged with nitrogen and fitted with the correct metals. Attention to detail helps us protect our environment and produce quality wines.
We admit it, they are not romantic. But we give our heart and soul to the wine for over a year and a half and to allow a percentage of the wine to go bad because of the packaging, just to make the bottle pretty is heartbreaking, devasting and ridiculous.
Wine Spectator's Dr. Vinny explains in this article: What's your feeling on screwcaps vs. corks on wine bottles?
Here's a good article by Wine Spectator on a study done with corks: