The aromatics of the gris jump out of the glass with notes of lemon peel, pear drop, muddled mint, key lime pie, peach, and kiwi. The Santa Maria wooden fermenter helps give this gris has lovely texture with racy acidity, stone, and salinity.
Illahe is a Chinook Jargon word meaning “earth,” “land,” or “soil.” We feel this reflects both our location in Oregon, as well as our desire to craft wines which express the variety of soils on our beautiful 80 acre estate. Illahe Vineyards was established in 2000 by Lowell Ford, grower of Oregon grapes since 1983.Illahe is a LIVE-certified, Salmon Safe vineyard. We use cover crops on the entire vineyard. We are part of Oregon’s Deep Roots Coalition, and as such do not irrigate mature plants. We do extensive green pruning and conduct plant topping. We prune by hand and harvest by hand. We use sulfur spray to control for powdery mildew and botrytis.
We press off this pinot gris right after picking and ferment 50% in a 1600 gallon French oak cask and 50% in stainless steel. The wine stays on the lees throughout fermentation. This, along with the large oak cask, gives the wine more texture and is a nod to a more Alsatian style.
Pairs well with pork, spicy foods, mushrooms, and cured meats.