Drouhin Feature Image

WineTrust Heads West… Introducing Domaine Drouhin, Oregon

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With the recent edition of the 2013 Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir, we are not only excited to bring you a fabulous new wine but also an exciting new region.

Domaine Drouhin
Domaine Drouhin and the Dundee Hills

“For over 25 years Domaine Drouhin has been a pioneer and leading producer in Oregon. They were one of the first to see and realise the potential for Pinot Noir in this State, which is now universally recognised as one of the world’s leading regions for this classic Burgundian variety” (Nick Adams MW)
Here at WineTrust we are constantly trailblazing to find you a wonderful, diverse range of wines from the corners of the globe.
For our latest selection we reach unchartered WineTrust territory in the form of Domaine Drouhin – not across the channel but over the Atlantic, beyond the Great Plains, over the Rockies… destination: Oregon, USA.
The French Connection
Drouhin Estate
Domain Drouhin- putting their name on the map

The Drouhin family does in fact hail from Burgundy, where they have a rich winemaking heritage. Spanning 135 years, it all started with Joseph Drouhin in Beaune, where the eponymous Maison was established.
In its third generation, the Drouhins first encountered Oregon and its wine making potential. Robert Drouhin visited the state in 1961, in the decade where modern viticulture began there.  Robert’s daughter Véronique made the Drouhin name a new addition to the Oregon winemaking scene. She began in 1986 by assisting the harvest of some of the state’s leading wine makers; family soon followed.
Drawn to Oregon’s deep sense of community and the soils and climate that harboured much potential, Robert set up shop in the Dundee Hills in 1987.
The Drouhin Family
The Drouhin Family

Oregon: A Short Guide
When one thinks of wine making in the US, California often comes to mind. At WineTrust we have decided to head further north in our hunt for some of the best wines out there. By no means in California’s shadow, the state’s northerly neighbour has so much to offer and discover.
Oregon Wine Drouhin
Oregon’s Wine Making Region. Domaine Drouhin is located in the Willamette Valley, highlighted orange.

Oregon’s wine making dates back to the 19th century, when German immigrants came north from California to plant Zinfandel, Riesling and Sauvignon.
However, by 1919 Oregon’s youthful wine industry declined in the face of the Temperance Movement, inevitably snuffed out by nation-wide Prohibition.
After a dormant period, modern winemaking picked up in the 1960s. 2015 marks fifty years since the planting of the Pinot Noir Grape, a variety that today forms the staple of wine production and which Oregon is widely revered for.
As with other winemaking states in the US, Oregon consists of discrete regions. Inscribed into law, each has a unique geographical location – termed American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), the US version of Appellation Contrôlée. Under legislation, 85% of the grapes must be sourced from the AVA designated on the wine bottle.
Oregon is composed of 16 AVAs, most of which run parallel to the Cascade and Coastal Ranges. At 5200 sq miles, the Willamette Valley is the State’s largest and widely regarded as a premier region.
Broken down into six sub-appelations, these include the Dundee Hills – within which Domaine Drouhin resides.
Old World Meets New
Skills get more refined, methods evolve, but what’s important is what is transmitted from generation to generation: The search for excellence, the intellectual curiosity, the sense of values, passion, the respect for terroir.” Robert J. Drouhin
Domaine Drouhin Dundee Hills
The rolling Dundee Hills, beyond, the volcanic Cascades

Atop the Dundee Hills lie the Drouhin family Vineyards, rising to 250 metres above sea level.
Remaining close to their French roots, the site was selected due its similarity with the terroir of Burgundy – a little slice of home. Despite being on other sides of the globe, the two region’s vineyards share similar climates, latitudes and aspects.
Of the 124 acres of vineyards the majority is Pinot Noir, interspersed with Chardonnay vines totaling 11 acres. Much like the vineyards of Burgundy, the two varietals sit alongside side each other in close proximity. The vineyards are currently managed by Robert’s son, Philippe Drouhin.
The estate also features an impressive, landmark four-story gravity flow winery. Nature, combined with Burgundian tradition, governs the wine making process.
Hand sorted and destemmed grapes are crushed then fermented with indigenous yeasts. Fermentation is long and careful, with a focus on gentle extraction. Age-old Burgundian techniques have been adopted, in particular pigeage and remontage which serve to submerge grape skins and solids to extract the colour, tannins, aromas and flavours harboured in the fruit.
The juice is than run via gravity to the barrel cellar, aged in French Oak barrels – from Burgundy, of course. Secondary malolactic fermentation completed, the wine is gravity fed back into the barrel having racked off its lees.  Following 12-14 months ageing, barrels are selected and blended – the wines allowed to rest before bottling, at the winery’s final level.
Now in its fourth generation of winemakers, Véronique continues to oversee the winemaking process at Drouhin. However, Burgundy can never be too far away – now doing the same for Maison Joseph Drouhin, the original family enterprise.
Producing fantastic wine either side of the Atlantic, the Drouhin family is an international enterprise that WineTrust is proud to add to the selection. And to those who Oregon is new, we hope you enjoy discovering some of the finest produce from this lesser-known corner of the wine making world.
Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2013
Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir
Standard setting Oregon wine from one of Burgundy’s most respected houses. Silky, textural and above all balanced New World Pinot Noir. Bold forest fruits, delicate cinnamon spice and a lovely creamy mouth feel and texture.
2013 was a gentle, even growing season, although there were few stormy period as the harvest approached. Hand picking took place in ideal clear conditions between 20 September and 9 October, with the wine bottled in December 2014.
Drink from now and over the next 5 years. Ideal with any lamb dish – roasted, casseroled or even lightly spiced in a Middle Eastern style.
Retail Price: £24, 13.5% abv.
Featured in Decanter Magazine’s “Oregon Pinot Noir: Expert’s Choice” feature: “Elegant, ripe dark fruits, cassis and violets with spicy and smoky notes. Young but pleasing.” 94 Points
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