Oregon winemaker compares spring in Willamette Valley to 1992

By on May 18, 2013

Jacques Tardy, winemaker at Torii Mor in Dundee, Ore., likes what he sees this spring in the Willamette Valley vineyards he works with. (Photo courtesy of Torii Mor Winery)

Jacques Tardy, winemaker at Torii Mor in Dundee, Ore., likes what he sees this spring in the Willamette Valley vineyards he works with. (Photo courtesy of Torii Mor Winery)

DUNDEE, Ore. — Jacques Tardy, winemaker for Torii Mor Winery in Oregon’s Dundee Hills, likens the start of the 2013 vintage to that of 1992.

Torii Mor Black Label Pinot Noir“The temperature and dry weather are somewhat unusual, last time I have seen a start like this was 1992, and harvest started for young vines at the end of August,” Tardy wrote in an email sent to Torii Mor fans on Thursday.

Tardy, a native of Burgundy, arrived in the Willamette Valley in 1990 to work both in the vineyards and the cellar at Montinore Estate.

This week, he noted that recent Willamette Valley temperatures in the 70s and 80s have spurred action in the vines.

“In 2011 we were just seeing the green tips of bud-break at this time, and we didn’t see this many leaves open until June 10,” he wrote. “This year is a ‘normal’ bud-break (calendar wise), mid April, following a very dry winter, only a third of normal rainfall.”

Tardy’s report listed the precipitation at La Colina Vineyard since Jan. 1 at a mere 6.19 inches. In an average year, it would be at 20.95 inches, he wrote.

“Following 2010 and 2011 it is like a dream come true, hope I don’t wake up too soon,” he added. “Spring is here (but you may have missed it if you blinked) or is it summer???”

About Eric Degerman

Eric Degerman is the president and CEO of Great Northwest Wine. He is a journalist with more than 30 years of daily newspaper experience and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest with Andy Perdue and served as its managing editor for 15 years. He is a frequent wine judge along the West Coast and contributor to Pacific Northwest Golfer magazine, the region's longest-running golf publication.

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