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Oregon wineries to celebrate National Chardonnay Day
Production and sales continue to prove that Chardonnay certainly deserves its spot at the table of United States wine discussions.
According to The Wine Institute, Chardonnay continues to be the most popular variety in the country, accounting for 21 percent of table wine. Cabernet Sauvignon (12 percent) and Merlot (9 percent) ranked second and third.
In Washington, Chardonnay remains the state’s most planted grape with 36,900 tons taken last fall, narrowly leading Riesling (36,700) and Cabernet Sauvignon (35,900).
There’s a group that continues to lobby on the grape’s behalf — the Oregon Chardonnay Alliance (ORCA). And the lineup of member wineries includes many of the industry’s top producers — Adelsheim, Argyle, Chehalem, Domaine Drouhin, Domaine Serene, Hamacher and Ponzi.
The A-list of wineries produces Chardonnay in varying styles. For example, Harry Peterson-Nedry quickly built a reputation for his INOX, which is fermented in stainless steel tanks and bottled using the Stelvin closure.
David Adelsheim, who worked to elevate Chardonnay by researching and planting Dijon clones, remains a driving force. His winery will be unveiling the latest vintage of its iconic 2011 Caitlin’s Reserve Chardonnay as well as its 2011 Stoller Chardonnay
Nearby in downtown Newberg, Anam Cara Cellars will make available a wine that’s been in bottle exactly seven days ago.
“We will be celebrating Chardonnay Day with the one week birthday of our first unoaked Chardonnay – the 2012 Nicholas Estate Chardonnay,” said co-owner Sheila Nicholas.
Bergstrøm Wines will be offering a short vertical tasting of its Sigrid as part of National Chardonnay Day. The releases are the 2008 and 2009 vintages, capped by the new release of the 2011 Sigrid.
“We wouldn’t miss it,” said Caroline Schoonveld, wine club and events director for Bergstrøm.
Ponzi will present a flight of four Chardonnays at its wine bar in Dundee and the Ponzi historic estate in Beaverton. The wines will be the Ponzi 2011 Chardonnay (stainless steel), Ponzi 2011 Chardonnay Reserve (pre-release), Ponzi 2010 Avellana Chardonnay and 2010 Ponzi 2010 Aurora Chardonnay. Cost for the flight is $15.
Rex Hills, part of the A to Z Wineworks portfolio, will be pouring a flight of three Chardonnays in its Newberg tasting room.
“It will compare ‘oaked’ with ‘un-oaked’ Chardonnay and explore the winemaking techniques that go into producing each style, allowing our guests to battle it out over their favorites,” said Mike Willison, Rex Hill’s education and events manager. “Further, our Essence Table will be loaded with Chardonnay-centric items meant to tantalize, engage, and maybe even puzzle those that are willing to play along.”
Today, it will be interesting to see if #CHARDDAY will become a trend on Twitter. And from 4-5 p.m., California gigantic Chardonnay producer Wente will be a staging a virtual toast via @WENTE, while creating some national buzz for #WENTECHARD.