Evesham Wood, "Blanc du Puits Sec" 2021
Pinot Gris-Gewürztraminer｜Eola-Amity Hills, Oregon
When spring and early summer hit, I can think of no better region to fit the mood than the Pacific Northwest.
From the mouth of the Van Duzer corridor in the Willamette Valley, the Eola-Amity Hills AVA receives the full brunt of the winds channeled up from the Pacific ocean. In fact, Eola comes from Aeolus the greek god of wind. Combined with the basalt-rich volcanic, dry-farmed soils one has the perfect recipe for a beautiful, all-natural wine.
Evesham Woods’ founders Russ and Mary Raney know this, and have for some time. They founded the site in 1986 and were dedicated to organic farming from the start. In 2010 they passed the torch to Erin Nuccio, winemaker here and at nearby Haden Fig – dedicated readers will recognize the Nuccio name and Haden Fig as one of the standout estates of the Pacific Northwest. Erin’s prowess continues here, in the fresh, vivid “Blanc du Puits Sec.”
Translated from French, Le Puits Sec is a dry well; the vineyard so named sits on an east-facing terrace in the Eola-Amity Hills subregion of Willamette Valley. The vineyard has numerous sustainability certifications, almost too many to mention: USDA Certified Organic; Oregon Tilth; Salmon-Safe; and Deep Roots Coalition. It’s dry-farmed, meaning no irrigation whatsoever; its vines penetrate deep into the subsoil to find nourishment and water in the dry periods, and produce some truly terrifically concentrated fruit.
The blend in this gorgeous white sipper is 85% Pinot Gris and 15% Gewürztraminer, two noble varieties whose spiritual home is in Alsace, in France bordering Germany. Evesham Wood captures that Alsatian spirit perfectly in this aromatic, dry cuvée with its fine lemon and red apple fruits, honeyed almond, beeswax, and a garden full of cut white flowers.
Lower in alcohol, higher toned, and perfectly dry on the finish. Serve this a pre-dinner aperitif or pair alongside with a delicate filet of sole or rock cod with roasted new potatoes and rosemary on a balmy spring night. Simply lovely.
And the ridge of the Le Puits Sec vineyard makes for an ideal picnic spot – if you find yourself traversing Willamette Valley wine country, this is a must-see spot. Tell ‘em we sent you!