Friday, April 3, 2009

Daedalus Distributor Retreat Day 2, Part 2: 12th and Maple Wine Company

 For the second half of the day on our distributor retreat, we took everyone to 12th and Maple Wine Company where Aron is the executive winemaker for over 25 clients, and where he also makes the Daedalus and Jezebel Wines. This is a state-0f-the-art facility where we have access to all of the equipment and close monitoring of the wines is performed by a very skilled enologist and a bunch of high tech gadgets. 

We also barrel tasted through the 2008 Pinots and everyone was astounded at the texture and focus of these wines as well as the distinct personalities of the different lots as expressed by each vineyard. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Daedalus Distributor Retreat Day 2: Daedalus Estate Vineyard

For the final vineyard on the tour, we hiked the hill up the Estate to see the baby Daedalus vines and Lucy, the vineyard dog. These vines, about 7 acres of densely planted Pinot Noir, went into the ground last July. They were planted with a unique staking system which allows for mechanized in-row cultivation and keeps us from ever having to spray for weeds. We farm our property all organically because organic farming produces better grapes. There are plans to plant 3 more acres and build the winery on Red Hills Road. 

Daedalus Distributor Retreat Day 2: Saikonnen Vineyard

Saikonnen Vineyard is a site in the Ribbon Ridge AVA, part of which is on 6th leaf, the other part of which is on 7th leaf. The lesser girth of these vines can help to distinguish it from the previous two vineyards in terms of its age. In spite its youth, it is a great site which produces darker, complex Pinot Noir. 

Daedalus Distributor Retreat Day 2: Murto Vineyard


Murto Vineyard is over 30 years old and is owned by Robin & Mike Murto who do all the pruning and vineyard care themselves. Aron notes that the wine produced from this vineyard reflects darker fruit flavors and unique spice characters. He has been working with the fruit since 2006 and often opts for a larger percentage of whole cluster fermentation when working with this fruit in order to concentrate the spiciness of the fruit. 

Daedalus Distributor Retreat Day 2: Maresh Vineyard

Day 2: After a good night of sleep, the party awoke to a light breakfast and, after Aron's explanation on our philosophies of low to no intervention winemaking, we went on a tour of four of the vineyards that we source fruit from. 

Maresh Vineyard:

The oldest block of Maresh Vineyard was planted in 1970 and is the fifth oldest vineyard in Oregon. We have a contract on the entire South portion of Maresh and farm it ourselves, all organically. 

Daedalus Distributor Retreat Day 1: Arrival

For a handful of lucky sales reps, the past few days have been spent touring the vineyards that we source fruit from, picking Aron's brain about winemaking, and learning all about the history and philosophy behind Daedalus Cellars. 

Day 1:

Guests arrive from Washington, California, and Oregon, and we open up Daedalus library wines to enjoy with Morgan's incredible lamb & lentil stew. Aron discusses the differences in vintages with all of our guests up at the Maresh vineyard retreat where all stayed for the duration of the event. 

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Harvest Report 2008

2008 Harvest Report by Owner and Winemaker Aron Hess of Daedalus Cellars:

I think my struggle is that we're beginning to sound like a broken-record with this unending stream of "great" vintages. This, I guess, is the bounty of the NW. 

If not for unusually long, warmer-than-average autumn, this harvest would have been a disaster, much like 1999.

The prolonged fall did allow for exceptional hang-time and full physiological maturity. 

The smallish crop--down perhaps 25%--arrived in perfect condition. 

Fruit quality required no compromises: we used no sulfur, cold-soaked for 12 to 30+ days; our longest fermentation lasted 48 days. Of course, we added no yeast or anything else. 

The juice was of nearly perfect balance: potentially alcohols mostly under 14%--though admittedly still a bit high for my tastes, bright acidity and pHs that should provide long, lovely lives. 

Long hang-time and full, gentle extraction has yielded classically structured wine of ample, refined structure, complexity, and incredible length.