“Our Grand Meander” Dundee – Anne Amie Vineyards
Anne Amie is a pretty large winery by Oregon standards: about 15,000 cases per year. Our friend, Anissa, had recommended them and suggested we take the tour, so we decided to give it a go.
The Anne Amie winery sits on top of a large hill, surrounded by vineyards. As we drove up, we could see that almost all the grapes had been picked, but there were a few blocks that still had grapes, protected by netting.
The winery has a beautiful tasting room with many displays of their vineyards, their soils, and of course, a tasting room bar. We had set up a tour and were met by our guide Erin, wine glasses and bottles in hand.
Our first stop was out on the terrace where we took in their amazing view of the Willamette Valley. Erin shared the winery history and the various vineyards they own. Next we went out into the vineyard where we saw how they manage their vines. The Pinot Noir grapes at the home vineyard had already been harvested, but we did taste a few stragglers. These weren’t on the primary bunches so they are ripe but sometimes they’re still tart. These were great!
Erin explained that some of the white grapes: Riesling and Muller-Thurgau were still finishing up their ripening. We found these vines on our way out after the tour; they sure look ready!
After the vineyard, we toured around the winery. During crush, it is a really busy place. There’s activity everywhere.
Anne Amie typically uses around 25% new oak in aging their wines. We saw a huge stack of new barrels, ready for use. The used barrels on the opposite wall presented an equally large facade, except they were also 3 barrels deep.
Next we met the winemaker, Thomas Houseman. Most of the discussion was on their barrels, French oak in general, and Thomas’ favorites – these”Elegance” barrels. He likes their “winemaker’s approach to barrel making” with barrels monitored, sampled, and tested for their readiness to age wine.
We finished up the tour back in the tasting room, where we tasted a couple of special wines and also their dessert wines. Erin was a wonderful host, and we really enjoyed the tour. We took home a bottles of their L’Iris Pinot Noir reserve and a very lovely Prisme’ Pinot Noir Blanc! The Prisme’ will be our introduction to white Pinot Noir, regular Pinot Noir grapes vinified like a white wine.
If you’re in Willamette Valley, I highly recommend visiting Anne Amie Vineyards. The tour is well worth the $30 cost as you get an in-depth tour, tastings of a wide variety of wines, and a Riedel Oregon Pinot Noir glass as a souvenir. Thanks, Anne Amie, and thanks to Erin our guide!