“Our Grand Meander” McMinnville – Matello Winery Visit
We’re big fans of Matello Wines and Marcus Goodfellow. We met Marcus this spring when he visited Minneapolis and hosted a wine dinner at Pairings Food & Wine in Minnetonka. After the dinner, we joined Matello’s wine club, and we were really looking forward to a visit to the winery.
When we arrived at the winery, we met with Gaironn Poole. Gaironn runs the wine club, hosts the tasting room, and cooks for the folks at the winery during crush, you name it. In a small winery, people wear many hats. After chatting for a few minutes, we went into the winery. As you can see, Marcus, the owner and winemaker also does the heavy labor of punchdowns; many hats!
We toured the winery and saw lots of grapes either fermenting, or getting ready to start. Matello wines are made in a very natural way and typically do not receive innoculation of yeasts. They proceed at their own pace, watched very carefully.
The Matello winery hosts several other small winemakers as well. They share the costs of the very expensive equipment that gets used once a year. Of course, this means cooperation. While we were visiting, we met several other winemakers bringing in grapes that day.
We enjoyed seeing grapes at the early stages of being made into wine; grapes still in the bin waiting to start the process, juice exiting a large bladder press on it’s way to becoming white wine and grapes in fermenters. You could feel the gentle heat from some bins that had started their fermentation.
After touring the winery, we tasted several wines, including the Clover (a unique treatment of Pinot Gris) and a Chardonnay. Unfortunately, the only Clover we will be getting this year will be in our club shipment, as they sold out very quickly. Julie and I took several bottles from the last cases of Chardonnay.
Obviously tired from the long hours and physical work of crush, Marcus still took some time to chat with us. We learned a bit more about the Matello name (it means Jester). Marcus explained the jester was the only person who was free to speak his mind in front of the king. He sees his approach to winemaking as free from any set rules but his own. While he appears mild mannered, you quickly see that Marcus does things his own way, with a sense of humor.
We tasted through the range of Pinot Noirs currently available. Our favorite was the Souris, so we filled out the remainder of our purchase with it.
Thanks to Marcus and Gaironn! We’re looking forward to receiving our wines from our visit. We’ll be back!