Pinor Noir — the most fragrant wine varietal

Crush at Sokol Blosser Winery, Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon, Credit: Andrea Johnson

Crush at Sokol Blosser Winery, Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon, Credit: Andrea Johnson

There’s this origin story about Oregon that I always return to when trying to explain how people end up here. We used to call it “pioneer spirit.” But really, that’s just short-hand for a story Oregon winemakers throw around.

During the mid-19th century, there were two groups of people heading West. The group seeking wealth and gold went to California. I like to think of them as the Magpies. The other group were lifestyle seekers, the people drawn to the Willamette Valley, its own fertile crescent, a rich landscape between the mountains where you could carve out a life. That’s how most people still end up in Oregon. It’s the idea that you can create something here.

I see that in every single one of the magazine stories I write, especially in the profiles I am drawn to. This dream-it-and-you-can-live-it quality is especially apparent among the winemakers I interview for my stories for Zester Daily.

The most recent story I’d like to share with you about Oregon winemakers celebrates some of the family stories behind Oregon’s wine-making revolution. It’s a series of mini-profiles with nods to some stand-out vintages from these makers.

Did you know that Pinot Noir is considered the most fragrant wine varietal? As much as 70% of your experience of wine comes from smelling it. With pinot, the scent adapts over time as you drink it.

I’ve been drinking Pinot Noir since we moved to Oregon, but I still feel like I am at the very front of my wine education. It’s never-ending, really. But this year, I hit a point at which I finally began to understand how wine works, why it is compelling, and why every wine is a story. Wine is drinkable perfume, evocative of its time and place. It elevates and celebrates life and it brings all of the senses to the forefront, especially scent. I am so very much in love with it.

I hope you enjoy my wine story and are inspired to try some of these great wines!

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