Van Duzer Bieze Vineyard Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley 2021

Medium ruby color; cherry, raspberry, cranberry, blood orange, cola, vanilla, early-forest floor on the nose and palate.

Van Duzer Bieze Vineyard Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley 2021

Dry; tannins have bit of bite at first, especially on the mid-palate, but the wine evolves nicely in the glass. Balancing acidity. Light-medium body. Impressive complexity with a an extended, satisfying finish. A convivial pour for an emotionally and gastronomically satisfying experience. Why you drink Oregon-Willamette Valley pinot noir. Food friendly alcohol content. 13.8% ABV

Established in 1987, the Van Duzer winery is the oldest winery in the Van Duzer AVA. It was run-down when Carl and Marilynn Thoma acquired the property in 1998, intrigued by the potential of the winery perched atop a knoll surrounded by vines on three sides. The couple first acquired their taste for wine while working on MBA degrees at Stanford University. They hired Jim Kakacek to replant and upgrade the property, resulting in quality production three years later. A new winery was finished in time for the 2006 harvest.

Van Duzer vineyard-winery

According to the Van Duzer website: “Carl came to know agriculture on his family’s cattle ranch in his youth, and became intrigued by the fledgling California wine industry during his graduate school days. He began building a portfolio of premier California vineyards during the 1990s and gradually settled on the Willamette Valley as the site for a family estate winery. He honed his eye for potential as a venture capitalist in Chicago where he has managed a succession of private equity funds. He holds a degree in agriculture economics from Oklahoma State University and an MBA from Stanford. Marilynn oversees Van Duzer’s marketing effort, drawing on her brand management experience at Quaker Oats and Cellular Network. She also holds a B.S. from Oklahoma State and an MBA from Stanford.”

Carl and Marilynn Thoma

Eric Misiewicz is the winemaker today. He holds a degree in viticulture and enology from Cornell University, followed by experience in New York, Spain, Australia, and Napa Valley. He moved to Oregon because of the possibilities he saw in the Willamette Valley, especially in the Van Duzer Corridor.

Van Duzer places an emphasis on biodiversity and tailored application of water, soil amendments, and fertilizer. They earned certification from LIVE (Low Input Viticulture and Enology), Salmon Safe, and the International Organization for Biological and Integrated Control (IOBC). The winery works with the National Fish and Wildlife Association to preserve the natural oak savanna on the east side of the property, pruning it naturally with a herd of sheep.

Van Duzer winery entrance

Van Duzer Bieze Vineyard Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley 2021 is refined delight, a classic Willamette Valley pinot noir. An example of how and why Oregon has ascended into the world-class pinot noir firmament. Not showy, certainly not heavy or obnoxiously assertive. A congenial pleasure on the palate. Pair with turkey; salmon and other rich, fleshy fish; lighter beef; veal; roasted and oven-baked chicken and duck, coq au vin; pork dishes—pork tenderloin; roasted root vegetables; mushrooms. Cheese—brie, camembert, bruyère, comté, roquefort. $65

Van Duzer website

Van Duzer tasting area
Van Duzer tasting area