I love that expression, although in the wine industry, it seems to be very much overused. I think what people are really trying to describe is an "undiscovered treasure ". I have to believe that is the case when they refer to my good friends at Bennett Vineyards and Winery in such terms. Gene and Lisa Bennett are doing a great job of hiding in plain sight right off Hwy. 36 in Cheshire Oregon.
Now the treasure part... Well that bit they get absolutely correct. It is hard to find folk more dedicated and committed to producing great wine than the Bennetts. Beginning with a focus on developing a vineyard, Gene put his first Pinot planting into what is now an 85 acre vineyard back in 2009. New to the world of grape growing, he relied on the advice and assistance of a number of successful growers already in the area. This did not stop him from buying a tractor and getting his hands dirty. No, The Bennetts are very hands on. And smart! Smart enough to know what they don't know, as the saying goes. So it is not surprising that when the time came to turn the fruits of their labor into wine they would turn to other experts. And boy did they choose wisely. Two of the Valleys best artisan winemakers, Matt LaVelle and Ray Walsh, currently craft the finished product for Bennett Winery. And the offerings reflect this broad talent. What began in 2012 with Pinot Noir now includes A full line up of multiple Pinot offerings as well as Riesling, Rose, and a very special White Pinot Noir. Each and every wine reflecting the skill of the winemaker and, perhaps more importantly, the vision and passion of the Bennetts.
The tasting room at the vineyard site is beautiful and accommodating. Gene and Lisa love to make the site available for events and fundraisers and welcome everyone to come have a good time. Music and art can often be found there... Just ask the hundreds who recently attended the Habitat for Humanity event there this past weekend. And Wine Events Oregon will be holding it's annual Wine Camp there mid August... In the middle of the vineyard site, no less!
I encourage all of you to go discover this "hidden treasure" soon. You will love the wines, bond with Gene and Lisa and look really cool when you turn you friends on to this gem. And don't be surprised if you bump into me while you are there. It's become a favorite of mine. Stop by and you will see why.
And now ... A couple wine thoughts...
Bennett 2014 Pommard Select Pinot Noir.
From the estate vineyard, and from a great vintage, this Pinot is made in the style I absolutely love. Unlike a lot of Pinots produced these days which tend to be "jammy", this wine is made old school from Pommard , the predominant Pinot Noir clone of Burgundy. Deep color, dark black cherry, a hint of earthiness and leather aromas and a rich, perfectly balanced mouthful of flavor. Will hold up well to any food.
Bennett 2015 White Pinot Noir.
Done as a blush, not a Rose, this delicious wine is a real discovery. Just the slightest amount of skin contact gives this Pinot a beautiful lite pink hue. There is a slight touch of sweetness but it would be unfair to call this wine "sweet". Refreshing would be more accurate. Tastes and smells of strawberries and cream with the slightest suggestion of the tropics. Great chilled or cellar temperature. Enjoy..