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WIDWD: Evesham Wood 2006 Pinot Noir Willamette Valley


What I Drank With Dinner (WIDWD)

It's becoming rare these days to find a bottle of Oregon pinot noir under $20 that stands out not only in terms of taste but also in its ability to connect you to the people and places producing it. Such is the story with the Evesham Wood 2006 Pinot Noir Willamette Valley (13% alcohol), a delicious wine with a terrific story.

This young pinot noir retails for $18.95 and would offer a wonderful complement to any meal. We popped a bottle last night to accompany grilled pork chops and had the remainder tonight with Kari's classic pasta bolognese. Being just a year old, it was a bit young for my taste, but it opened up well on the first night and fared even better at tonight's dinner. I would definitely buy another bottle to drink now or cellar age.

What got me most excited about this wine was the story behind Evesham Wood. I discovered a lot about the people and places behind this small boutique winery (3,600 case production) on the Evesham Wood web site. After some of my recent disappointments visiting winery web sites, I was pleased to find the Evesham Wood site providing a comprehensive, yet plain-spoken overview of the winery's history, it's vineyards, and winemaking style.

Russ Rainey planted the Evesham Wood vineyard over 20 years ago in the Eola Hills area south of Salem. He has been making wine from Burgundian and Alsatian varieties ever since. Most of their production is focused on pinot noir and chardonnay, with the remainder covering gewurztraminer, rieslaner and gruener veltliner. Their web site goes into detail as to what's grown on their estate vineyard as well as sourced from the surrounding area. It was also interesting to learn about their organic certification and biodynamic methods.

With so many Oregon pinot noirs getting more expensive, it was refreshing to find a long-standing producer focused on bringing quality wines to consumers at an affordable price. I understand that Evesham Wood wines sell out fast, which explains why Russ goes to great lengths to connect his customers to retailers and restaurants selling his wine. What a terrific idea to do this for those interested in enjoying a bottle of his wine.

In doing a search on Evesham Wood, I found an interesting post from a Frenchman who had visited the winery back in '06. This insightful account added a lot to my understanding of Russ and his winery. It sure is a small world when you think I was drinking an Oregon pinot noir from a winery that a guy in Paris visited the same year it was made and wrote about it on his blog. We live in a truly amazing time.

After drinking their wine and visiting their site, I feel more connected to both Evesham Wood and the Eola Hills area of Oregon. What a great beyond the bottle experience it was drinking this wine and learning more about the people and places behind it. I look forward to trying more of Russ' wines in the months ahead and sharing them with friends and family at my dinner table.

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