Oregon Pinot Gris

Three weeks off of school during which floods, illness and holidays dominated.  I wasn’t looking too forward to beginning my overloaded quarter; especially since my classes will start at 7:30 AM, which for me might as well be the wee hours of the morning.

This afternoon I saw an email asking who might like to volunteer to do a ten minute presentation on Oregon Pinot Gris for my ‘Wines of the World’ Class (6:30-8:00 PM one night a week) and I was ready to be back in class!  I spent a couple of hours researching on the internet and in some of my books.  Now, the best part: we purchased two Willamette Valley Pinot Gris wines to round out the research.  Yeah, studying is tough.

What should be noted is that we typically have a bottle of Seven Hills Winery Pinot Gris in the frig – it is a great wine in the Alsace style, as opposed to the Italian Pinot Grigio style.  That said, I have set my sights pretty high for these two new wines.

2010 Pinot Gris from King Estate out of Eugene, OR.
2010 Pinot Gris from King Estate out of Eugene, OR.

First opened is King Estate 2010 Pinot Gris, approximately a $15 bottle.  Nice pale straw color, weak white-flower and lime aromas greet the nose, lemon-lime soda, peach, pear, apple and honeysuckle on the palate and then it is done.  Yup, that abruptly it finishes.  It is an easy drinker, but I think that any food would dominate it rather than pair with it.  There doesn’t seem to be enough acid present to support the flavors.  We will drink this wine without food.


2011 Elk Cove Vineyards, Willamette Valley Pinot Gris
2011 Elk Cove Vineyards, Willamette Valley Pinot Gris

Second is the Elk Cove Vineyards 2011 Willamette Valley Pinot Gris, about $18 bottle.  Again, nice pale straw color; they could be the same wine in the glass if you just look at them.  Green apple and tart citrus nose, this time the acid presented itself first, like a bouncer asking for your ID.  The apple and honeysuckle with melon notes remained for much longer after my taste.  This wine would definitely stand up to dinner, creamy or spicy dishes especially.

Both wines are very drinkable and quite pleasant.  They are within half a point of alcohol difference.  For someone new to wine the King Estate would be a great wine to introduce.  For a foodie dinner, the Elk Cove would be a better pairing.

Glad to be heading back to school!

5 thoughts on “Oregon Pinot Gris

  1. Your research has yet again caused me to be more open minded to new wines. As you know I liked the Pinot Gris much more than anticipated. Next time I’m offered a glass I won’t reply with an instant “what else ya got”.


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