Our winemaking philosophy here at Amity will always be less is more. Given the vineyards’ location, age elements, and unique soil structure, we sustainably farm these beautiful sites so that our vineyards can speak for themselves through the wines. In the winery this means we foster a very hands off approach to our wines as detailed below. Outside of the winery we’re researching grape varieties and lesser used techniques to push boundaries and evolve our skills and approach to modern winemaking.
All of our white wine grapes are hand-picked and whole bunch pressed. The juice is allowed to settle overnight then racked off of lees to ferment in stainless steel at cool temperatures to retain fresh and vibrant aromatics. Our wines are sur lee aged before being bottled in the spring to add depth and body to the final product.
Each harvest gives us an opportunity to create a unique winemaking program for our pinot noir. The grapes are hand harvested and sorted at the winery to ensure only clean intact clusters make their way to the fermenter. Once sorted the grapes are either destemmed or in some instances thrown right into the tank whole cluster. All of our pinot noirs undergo a three day cold-soak after which time tanks are warmed to encourage the indigenous yeast to kick off fermentation. Once primary fermentation is done the wines are drained and pressed directly to French oak barrels where they will undergo a natural secondary fermentation and age for 10 months. Our single vineyards wines typically spend an extra six months in oak to coax out even more nuance. Sticking to our "less is more" approach, we do not fine any of our pinot noirs in order to preserve the flavors and body of the vintage.
White Pinot Noir
It’s not often you come across a white pinot noir which is why we strive to make our wine with a delicate touch to allow the unique properties of this red grape to come through as a white wine. We hand-pick our pinot noir grapes typically about a week earlier than when we pick for our red wines to preserve acidity. Then they are whole bunched pressed very gently which allows us to minimize maceration and have little color pick-up. All of the color and most of the tannin in red wine comes from the skin so if you press right away and press lightly you can extract the clear juice, creating a beautifully light-in-color white wine with red wine characteristics. Finally, we allow it to settle out in a tank overnight and then it is clean racked to ferment in stainless steel at a low temperature to retain aromatics. Like our white wines, it’s sur lee aged and bottled in the spring.
Current Research Projects
These are a few projects that are currently capturing our attention. You never know when you might see these released in the future as another chapter to our vineyard’s story.
- Creating a Willamette Valley Gamay to add to our family of wines
- Continuing to evolve our complex and stunning single vineyard wines from Amity, Bass Hill and Temperance Hill to speak to their sense of place and their distinct characteristics
- Refining our dessert wine program
- Researching how the Chardonnay grape thrives in high elevation locations in an effort to farm our own at Amity Vineyards