CA Hearts NW: 7 Northwest Wines by California Makers
by Sara Fontenot

While California might be the continent’s largest wine producing region, the burgeoning enological areas of the Pacific Northwest are nipping at its heels. Lucky enough to experience all four seasons, the warm summer days and cool nights create ideal conditions for grape-growing, and the Northwest has been offering a more consistent and quality climate than the Golden State in recent years. It only makes sense that big names from California are moving up, buying land and grapes, and bottling wines from here: check out these wines with California roots and all PNW fruit.

Location Wines | Oregon and Washington
What if your wine really was “a little taste of home?” Location Wines is dedicated to making a product that reflects local roots. With the perfect blend of soil, climate and vines, owner Dave Phinney and his team of winemakers are able to produce a wine that aims to encapsulate its surroundings, each with their own unique zest faithful to their home state — in this case, an apt red blend from Washington and a Pinot Noir from Oregon.

Zena Crown Vineyard | Oregon
The quaint Eola-Amity Hills AVA, a sub-region of the greater Willamette Valley, has become a prime location for winemakers. With an eye for expansion, Jackson Family Wines found a home for its next endeavor in Oregon, turning 115 acres of vines into the 48 blocks of Zena Crown Vineyard. Specializing in Pinot Noir, Zena Crown produces four wines: Slope, Block 14, Conifer and The Sum, each wine striving to pair with a season and mirror the essence of the vineyard at the time.

Gran Moraine Vineyard | Oregon
Rain, rain, don’t go away. As much as Northwest natives complain about the dreary weather, without it we wouldn’t be living in one of the wine capitals of the world. At this vineyard winery in Oregon, another relatively new Jackson Family Wines brand, the chilly temperatures are helping to savor the flavor of the fruit crops, resulting in a true-to-taste wine. Gran Moraine has a heavy focus on Pinot Noir, but are finding the site to yield a fresh, crisp Chardonnay that is ideal for spring.

Canvasback | Washington
A small town vineyard has made it to the big leagues in Napa Valley. Eastern Washington’s Red Mountain is known for producing some of the finest Cabernet Sauvignon on the West Coast and Napa Valley’s Duckhorn Vineyards caught wind of it. The Canvasback Cabernet is the winery’s Washington answer to the bold variety, a blend of soft, fruity tinctures that evolves into a caramel, coffee finish, leaving behind a rich flavor and putting an even larger mark for Red Mountain Vineyards on the map.

Joel Gott Wines | Washington
Celebrated producer Joel Gott has found that the hills of Underwood and White Salmon, tucked into the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge, produce the finest fruit for the Gewürztraminer and Grüner Veltliner wines, and round out the flavor of the Riesling. The Gorge’s warm days and cool nights help to develop the fruits faster and preserve the acidity that gives Gott’s wines the tropical, tart and citrus-y flavor they’re known for.

Mullan Road | Washington
Wine powerhouse Dennis Cakebread of Napa Valley-based Cakebread Cellars strikes a familiar chord in this red blend. A mixture of fruit from three of Washington’s ideal locations, including Seven Hills Vineyard, Stillwater Creek Vineyard and Lawrence Vineyard, combine to create a dry, brawny and elegant product. Striking yet versatile, Mullan Road pairs well with red meat, pork, cheese or veggies.

La Crema | Oregon
California-based Pinot Noir mainstay, La Crema, took a break from the heat to explore the coastal climate of Willamette Valley during their search for the next best of the Burgundian hallmark grape. Stumbling upon a model environment, La Crema’s Willamette wines are a solid representation of its roots — earthy, polished and sincere.

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