Straw Wine: A New Adventure for Capitello Wines
I recently stopped by Domaine Meriwether, located in Veneta just off of Highway 126, to pick up a couple bottles of the newly released Celebration Cuvee Sparkling Wine, and I noticed something very different inside the winery.
Along the back walls, there were stacks upon stacks of straw matting holding clusters of freshly harvested grapes. Having never seen this sort of display before, Buzz Kawders, owner of Domaine Meriwether, was quick to explain that winemaker Ray Walsh, of Capitello Wines, was in the midst of a new winemaking adventure: he was creating the Pacific Northwests first Straw Wine.
Kawders explained that the grapes on the straw mats would remain there for the next three or so months to dry up like raisins. The remaining concentrated juice would then be pressed and made into wine – a wine that is somewhat similar to ice wine.
Ray Walsh is a well-known local winemaker who produces award winning wines under his label, Capitello Wines. He’s also the winemaker for Domaine Meriwether, and he has a solid reputation in the Willamette Valley. Walsh has been bringing new ideas to the wine scene with his fresh, hands-on approach to winemaking, and his wines are consistently true to the varietals characteristics. I enjoy each vintage of both his Willamette Valley wines and Marlborough, New Zealand wines.
I contacted Walsh to find out the details regarding his new adventure in making Straw Wine, and posted our conversation in detail on my award winning wine blog, WineJulia.com. Follow me over to WineJulia.com to find out more about what may be Oregon’s first and only Straw Wine.