This past week in my Oregon wine class, I was able to try some wines from a winery I hadn’t tried before – how exciting! Bennett Vineyards is a relatively new winery. It was started in 2007 as a retirement plan for Gene and Lisa Bennett, who originally hail from San Diego. They picked this part of Oregon specifically so that they could plant some delicious Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Riesling. They planted 20 acres in Cheshire, Oregon and learned the trade of grape growing through hard work and a lot of love.
For the most part they sell grapes to local wineries, but they do keep some of the grapes for themselves to make wine. Gene manages the vineyard himself, but has local winemakers come out and do what they do best. Ray Walsh and Matthew Lavelle both make the Bennett’s wines.
I had the privilege of trying a few wines from these fantastic producers, but one stuck out as my favorite, the 2014 White Pinot Noir. What is white pinot noir you may ask? It is a Pinot noir that has had minimal skin contact. It is very similar to a rosé, but had a lot less color than a rosé might have.
I loved this wine from the minute it hit my glass. It poured a beautiful color that reminded me of a summer sunset. The nose was super aromatic and had notes of strawberries and cream. It smelled incredibly sweet, and while I was expecting it to taste sweet it was more on the dry side. It was well balanced with crisp green apple flavors. There was almost a hint of carbonation to it as well and it was extremely light but very fruit forward. This one is a must try!
Check out their tasting room in Cheshire, just a 25 minute drive from Eugene. They are open on Saturday and Sunday from 12 – 6 pm. I know I can’t wait to go check out all of their selections, and of course stock up on the 2014 White Pinot. Cheers!