Vincent wine dinner at Daily Cafe in the Pearl, Saturday May 9

Please come to a wine dinner with me at the terrific Daily Cafe in the Pearl, Saturday May 9 at 6:30pm.

This event is part of the Daily’s artist dinner series, Cooks & Corks, pairing a local artist and a local winemaker with a lovely meal.

This month’s artist is Anna Kodesch, a painter of animal portraits, oil on canvas.

This month’s winemaker, naturally, is me. I’ll be pouring three wines paired with a spring-inspired menu:

2014 Guild Winemakers Rosé Willamette Valley (this from my project with fellow vintners Anne Hubatch and John Grochau)
2013 Vincent Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills
2013 Vincent Pinot Noir Zenith Vineyard

Full menu details and reservations available here. The event costs $75 per person. Hope to see you!

PDX Urban Wineries tasting May 3 in Portland

Come to the annual PDX Urban Wine Experience tasting of wine producers in the city of Portland. This year’s tasting is Sunday, May 3, from 3-6pm at Union Pine in inner SE Portland.

Member of PDX Urban Wineries, the association of Portland wineries, will all be there pouring new releases, including special, limited bottlings that rarely make it out of Portland.

I’ll be there pouring two of my spring release Pinot Noirs. All wines poured will be available to buy, with quantity discounts available on mixed purchases. Come taste local wines made in the city of Portland, then take home your favorites at special prices.

Hope to see you there. Discounted tickets are available here through the end of April.

Vincent is moving to the Eola Hills this fall

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Grochau Cellars in the bucolic Eola Hills of Oregon

Yes, it’s true.

And if you follow me on Twitter, perhaps you guessed it. I’ve been hinting for weeks, actually months, that something big is happening.

Beginning this fall, Vincent Wine Company is moving wine production from Portland to the new location of Grochau Cellars in the Eola Hills in the heart of Willamette Valley wine country.

It’s a big change, moving out of Portland where I launched Vincent in 2009. I’ve been all about making wine in the urban core of Portland, and I still believe so much in the urban winemaking culture we have in the Rose City. It’s not an easy decision to leave Portland or my comrades in PDX Urban Wineries, our association of Portland-based wineries.

I just have an opportunity to continue to grow my production – nearly 1,000 cases in 2014 – with a now longtime friend and mentor in John Grochau at his new home, close to the vineyards I work with and the growers I want to spend more time around. It’s simply too good an opportunity to pass up, and it’s the right time.

I met John Grochau more than a decade ago, when I was working harvests at local wineries and working at a local university. I did harvests with John in 2007 and 2008, then I started Vincent in 2009 at his old facility in NW Portland.

I stayed at Grochau Cellars for the first three years on my own, continuing to learn from John and growing to where we became partners with two other friends in Guild Winemakers, a negotiant wine project that has been lots of fun and given me a ton of wine business experience.

I moved to the SE Wine Collective in 2012, where Kate and Tom Monroe and a terrific group of talented winemakers, chefs and servers really helped me grow both my production and my business. Things were great before I got to the Collective, but things got even better for me during my time there and I’ll forever be part of that crew. Thank you Kate and Tom for all we’ve done together, I’m a lucky guy to have crossed paths with you two.

Now I’m entering the seventh year of production as Vincent Wine Company, and I’m moving to the country to reconnect with John and take up a little space in his new facility. He’ll have a tasting room but I’m not planning to be part of that. I still don’t make enough wine and this is his place, I’m just happy to spread out a bit in the cellar and make more wine to sell across the country and beyond.

Instead of a tasting room, I’ll continue my tastings by appointment with mailing list customers and other interested buyers, and I’ll continue to participate in a variety of public and private tasting events. For my customers, the only real change will be the cellar location amid the lush vines and red soils of the astonishingly beautiful Eola Hills. Seems like a fair trade.

I’ve loved my time making wine in Portland, where so many wine lovers live. Now I get to return to wine country where the grapes live. They can’t commute, so I’m going to them and hoping you all can come out and visit us soon.

Vincent – New Location starting Fall 2015 at Grochau Cellars, 9360 SE Eola Hills Road, Amity, OR. For tastings or purchases, contact Vincent Fritzsche at 503-740-9475.

New releases for spring

I’m delighted to release the final three wines from 2013, all reds perfect for spring and summer dining.

2013 Vincent Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills – $27
2013 Vincent Pinot Noir Zenith Vineyard – $39
2013 Vincent Pinot Noir Bjornson Vineyard – $39

Each year, my top wines are my single vineyard designate bottlings. For spring, they are Zenith and Bjornson, both from the Eola-Amity Hills AVA but different in soil type.

The 2013 Zenith Vineyard is from our rows in block 6-G, a south facing knoll with little top soil over sandstone where the leaf canopy of the vines barely fills the trellis most years. This year’s wine is all Pinot Noir elegance, with ripe but restrained fruit, floral and earth elements, the texture worsted and a touch firm. I enjoy my single vineyard wines young, but they do have more structure with the goal of lasting several years in a cool cellar. This Zenith is a classic representation of this historic Eola Hills vineyard, formerly O’Connor Vineyard and a long time source of terrific wines from St. Innocent Winery. $39

The 2013 Bjornson Vineyard is a slightly more powerful Pinot Noir, with a touch deeper color and already complex fruit and earth interplay, the acid bright and finish long and satisfying. The soils here are volcanic, with a thin band of red clay over fractured basalt bedrock. The wines here are always more masculine, but like neighboring vineyards I’ve enjoyed for years, Bjornson always shows perfume and grace to balance its natural power in a way very few sites can achieve. Like the Zenith, this wine is delicious now and yet has the structure to age well for several years. $39

The 2013 Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills is our village wine for spring, a blend of barrels from all three of our vineyard sites in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA – Zenith and Bjornson, as well as Crowley Station Vineyard. This wine is a bit lighter in color than either single vineyard bottling, with less intensity but still lovely grace and perfume intended for drinking now over the next few years. $27

BerserkerDay deal

Today is BerserkerDay VI, the 6th anniversary of the founding of wineberserkers.com. As usual, we are part of the fun, with a special discount offer to add to the celebration.

If you’re interested, you have to go to Wine Berserkers, register for free, then go to the BerserkerDay VI forum (register to access) and look for the Vincent Wine Company offer around 1:05pm PST. It’s a special 3-pack of 2013 wines for $59. It’s our best deal of the year outside of buying from our annual futures offering to our mailing list.

Limit one 3-pack per person, shipping is $15 extra, and there are about a dozen left to sell. But no worries, if you can’t get my wine this time, find other great offers from lots of wineries, wine shops and food purveyors, all in the name of celebrating wine love craziness. And there’s terrific wine discussion and a great community of people at Wine Berserkers from around the world. Check it out.

Happy new year!

Happy new year from Portland, where I’m excited for some big plans to unfold over the next 12 months.

I have only small amounts of my Fall releases still available, all 2013s including Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc. Just a handful of cases of each of those remain, along with the Pinot Noir Ribbon Ridge. The Pinot Noir Crowley Station Vineyard is sold out, and the Pinot Noir Armstrong Vineyard is down to just three cases, so hurry up if you want that one.

I will have three additional wines from the 2013 vintage available starting in March, including Pinot Noirs from Bjornson Vineyard, Zenith Vineyard, and our Eola-Amity Hills cuvee.

In the winery, I have 35 barrels of wine from the 2014 vintage quietly aging in cask until bottling right before harvest next fall. 2014 was a warm year and the wines show tremendous ripeness. I’m excited to see more nuance and subtlety emerge as the wines age in barrel. Wines from cooler vintages often need to soften and open up through barrel aging. Wines from warm years like 2014 need the opposite – time to calm down and gain elegance. I’m excited to see that happening already and I look forward to release the first of the 2014 wines by the end of this year.

PDX Urban Wineries tasting this Sunday in Portland

PDX Urban Wineries is an association of virtually all the wineries fermenting grapes in the city of Portland. We’re happy to be members along with more than a dozen other independent wineries in this fine city.

Twice a year, PDX Urban Wineries holds special public tasting events where you can come to one location and try so many different wines made in Portland from grapes grown all over the Pacific Northwest.

This Sunday evening is our Holiday Winter Wine Soiree, at Cyril’s in inner SE Portland. The event runs 6-9pm. Admission is $10 (or $5 at the door with two cans of food for charity). For that you get 5 tickets for tastes, with additional tickets available for purchase. We’ll also be selling all the wines being poured, with discounts for purchases of 6 and 12 or more. Yes, you can mix and match anything to hit each discount level.

Purchase your advance tickets online here. Hope to see you Sunday evening.