Dion Vineyard 2014 Tempranillo

The god of harvest and wine

My son is obsessed with Greek mythology. Has been for years. Learning the various gods' and demigods' names, powers and lineage with astounding facility is only one of his talents. Zeus, Apollo, Athena, Poseidon are all big in our house.

Of course, in the wine business, it's Dionysus that looms large - the god of the harvest and wine, and the namesake of Dion Vineyard in Cornelius, Oregon. First planted in 1973 by Kevin's parents, Ron & Joanne, their beloved Pi not Noir and Chardonnay grapes have been in demand for many well-known winemakers for decades.

At first, Kevin had no interest in the family business and was content to manage the vineyard from a distance and sell their entire crop. He nurtured his own passions for aeronautical engineering and created his own path in the world of airplanes, space shuttles and drones. But about nine years ago, the viticulture bug bit and Kevin gave up his engineering career.

Under his direction, Dion Vineyard became LIVE Certified back in 2009. For him, and his equally talented marketing­ guru/assistant winemaker wife Beth, sustainable farming has a direct impact on the expressiveness of his wines. With fewer inputs, the land can shine through more clearly.

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Dion Vineyard, Cornelius, Oregon
2014 Tempranillo

This is a special treat. It's a Tempranillo from the Willamette Valley, where there are just 24 acres of the grape planted. After all, Tempranillo thrives best in places with warm days and cool nights - so it is far more common in the Rogue and Umpgua valleys down south.

But this northern edition doesn't disappoint.

Take that first sip and you'll taste those classic dark fruit flavors of plum and blueberry, along with rich caramel and cinnamon notes. Swirl the glass and you'll notice aromas of leather will join the fruit in your nose. And before long, you'll pick up some vanilla nots and that traditional Tempranillo spice.

A Cellar 503 selection in January 2017, Northern vs. Southern Oregon Chehalem Mountains | Tempranillo

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