Stoltz Winery 2014 Zweigelt

In Hood River, who you gonna call?

It’s not haunted. Really.

It’s the biggest and the oldest house in Hood River. And for 45 years, it served as a mortuary and funeral home. But making wine in the large, cool basement formerly used as a cadaver laboratory, John and Garrit Stoltz insist they’ve never experienced the paranormal.

Next time you’re in Hood River, climbing up the hill on State Street, be sure to stop by the “Mansion on the Hill” looming over you next to Georgiana Smith Park. John Stoltz, Garrit’s dad, will welcome you inside and happily pour you a few wines.

Father and son, John and Garrit Stoltz are the team behind one of the Columbia Gorge’s smallest and most unique wineries.

They are making hand-crafted single barrel lots of traditional varietals like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay but also experimenting with unique varietals such as Fernão Pires (from Portugal), Sagrantino (from Umbria) and Zweigelt (from Austria).

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Stoltz Winery, Hood River, Oregon
2014 Zweigelt

Produced as a cross-breed in 1922, Zweigelt is now the most widely grown grape in Austria. It can also be found in Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and British Columbia. It is a cross-breed of the St. Laurent and Blaufränkisch grapes, which are both close genetic cousins to Pinot Noir.

Most Austrian Zweigelts tend to be light in flavor and style. But Stoltz has pushed hard to demonstrate a full expression of the Zweigelt grape, intensely flavored with exotic spice and floral character, and predominant aromas of cinnamon and violets, that makes this Zweigelt distinctive and unusual.

At Stoltz, you won’t just find unusual varietals on offer. You’ll also find a winemaking approach that’s as old as the house they’re in. Garrit does it all old-school – no pumps, no steel vessels, not even any electricity. No wonder that one author labeled him one of the 100 most influential winemakers in America, just in his mid-30s.

A Cellar 503 selection in August 2016, Wines from the Columbia Gorge Columbia Gorge | Zweigelt

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