Back to School: Unusual Varietals

September 2016

The best part about my job is introducing people to new wineries – and even new varietals – that they’ve never heard of. There are a lot of unusual wines being made all over Oregon that are extraordinary.

Ever heard of Huxelrebe or Petit Verdot or Cabernet Franc? All of these are being made in small batches here in Oregon by wonderfully obsessed winemakers dedicated to bringing unusual varietals to your table.

So to honor the back-to-school season, we’ve dedicated our September selections at Cellar 503 to learning about unusual varietals.

Our reds this month are the 2014 Petit Verdot from 51 Weeks Winemaking. A husband and wife team who persevered through a chaotic 51 weeks in their personal life and came out the other side with two beautiful children and a boutique winery making stellar wines.

Our second red is the 2014 Cabernet Franc Jackalope Wine Cellars. We were lucky enough to feature this wine for our inaugural “friends and family” selection and thrilled to bring it back and share it with our members this month!

As for whites, we're featuring the 2014 Starthistle Cuvee from Helioterra Wines. It is an unusual blend of Huxelrebe and Riesling made by Portland’s own Anne Hubatch who really loves unique white wines!

Our second white is the 2015 Grenache Blanc from Quady North in Southern Oregon. It’s a Rhone varietal that’s not found often on this side of the Atlantic, and even more rarely found all by itself in the bottle. It will knock your socks off!

I hope you enjoy these unusual varietals as much as I did in finding them!