Division Winemaking Co. Villages “La Frontière” Sauvignon Blanc 2020

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The great state of Oregon, and specifically the Willamette Valley, has become
one of the world’s most well known cool climate growing regions for Pinot Noir
grapes. It is definitely not and area very well known for growing Sauvignon
Blanc. Well, we’ve been working on that for four years now and believe we can
make a solid case for the well known Loire varietal being delicious when grown
in both the Willamette Valley and the rapidly expanding Columbia Gorge
grape regions.
Myron Redford is a legend in Oregon’s wine industry. Always experimenting,

sometimes successfully and sometimes not, with grapes like Gamay Noir, Alba-
rino and yes, Sauvignon Blanc. He and his partner Vikki Wetle planted a small

7.5 acre certified organic vineyard on Jory, Yamhill & Woodburn soils at their
home property in the Eola-Amity Hills in 2006, which includes the Sauvignon
Blanc that makes up about half of our 2019 “La Frontière.”
The certified organically farmed Allegre Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc from

Fruilian clones, our first vineyard in the Columbia Gorge, makes up the remain-
ing half of this cuvée. Jen Kroner and Pat Allegre are some of the Hood River

area’s finest growers of not only grapes, but premium quality cherries and or-
chard fruit, all nestled between Mt Hood and Mt Adams, our biggest volcanoes

in the region.
We are usually some of the first to make picking decisions with tge majority of our vineyards each year
as we seek to make wines that are lighter, more finessed, vibrant, but still with intensity and complexity.
Sauvignon Blanc was a bit of a conundrum for us as it is notorious for demonstrating very green, tropical,
and ammonia “cat pee” like aromatics when not completely ripe. Ultimately, this meant we’d need to
harvest a bit riper than is typical for most of our other grape varieties we work with. The 2019 vintage of
this wine brought back some nostalgia with a growing season much more akin to the classic European
growing years, meaning long hang times with vibrant acidity and lower sugars, which all leads to greater
complexity for the wine!
We created a pied de cuve (early native ferment) with a small amount of grapes to build a strong yeast
population from the native flora for both sites. The wines were fermented “sur lie” in two puncheons
(500L), one new Harlequin oak barrel (half acacia and French oak), several older white French oak
Burgundy barrels and several stainless steel barrels. The ferments were slower to start with the cool
temperatures, but quickly caught, and most completed within two to three months, however, one barrels
didn’t fully complete their sugar fermentation, so there’ about 2-3 grams p/liter of residual sugar in this
year’s wine. With the very low pH (racy acids!), we needed it!
Our fourth “La Frontière” demonstrates clear Sauvignon Blanc characteristics ranging from ripe
honeydew to lemongrass and some grapefruit citrus notes. Honestly, we are very happy! The aromatics
are led by a mélange of melons, with some light tarragon, passion flower and grapefruit peel. This wine
is medium bodied, while being simultaneously racy, ripe, succulent, with the kind of soaring acidity that
allows a full spectrum of flavors to dance across the palate. We make this wine to be enjoyed young and
feel it’s ready to drink now, but as always, the acids will better integrate with time and the wine will
become more layered and complex with time.

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