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2022 - Let's take a step back in time, not to the era of pioneers with covered wagons making their arduous journey westward, but to a different kind of pioneer. We turn our attention to Ted Gerber, an early visionary in Oregon's viticultural scene. At a time when the Rogue Valley's higher elevations were deemed unsuitable for grape cultivation due to frost damage, Gerber tenaciously pressed on and planted his first vineyards in 1974 utilizing wind machines and sprinkler systems to combat the frost.
In a fortuitous turn of events several years later, Oregon State University imported a select handful of French vinestocks, including Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Gewurztraminer. Gerber was among the lucky few to receive these varieties. The higher elevation vineyards turned out to be a perfect match for these Alsatian grapes, with warm days and cool nights enhancing the fruit flavors in the grapes. Today, Gerber's winery sprawls across 188 acres, making it the southernmost winery in Oregon.
The Foris Pinot Blanc, a testament to Gerber's pioneering spirit, presents a dazzling platinum white color, bordered by a straw-colored rim. The extra time spent on the vine, harvested in mid-October, injects this 2022 vintage with its unique character. Be greeted by a flourish of fresh white flower, pear, white peach, lemon, and stony mineral aromas. On the palate, it's vibrant and focused, with fresh fruit character, savory acidity and a crisp, dry finish - the ideal partner to these warm summer days.
A true delight for a summer evening, the Foris Pinot Blanc pairs excellently with pan-seared bluegill, baked walleye, a fresh salad, or a slice of mild muenster cheese. Here's to the spirit of perseverance and the pursuit of a pioneer's vision that brings us this delightful summer sipper.