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Willow Crest “Estate Grown” Pinot Gris, Yakima Valley, Washington State.

Willow Crest “Estate Grown” Pinot Gris, Yakima Valley, Washington State.

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Published by Kris Chislett
Willow Crest “Estate Grown” Pinot Gris, Yakima Valley, Washington State.
Willow Crest “Estate Grown” Pinot Gris, Yakima Valley, Washington State.

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Categories:Types, Recipes/Menus
Published by: Kris Chislett on Oct 06, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Willow Crest“Estate GrownPinot Gris, YakimaValley, Washington State.
100% Pinot Gris
It’s very rare that you’ll stumble across single-vineyard,“estate-grown”wines for under $15, but if you do, you should jump at the chance to pickup a bottle! The simple reasonis that the more specific a wine gets (with its place of origin), the more expensive it
gets. Not withWillow Crestthough, as most of their wines completelyannihilatethe competition in the price-to-quality ratio game.
Even though David J. Minick (owner of Willow Crest) has only been operating thewinery since 1995, his family has been in the“grape businesssince 1982. Trulybelieving in the mantra of the best wines being indeed“made in the vineyard,”WillowCrest only use estate-grown grapes, which carefully tended to and harvested by Davidhimself.
Pinot Gris has long-since outpaced Chardonnay as the most planted white wine inOregon, and is currently the #3 white grape in Washington, after Riesling andChardonnay.
The history of Pinot Gris dates back to the Burgundy region of France in the Middle Ages where it used to thrive. The grape is thought to be a genetic mutation of PinotNoir. The grape also produces extremely noteworthy wines in the Alsatian region of 
France.There still remains a fair amount of confusion, but Pinot Grigio is theexact same grapeas Pinot Gris, although stylistically Grigios tend to be lighter, more delicate and mineral-driven.
Clickhere for the Willow Crest Facebook Pageandhere for their website.
Place (click map for larger view)
The Yakima Valley is the oldestgrowing region in Washington, andproduces over one-third of theState's wine.
More than 40 wineries call theYakima home, with over 11,000acres (around 17 sq. miles) of planted grape vines.
In Washington, Pinot Gris has been a tad slower to catch on than in neighboringOregon, although it’s recently started to make up for lost time. In 2003, 1,900 tons of Pinot Gris were harvested, and by 2011 it was up-to 7,500 tons.
The Willow Crest Estate Vineyard is at located at 1300 feet above sea level.
Willow Crest use drip irrigation in their vineyards.
Why is that important,?
Well, if grape vines receive too much water, they have a tendency to put out as manyleaves as possible (much the same as most plants). By limiting the water a vinereceives (by slowly dripping the water through a pipe, rather than“making it rainbyusing overhead sprinklers), instead of focusing its efforts on producing leaves, itconcentrates all its energy on grape production/development.
I’d like to think that I’m a pioneer by shamelessly admitting that I occasionally drink my wine out of a Solo-cup, at least when I’m on the beach. The Mrs. seems to frown on me bringing my ownstemware!TheWillow Crest Pinot Grisis clean and crisp, but also bolder than most Pinot Gris fromneighboring Oregon, at least that I’ve tasted. Beautifully fragrant (we could even smell it againstthe breeze from the ocean), the wine opens with cantaloupe, grapefruit, passion-fruit and guava.Medium-bodied, rich, and with a good acid balance, the wine evolves into citrusy blood orangeand grapefruit on the long finish. The absolute best Pinot Gris for the money that I’ve tastedcoming out of Washington, and the price won’t leave you feeling guilty about taking it to thebeach…
Salmon with ginger, shrimp salad, spiced pork tenderloin, raw oysters, or just sat on the beach,watching as some random kid messes-around with a red surfboard, as his father looks on…

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