The 2012 vintage tracked as a wonderful year across all Washington state AVAs and was significantly warmer than the previous two years. The vintage was consistent in ripening without dramatic heat spikes which can cause undue stress on berry development. Color developed earlier in the growing season allowing for full tannins to mature in the reds as well as moderate alcohols and balanced acidity in both the whites and reds.
The 2013 growing season at our Chalice Vineyard in the foothills of the Oregon Coastal Range started out with near ideal conditions lasting through August and into early September. A rain filled late September presented some challenges but transitioned into a somewhat dry, cool October bringing some relief to winegrowers around the state. Most of our Pinot gris was ripe and harvested in beautiful condition prior to the rain. The grapes, slightly lower than normal in sugar, came to the winery with beautiful citrus, pear and floral flavors and aromas. Consequently this wine has lower than normal alcohol content, clean acidity and vibrant aromas and flavors. The harvest was one of the earliest in Iris Vineyards history starting on September 26th and ending on the 28th.
Despite its status as one of the larger wine producers in Oregon, Duck Pond Cellars remains small at heart and is a family-owned winery through and through. Originally from California's Central Valley, lifelong farmers Doug and Jo Ann Fries moved their young family to the small Central Oregon town of Sunriver in the early 1980s. In 1984, they purchased property along the banks of the Willamette River in Dundee, Oregon, where they planted a 500-acre hazelnut orchard. As devoted wine aficionados, they also planted a small 13-acre vineyard with the hopes of producing a few hundred cases of their own wine.
The wine underwent 100% Malolactic fermentation and was aged for 9 months in 60% French oak barrels (10% new), with the balance in stainless steel tanks. The result was a well-balanced wine with bright acidity and a rich, round mouthfeel.