2018 Apolloni Vineyards Pinot Blanc, Willamette Valley, Oregon

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The Apolloni family traces its winemaking traditions back 150 years near Arrezo, Tuscany, about 50 miles southeast of Florence. Alfredo Apolloni, the current generation and proprietor of this small Oregon estate, was first exposed to viticulture and winemaking while working summers at the family vineyard and villa in Italy, an experience which often plants itself deep in the psyche, and that can call one to return even many years later. That was precisely what motivated Alfredo to move his wife Laurine and kids from the Midwest to Oregon in 1999, where they purchased a 62 acre property in the northern Willamette Valley. It had 5 acres in vines at the time, now significantly expanded with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. They are even experimenting with Nebbiolo and Sangiovese. The 2018 Pinot Blanc is vinified in stainless steel, and delivers a pear-scented, refreshing glass of crisp, mouth-watering white wine. It is very much in the style of modern northern Italian Pinot Bianco, and is an ideal and flexible partner with all manner of fresh seafood and summer salads. One of the persistent food and wine pairing myths is that you should not drink wine with salad. In a word, nonsense. Just make sure to use moderate amounts of citrus juice as the source of acidity in your dressing, and watch a wine like this come alive. Pinot Blanc has been historically confused with Chardonnay, especially prior to the late 1800’s, but it is actually a spontaneous genetic mutation of Pinot Noir. It was first identified as such in 1868. It is nowhere near as widely planted as Chardonnay, but does particularly well in Alsace, France, Northern Italy, California and Oregon.

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