The search for $20 Pinot Noir in America is a rough one, I’ll talk about why here as well as giving you a quick recap and the overall Duck Pond Oregon Pinot Noir 2015 Review that you came to find.
Hi guys. Mark Aselstine with Uncorked Ventures. I’m going to hold this up so you can get a good look at it. So this is a bottle of Duck Pond Oregon Pinot. Duck Pond’s an interesting story. I thought it was worth it to mention. This is one of the true leaders in the value wine segment coming out of Oregon. Quite honestly, there’s not a lot of $20 wine that comes out of Oregon, especially the Willamette Valley, that you can access, in a large part, across the country.
Duck Pond makes 50,000 or so cases a year. This came up because … I’ll hold this up again for you. They’ve redesigned their logo. They used to have kind of a critter on the logo. They thought, quality-wise, they were a lot better than everybody else who had something kind of similar up there. This is something new. I think this tells a better story of where they’re from, and what they’re doing.
You might say, “Why is there no Oregon Pinot around $20?” There is a little bit, but there’s just not a lot. Oregon Pinot has definitely edged up into the $40 range, where we expect most, kind of, really high quality, world class Pinot to exist. Between that kind of $40 and $65 price point.
The largest input in the price of a wine is, it’s kind of a dual kind of thing that meshes together. It’s, the price that you have to pay per acre of farm land, and then you have to back out the amount of grapes that you can get from each acre. Pinot is a grape that, if you grow it in too warm of conditions, you get a whole lot of it, and the wine sucks.
Most of it, most of the areas where we think of Pinot growing and growing well, you know, places like it’s ancestral home in Burgundy, say the Russian River Valley in Sonoma, Oregon, of course. It barely gets ripe. When it barely gets ripe, you’re talking a couple of tons per acre, two to three, sometimes four tons, but that’s really about the higher, the upper end limit of it. Whereas, if you’re talking about the $5 wines that you see at the grocery store, they might be getting 12 to 15 tons per acre.
You can see, just a tripling of the $5 wine based on the amount of fruit that you get, just brings you from $5 to $15 immediately. Plus, if you think about the uptake in price, just based on the land, or wine making style, that kind of stuff, you can see easily how it’s hard to hit a $20 price point if you’re an Oregon Pinot maker.
Duck Pond, they do about 50,000 cases or so, per year. That’s make them, I believe, the third or fourth largest in the state of Oregon. We’re just starting to see this kind of come out locally in a number of places. I think across the country, this is going to be a brand that you see, kind of increase it’s exposure, kind of exponentially, here, pretty quickly.
This is a really solid bottle of Oregon Pinot. I also think that when you see stuff like this, you’re also going to see some Napa [inaudible 00:02:44] wineries start to move into Oregon a little bit more to try to buy some grapes and make something kind of similar to this. The Fries family, they started the winery back in ’93. A true success story in the industry. It’s something that, if you can find a Duck Pond Fries Family Cellers, Oregon Pinot, for about $20, or so, on the shelf, it’s well worth it to pick it up.
Once again, Mark Aselstine, with Uncorked Ventures. This is not something that will not show up in a Wine of the Month Club shipment. It just, kind of, too well known, and to high production. I don’t think it tells the tale necessarily of what’s happening in the industry. Although, I think it’s important to mention, especially when you’re talking about our Explorations Wine Club, which is our cheap wine club option, cheapest, at least, this is something, price point wise, that’s a fit. It also kind of gives me hope that, yeah, there will be some Oregon Pinot for $20, or so that I’ll be able to fit in there. Once again, Mark Aselstine, with Uncorked Ventures. I hope everybody’s having a nice week thus far.
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