A little history about the Annala Vineyard in the Columbia Gorge

I always love a good history lesson about the vineyard, upon request Herbie’s Dad, Tim Annala wrote the piece below.

“My Dad’s family moved from North Dakota to Hood River, Oregon in 1909. They were wheat farmers moving to a new area and new crops of apples and pears. My Grandfather bought 20 acres and the house we still live in today. He also cleared the land for more orchards. My Dad was born in the same house in 1912 and our family has lived here continuously since moving to Hood River. Our crops have always been apples and pears. The farm grew to 40 acres and I tried to diversify by growing cherries, but could never get a good crop and a good price the same year. We removed the cherries and had two blocks of bare land to replant. In 2006 two local winery owners asked me to grow grapes for them and offered a per-acre price that would allow for a net return to the farm about equal to good pear returns. Again, this seemed to be a way to diversify the crop and the harvest and provide a steady income. I went to every viticulture meeting and class offered because I knew next to nothing about grapes. Our Oregon State University horticulture agent , Steve Castagnoli, had worked in viticulture at Corvallis before moving to Hood River as our horticulture agent. He has been a valuable source of information for me. In addition to Steve, Dr. Patty Skinkis at OSU has provided lots of help. We decided to accept the offer (from the wineries) and bought Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris plants, planted them in 2007, along with irrigation and trellis. The vines grew well and we had a full crop of Pinot Gris in 2009. The original Pinot Noir block developed crown gall in 2009, losing over half the plants. We replanted in 2010 and picked a full crop in 2013. The recession hit in 2008 and one of the two wineries backed completely out of the agreement and the other winery had multiple customers go bankrupt, leaving us pretty much to sell our grapes by the ton instead of per-acre. To back-track a little, selling by the ton was exactly what Steve Castagnoli told me not to do years before. We are now in the process of removing the entire Pinot Gris block and will be left with 3.0 acres of Pinot Noir, Pommard rootstock, Oak Grove Loam soil, elevation approx. 950 to 1050 feet. The farming is conventional, with as few chemical inputs as possible. We spray to prevent mildew and botrytis and phomopsis, but have never needed to apply insecticides. We do use herbicides as needed. The vines were irrigated for the first three years, but have not needed water since then.”

Thank you Herbie and Tim for all you do. I love your fruit!


2018 Pinot Noir, Annala Vineyard, Columbia Gorge, OR

This is it folks.  The fruit I have been so excited by since 2017 (this is the fruit we did not pick due to smoke taint by the Gorge fire).  In 2018 I asked Herbie Annala for a per/acre contract on one acre. They harvested 3.1 tons on October 4th, 2018.  Picking commenced at 7am end ended around 10am, the beautiful fruit was then loaded it into the every trusty box truck and I arrived in Caldwell at 5pm to “de-stem” half of the fruit and leave the other half for “whole cluster” fermentations.  I have not been this excited about fruit since the Thorn Ranch Vineyard in the Russian River Valley!

 

I was not 100% convinced, I loved the “whole cluster” fermentation process where the fruit is fermented with its stems to enhance tannins.  This year, I was able to do a mini trial; two bins of whole cluster and two bins of de-stemmed fruit to compare the fermentations and eventually the final wines.   The juice tasted amazing, the color is phenomenal and when you come to the barrel tasting in November you will be able to chart the path of this stunning Pinot Noir.

 

The fruit was cold soaked for 8 days before it began to ferment (it was almost too cold to get going).  The fermentation lasted for 10 days then was barreled down and pressed.  MCW build up bacterium was added on November 10th allowing the wine complete its secondary fermentation (malic acid à lactic acid) over the next few weeks.

 

For those who came to the release party, you will remember me saying I did not want to assume you would want more wine until you tasted the wine of which you already invested.  Boy was I wrong. My family and I are humbled by the support you continue to show – thank you from the bottom of my heart.  However, the 2018 wine will be released in the spring of 2020 so the wine has some time to get to know it’s fellow barrels in the bottle for 6 months!

 

To make things easier, the 2018 Pinot Noir will include sales tax for those of you in Idaho; price per bottle is $29 plus 1.74 in sales tax - your total case will be $368.88 (this ~$120 savings of the retail price next year).  I mentioned last year on your invoices, we prefer checks, but if paying by card is easier please add tip of 3% to cover the transaction fee OR pay “friend to friend” on Paypal to angieshaltry@gmail.com.   This pricing will remain the same through December 31, 2018.

 

We have about 165 cases total. Included with your purchase are two tickets to the release party in 2020, the “Pay it Forward Program,” where you receive of bottle of the 2017 Pinot Rosé when you refer a friend who purchases a case of wine, and complimentary tastings for up to six guests.  Our Out of State supporters will receive a $25 credit toward their shipping and taxes. 

 

Thank you AGAIN for all your support of my adventures in wine. 

 

 

Warmly,
Angie

 

P.S.  We had a Wine Club and Supporter form for the Saturday night release party members but for the people from Friday night who did not attend, just let me know via email angie@angelashaltry.com and I would be happy to send you an invoice.

 

Clarity Around Humility

A few years ago I became a Christian.  Per the "Angie Way," I dove deep, breathing in as much of Christianity as I could.  I ended up going to Cursillo which is a retreat all about the Holy Spirit. The experience was fantastic, but the food left a lot to be desired.

So, I volunteered to run the kitchen the next year - to make the food better! Unbeknownst to me, God was testing me.   During my three days in the kitchen, helping create amazing food, I felt a level of resentment build that I had never consciously experienced before.  I mean the food was terrific, healthier, but something was missing if I was experiencing this much resentment.  Per usual at that time in my life, I stuffed it down, played the martyr and became the helpless victim. In my heart I refused to accept the participants gratitude knowing I only felt resentment toward everyone.   

Last night I held a birthday dinner for my Mother – the group consisted of 10 people.  The woman, my Mom considers to be her best friend and whom I have known most of my life for some reason rubbed me the wrong way. I was experiencing resentment toward her!  She and her husband have both helped me tremendously in my former winery; I had never has a problem with her before.  So why now?  That damn resentment disease back again.  Enough already.

During church today, I prayed God would give me the answer.  Clear as day - humility.  Holy crow, I have always made things happen through my willpower alone and just scratched the surface of each experience - always feeling unsatisfied, like there was so much more alluding me each step of the way..  It was such an ah ha moment.  All this time, I thought being charitable was enough. Had I gone one step further an prayed to God to help me understand my resentment, I would have understood.  Love, humility and compassion with just a sprinkle of willpower is far more satisfying than using willpower alone.

Thank you God, for the beautiful epiphany. For improving me as a human being today.  

 

How Do You Celebrate Progress in Your Life?

I started thinking about this, then started dreaming about this, then started a spreadsheet about this. And this led me to money. Is that really how I celebrate progress?

I've always been a goal-oriented person. Life goals have in the past always related to work; in my younger years, I never stopped to think about why I set the big goals. In retrospect, it's clearer now. Last night my dream represented my spiritual side, as the people in the dream have all been part of my journey. When I awoke at 5:00am and started a spreadsheet on my income goals, it felt a little better but not quite right. It is NOT just about the money!

Aha! Money is a necessary tool for life...but just a tool. It helps fund the experiences we create for our families and friends, but it's not the experience. It helps fund the cabin in the woods, but it's not the cabin. It helps fund meals with family, but it's not the food or the family. Money is a tool to fund amazing, fun experiences with others and to share with others, but it's not the experience. What do we take with us when we leave this life? LOVE. Got it, connection made, money helps me express my love to the people most important to me.  

The spreadsheet will help, but it's not the answer. It's just a guide to help me reach my life goals of fantastic experiences with amazing people and to love more deeply than ever before.