I became a winemaker so I could be a mom
Willful Wine Co Blog
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2M ago
I became a winemaker so I could be a mom I became a winemaker by accident. My husband, Aron, wanted to make wine. I tagged along because I thought it would be nice to raise kids in the country. I had an image of wee ones frolicking around in pastures green, which happened, kind of.. for a while... Life happens, and after starting a business and planting a vineyard and creating two small boys, Aron and I went our separate ways. I became a winemaker so I could continue the business and have the best chance of a flexible schedule so I could juggle the need to earn a living with the duties of bein ..read more
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Never, and I mean, never start a business...
Willful Wine Co Blog
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1y ago
Never, and I mean, never start a business... What makes a wine good? I think the answer to that is different to everyone. Personally, for me the most important thing is balance. Ideally a wine should be a harmonious balance of acidity, fruit and tannin. Acidity will help the wine age gracefully and makes it pair well with food. Too much acidity and it might be a little sharp to drink by itself. Too little acidity may mean that it just doesn't have what it needs to bring out the best in the meal that you drink it with. Personally, I tend to favor wines from cooler climates since the cooler temp ..read more
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Holiday Food & Wine Pairing
Willful Wine Co Blog
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1y ago
What is the best wine to pair with family get togethers. It really doesn't matter just so long as you have some... But seriously, here's my two cents on what wine pairs with what over the holidays. Holiday Parties: You can't go wrong with bubbles. The carbonation means the alcohol is delivered to your system more quickly. Hand your guests a small taste when they come through the door and you'll have them in the party spirit in no time. Our is another great party wine. It's fruit forward and easy drinking but still a lovely, well balanced example of an Oregon pinot noir, and it pairs with just ..read more
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My name is Pam and I am a Pinot Geek
Willful Wine Co Blog
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2y ago
My name is Pam and I am a Pinot Geek This last week I’ve been a pinot geek. Last Sunday, Kyla (assistant winemaker) and I drank our way through the wines at the Passport to Pinot, which is the last event of the International Pinot Noir Celebration in McMinnville, Oregon. The event brings pinot noir producers and enthusiasts from all over the world to celebrate their love of this finicky yet beguiling grape. I had a huge crush on a 2017 Gevrey-Chambertin offered by Domaine Marc Roy, and not just because they have a female winemaker. The wine was a little lower I alcohol, which was much more agr ..read more
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Easy slowcooker recipe from Harvest 2020: Chicken with Lemon & Ginger
Willful Wine Co Blog
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2y ago
Easy slowcooker recipe from Harvest 2020: Chicken with Lemon & Ginger Food is important during harvest. When you're working 12+ hours a day, seven days a week for several weeks, good food is something that helps you keep going physically and it's something to look forward to during the work day. However, sometimes it's hard to know exactly when you'll be able to break to eat, so I prepared our crew meals in my crockpot. This recipe was one of my favorite harvest meals (and the crew seemed to like it too). The preparation is quick and it's super healthy. 1/4 tsp ground turmeric (I use 1 tbs ..read more
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Easy beef stew with a little help from Julia Child....
Willful Wine Co Blog
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2y ago
Easy beef stew with a little help from Julia Child.... I love Julia’s boeuf bourgignon recipe but these days, as a single parent with two teenagers in the house, it just isn’t realistic for me to follow it to the letter. This recipe keeps the essence of it but is a lot quicker to put together.  This pairs wonderfully with the newly released 2018 Willful Seven Hills Vineyard Cabernet-Merlot. 2 large onions, peeled and diced 1 small sprig of rosemary, finely chopped 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped 6 rashers of bacon cut in to half inch pieces (trim as much of the fat off as yo ..read more
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What is native fermentation?
Willful Wine Co Blog
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2y ago
Native fermentation is using the indigenous yeasts from the vineyard to cause primary fermentation i.e. the process where the sugar in the grapes turns to alcohol. When I’m working with grapes that I know are going to go to the Jezebel pinot noir, I usually inoculate them with yeast. There are a few that I tend to use more often and they’re mostly designed to highlight the fresh fruit flavors of the wine and contribute to a fleshy mouthfeel. The fermentations with these yeasts tend to be fairly uniform each year, and shorter than the wild yeasts I use for the Willful pinot noir. The yeasts are ..read more
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What is a grape clone?
Willful Wine Co Blog
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2y ago
The best way I've found to explain grape clones is comparing grapes to roses. A rose is a rose, but there are different types of roses, and each has their own unique characteristics in how they look and smell. Similarly, the different clones of pinot noir are all pinot noir, but each have their own attributes. Some are more floral and some more spicy. Some are earlier ripening and tend to be more fruit forward, and others are later ripening and are more expressive of some of the secondary flavors in grapes. And.. because it's pinot noir in Oregon, each clone will express itself in a different ..read more
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Lentil and Sausage Soup recipe from Balanza Vineyard
Willful Wine Co Blog
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2y ago
Lentil and Sausage Soup recipe from Balanza Vineyard Chaly and I love lentils.  We have enjoyed this recipe with the simplest and most accessible Oregon Pinots and also some of the most coveted Oregon Pinots.  While we are Dundee Hills people, the earthiness of lentils lends itself really well to some of the wines from our Yamhill Carlton or Ribbon Ridge natives.   During quarantine, we could not find lentils at the store for 2-3 weeks and I got so nervous that I found a Washington state grower that sold online via amazon and bought a bulk amount of Lentils.  We just finish ..read more
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What wine goes with steak?
Willful Wine Co Blog
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2y ago
The classic wine pairing for a big juicy steak is Cabernet Sauvignon. But why? Well... if we look at it the way, we'll think about what is the dominant element in the food. The eight food elements are: salt, oxalates, acidity, umami, fat, sugar, spice and protein. Clearly a steak doesn't have acidity or sugar, and it doesn't have oxalates (you'll just have to trust me on that, or come to the workshop...). I guess it could have salt or spice depending on how you season it but you'd have to really go over the top with the sauce to overwhelm the dominant element which is... protein. So what about ..read more
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