This bottling is 100% chardonnay from the Celilo vineyard located in White Salmon, Washington. Celilo is a unique vineyard situated on a 1,000 foot bluff overlooking the Columbia River in the Columbia River Gorge. It lies on the South face of Mount Underwood, which is currently an inactive volcano. The soil is pulverized basalt, extremely porous and loose, which promotes deep rooting. The vineyard was planted in 1983. Unlike the Chardonnay grown in the hot eastern desert of Washington, this is a much cooler site. As a result, the fruit retains more aciditiy and the wine displays a clean mineral character with an expanisve texture.
About Ken Wright Cellars
The seed for a career in wine was planted squarely in Bourbon country of Lexington, Kentucky. While waiting tables to put himself through school, Ken was exposed to fine wines from regions around the world. The passion became avocation when Ken left the Bluegrass State to attend enology and viticulture classes at UC-Davis. Eight years were spent winemaking for Ventana Vineyards, Chalone and Talbott Vineyards in Monterey County of California’s central coast. Friends from the Willamette Valley piqued Ken’s interest in the region when they would visit, and a trip to the Dundee Hills in 1976 convinced him that this was where the finest Pinot noir in North America was being grown.
In 1986, with family, belongings and 10 barrels in tow, Ken moved to McMinnville and started Panther Creek Cellars. His concept of focusing on vineyard-designate bottling began during those years at Panther Creek and was cemented as a core philosophy in 1994 when Ken Wright Cellars was founded in historic downtown Carlton. Ken now makes a single vineyard bottling from 13 vineyard sites in the Northern Willamette Valley.
At Ken Wright Cellars we also have a special place in our hearts for the limited production of white wines, Chardonnay from Celilo Vineyard near White Salmon, Washington, a small block of Dijon 548 Chardonnay Clone planted at Savoya Vineyard in Yamhill-Carlton, and Pinot Blanc from Freedom Hill Vineyard.
Wine Making Approach
Our white wine is barrel fermented and barrel aged in French oak barrels. The Pinot Blanc is in 100% neutral French oak barrels, while the Chardonnay receives about 18% new oak barrels depending upon the vintage. Throughout the barrel aging process both the Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay wine remains with the original yeast, creating a beautiful glycerin based mouth feel in our resulting wines.