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Port Townsend Vineyards

Ben Thomas
June 5, 2020 | Ben Thomas

Terroir and ocean breezes: The story of our Estate Wines


This whole Port Townsend Vineyards project started with a vineyard. The dream was, through hard work and smart decision-making, to grow grapevines on the very edge of the growing zone and create a wine that folks would want to drink. In a fully maritime climate, complete with fog and ocean breezes, the challenge is significant. Our first harvests were so small that we included the yield in our Discovery blends, but the last two vintages have been just large enough to print labels and highlight the work our local vines have done to produce unique, place-based wines. 


Vines just put in the ground on Portuguese Hill, 2015

The vineyard at sunset, 2019


The thing about terroir (terhe-WAH) is that the flavors your vineyard produces are unique in the world. The more genuine your practices, the more defined the fingerprint of your terroir. That’s why we use only organic practices and let the vineyard bloom in wildflowers in the spring and early summer. If we were more ruthless with the soil and more favorable to chemicals, we could probably yield more fruit. But it would taste as lifeless as the many corporate wines out there. We favor the unique and grow our wines with our minds on the customer who cares about things being done the right way.

Our grapes, 2016-2019


We love working with our vineyard partners in the warmer parts of Washington and in Oregon. We feel the grapes we bring in from their vineyards complement our local foods and appeals to the tastes of savvy wine drinkers in our region. But if you ask us what we’re really excited about, it’s the wine from the vines that we laid gently into hand-dug holes in those glacial soils on the slopes of an old cow pasture in the center of town. In those wines our real story is told. 


Our initial team, 2015

Celebrating with our team, 2018


It may be a fancy of the imagination, but I swear I can taste the effort behind it all and how all Port Townsend Vineyard’s employees and owners have played a role in the vineyard from planting to pruning to picking. Beyond that I taste the soft springs, wet Junes, grey summer mornings, breezy evenings and long Indian summers that I’ve always known and (mostly) loved about my hometown. And to think we can pour all this into a glass to enjoy.

--Ben Thomas, Winemaker & Production Manager

Summer Estate Wine releases

We’re really excited to feature three wines this summer that we saw through from root to bottle. We’re starting with our 2018 Pinot Noir that has more in common with the reds of Germany and the higher vineyards in the Alps. With its lighter color and a more ethereal bouquet of huckleberries and cedar, it’s a wine to sip on a mild, rainy June day or slightly chilled on a warm July day before the evening zephyr gathers.

The next wine we’d like to share this summer is our 2019 Madeleine Angevine. We planted this grape on two separate places on our vineyard. It’s surprising how much the differences in those two sites affected the wines. One was steely and reserved and the other almost came on too strong. Together I feel they strike just the right tone and create a refreshing, dry white with surprising substance. 

The final estate release this year will be our 2019 Siegerrebe. It’s probably our favorite grape to grow, and certainly the tastiest to eat straight off the vine. This year’s wine is more subtle on the nose than last year’s, but it dances across your palate like a ballerina. 


You can read more about our vineyard in our Visit Us section. Sign up for our newsletter below to learn more about our wines, events, sustainable practices, and more. For all questions and inquiries, please email contact@porttownsendvineyards.com 

Time Posted: Jun 5, 2020 at 1:50 PM Permalink to Terroir and ocean breezes: The story of our Estate Wines Permalink

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