“A polished and perfumed single-vineyard pinot noir crafted from biodynamically farmed old vines, Paetra’s Bednarik Vineyard Pinot Noir delivers the best of both new and old-world pinot alike.”
It’s common to hear winemakers talk of their passion for wine and winemaking. For Paetra’s winemaker Bill Hooper, a better descriptor might be unwavering obsession. After trying a bottle of one of JJ Prum’s top Mosel wines, the Riesling bug bit him so hard that he eventually moved to Germany, learned German, and enrolled in Wine and Agriculture school in the Pfalz winegrowing region. As part of this wine school, Bill went through the German apprenticeship program, working at top wineries in different regions in Germany. And it was in these wineries that Bill learned the traditional winemaking techniques and philosophies he now keeps alive at Paetra. When he graduated from the wine program, he became only the second American in 115 years to do so!
Upon his return to the United States, Bill launched an extensive search for a suitable climate to grow the same grapes he had worked with in the Pfalz, primarily Riesling and Pinot Noir. He was looking for a place he could grow high-quality fruit organically, without irrigation, and with a growing season long enough fully ripen Riesling and Pinot Noir but cool enough to ripen them slowly, allowing complex flavors to develop. He found this perfect place in Oregon’s Willamette Valley and since 2014 he has been producing some truly special wines using traditional European techniques, some of which are almost unheard of in North America.
Bill spends 90% of his time out in the vineyards, farming them by hand, and the Bednarik Vineyard, the source of this Pinot Noir, lies in the far north of the Willamette Valley. The vineyard is certified Biodynamic and comprised of old vine, own rooted Wädenswil clones, a clone noted for its great complexity. The soil is volcanic, made up of decomposed basalt providing a great mineral backbone to the wine. In the cellar, the wine is fermented in open top fermenters with 25% whole clusters and is then aged in 100% neutral French oak.
In the glass, Paetra's Bednarik Pinot Noir is brooding and pure. The nose is a complex mix of just-ripe blackberry, blueberry and cherry complimented by hints herbs and spices including lavender and thyme and oregano. It's got great structure and tannis with a lingering finish.
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