Originally planted more than 40 years ago, Oregon’s 100-acre Temperance Hill Vineyard is one of the most esteemed grape-growing sites in the U.S. Located in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA in the northern Willamette Valley, Temperance Hill is a cool-climate, high-elevation, late-ripening vineyard planted atop the remains of an ancient volcano, making it a perfect home for pinot noir.

The renowned Dai Crisp has been managing Temperance Hill since 1999; he immediately began farming organically, and the vineyard was eventually certified organic in 2012. With vines that are between 660 and 860 feet in altitude and the pronounced influence of the chilly Van Duzer winds, Temperance Hill produces pinot noir that is noted for its elegance, finesse, and energetic sparkle.

Vineyard honcho Dai Crisp

More than two dozen producers make wines from Temperance Hill fruit, and at Paul Marcus Wines, we are currently featuring a pair of single-vineyard expressions from this magical plot.

2021 Walter Scott Pinot Noir Temperance Hill

Walter Scott’s rendition of Temperance Hill pinot comes from a single block on the vineyard’s north side, with an elevation of 750 feet and a location directly in the teeth of the Van Duzer winds. Despite the cooler growing conditions, the Walter Scott delivers a deep core of mouth-coating blue and purple fruit–not aggressive or intense, but not particularly shy either. This explosion of fruit is gently supported by savory, herbal accents that help complete the picture. There’s real vigor and vibrancy to this bottle, and it fans out across the palate with purpose, leading to a delightfully persistent finish.

2021 Goodfellow Pinot Noir Temperance Hill

The Goodfellow Temperance Hill emphasizes and embraces the earthy spice, woody tobacco aromas, and citrusy zip that help distinguish this vineyard. Made with 100 percent whole clusters, this is a crisper, subtler take on Temperance Hill fruit that truly allows the mineral edge to shine through. Perhaps not as viscerally alluring as the Walter Scott, the Goodfellow is a graceful, charming, and wholly appealing take nonetheless.

To learn more about these exquisite offerings, stop by the shop and say hello.

Treixadura is not one of those grapes that most wine drinkers seek out. Yet, when you do have one, you’re more often than not pleasantly surprised. For me, it’s a little like Cesanese from Italy–you don’t have to think too hard when reaching for it. It’s a versatile table wine of sorts, one that easily pairs with most anything or nothing at all.

The venerable Luis Anxo Rodríguez Vázquez

The treixadura grape, found most commonly in the Ribeiro DO of Galicia, Spain, has a subtle richness that is buoyed by its rustic character. It’s happy alongside most seafood, especially sauced fish with plenty of herbs, but also plays well with roasted pork or something earthy like sunchokes, celery root, or sweet potatoes.

The Ribeiro DO is a small, concentrated area known for its decomposed granite and sandy soils. Ribeiro was once a thriving grape-growing region with plenty of its wines being shipped to England for consumption during the 16th and 17th centuries. Things changed after phylloxera (insect pest) hit, and many people were forced to rip out their vines and consider other means to an end. Recently though, the tide seems to be swinging in favor of bringing back the quality production of treixadura and other varieties that are at home in this verdant landscape.

I was first exposed to treixadura by Luis Rodriguez’s Viña de Martin Os Pasas Blanco. It is composed of mostly treixadura, with lado, albariño, and torrontes rounding out the blend. The beauty of this wine lies in its lemon-lime-hued complexities dancing on a spine of granite-derived minerality. I have had this bottling many times over the years, and it always makes me smile–not only for its balance of flavors but also because of its place of origin. This wine comes from Luis’s hometown of Arnoia, home to some of Ribeiro’s steepest south-facing slopes.

The 2022 Gomariz Ribeiro Treixadura ‘La Flor y La Abeja’ is 100 percent treixadura, and it really shows the grape’s quince-like qualities that keep you coming back for sip after sip. This wine shines for its overall quality-to-price ratio, and I find myself turning to this bottle often.

Also of note is the 2022 Formigo Ribeiro Blanco ‘Finca Teira’–65 percent treixadura, 20 percent godello, and 15 percent torrontes, fermented and raised entirely in stainless steel. This shows a supple, yet chiseled wine highlighting the yellow- and green-tinged fruits of this appealing grape.

When I think of Ribeiro, I think bucolic, wooded hillsides with wisps of wood smoke rising above lush, green river valleys. It’s exactly the kind of place I would love to visit and explore a bit more.