April 19, 2022 by Arden Montgomery
Meet the Maker: Grant Coulter of Flâneur Wines
“Every barrel in the cellar is like a spool of thread and at the end of the day you have to weave a beautiful rug out of it. Now, if they are all the same color that may be bland but they will see the craftsmanship of how beautiful you wove it. But if you could also create a myriad of different colors within your cellar and then move that in through your beautiful rug, then you have color and craftsmanship. And then comes the artistry.”
The Willamette Valley is a vast wine region blanketed in gorgeous rolling green hills. Oregon has a variable climate; some years can be wet and cold, others can be dry and warm. Flâneur wants their grapes to speak for themselves and reflect Oregon’s extraordinary terroir. Flâneur practices organic and sustainable farming to grow delicious grapes that celebrate the environment. Their vineyards are dry-farmed, meaning no irrigation, so the grapes have to work extra hard “building character and strength” in the vines for a more intense flavor and aroma profile.
Their vineyard management team, led by Jaime Cantu, spends the extra hours every day out on the grounds to ensure proper tending to each vine. For harvest, they pick each grape cluster by hand and ensure each grape bunch is carefully assessed during the sorting and fermentation process. The final product, for any Flâneur wine type, is a collection of vintages that will tell a story and give consumers a unique experience with sip.
Winemaker, Grant Coulter, was previously with Beaux Frères winery for 8 years, collecting many achievements under his belt. He fell in love with Flâneur as he saw an opportunity to express his artistic vision and take risks with wine without the utilization of chemicals or manipulation.
“I want to make wine that transcends generations. Wines that I want to drink and that come from my own mind and heart.”
- The term flâneur originated in Paris in the 19th century and is defined as a wanderer, world explorer, and connoisseur of life. A flâneur reflects the idea that the mind functions best at a slow pace, yet continuously moving forward, and that much like a good wine, life should be enjoyed. The team at Flâneur Wines considers themselves to be flâneurs at their core and “passionate artisans joined together by the desire to slow down, observe the world, and create delicious wine.” – Flâneur Wines.
- Organic farming – “Farming organically is what makes me feel right about what I’m doing.”
- Marty’s wife is a cartoonist in DC, and draws all the Flâneur wine labels
- Grant is a master of wine analogies (see quote above)!
- What is your greatest extravagance? Wine.
- What is the quality you like most in a partner? Honesty.
- What word or phrase do you overuse? Transcendent.
- When and where are you happiest? Home with my family.
- If you could have one superpower, what would it be? The ability to move things with my mind.
- What life achievement are you the most proud of? Not fucking my children up too bad. They are good humans.
- What winemakers do you most admire? Sean Thackrey and Josh Bergström.
- Which historical figure would you want to share a bottle with? Carl Sagan.
- What motto do you live by? Trying to be your best self and constantly trying to improve who you are.
- Best wine you’ve ever tasted? 1989 Chateau Rayas.
- What is your spirit animal? Octopus.
- How do you relax/decompress? Building things; cooking over fire.
- What do you drink when you’re not drinking wine? Whiskey—Scotch, I like Islay Island Whiskey.
- Soundtrack to your life: Summertime by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince.
- Favorite wine you shop for on Argaux: I love the PYCM wines Argaux carries!
An overview of the Flâneur lineup Argaux represents…
“The best things in life aren’t created in an instant—they take time. That’s how we built our winery, and how we make our wines.”
- Flâneur Willamette Valley Chardonnay: This wine opens up with beautiful aromas of peach, apple and white florals. It is medium-bodied and displays rich flavors of lemon, honey, marcona almond and baking spice. It has a wonderful depth of texture, balanced acidity and a lingering finish.
- Flâneur Willamette Valley Pinot Noir: Light, fresh, and boasting a balance of tart red fruit and earthy characteristics, this Pinot Noir is an ideal match for many meals…or simply enjoyable on its own. Earthy red in color, with cranberry, cherry, and ripe red apple aromas. On the palate you get a touch of vanilla, baking spice, and moist earthy soil. This Pinot has a clean, long and dry finish.
- Flâneur La Belle Promenade Pinot Meunier: This light-bodied wine has a stunning nose characterized by warm baking spices (i.e. cinnamon and nutmeg), crushed raspberry, blueberry and lavender. The palate is just as delicious as it sounds with bright, fresh and perfumed fruit and fine, delicate tannins.
- Flâneur Cuvee Constantin Pinot Noir: Both fruit forward and savory, this concentrated wine has elegant tannins, firm acidity, and a supple texture that frames the dark berry, plum, earth, and spice character. Pair with Balsamic Reduction Brussel Sprouts, Salmon with Pickled Ginger, Blackberry Galette.
If you like the Flâneur wines, you should also try red burgundy. Domaine Rougeot Les Vaux is a great entry level yet serious red burgundy wine that is very similar in style to Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley. My favorite time of year to drink these wines is around Thanksgiving. They compliment fall fare foods so nicely, and especially that butterball.
Flâneur is really making waves in the Carlton area in Oregon. Winery owner, Marty Doersclag, took apart a deserted old grain elevator and rebuilt it including many original parts and made it into a tasting room.
“The grain elevator has been an integral part of the Carlton and Willamette Valley community for more than 80-125 years. For a decade, the space sat unused in the center of town. Recognizing its potential Flâneur Wines purchased the building in 2013 to be a new wine-centric hospitality center that retains the beauty of the past. The project, done by hand, represents all that Flâneur Wines tries to create: an unforgettable experience that slowly unfolds like every great bottle of wine.”
The building itself is breathtaking, truly a piece of art and stands directly in the center of town. They have started a supper club, and also offer food pairings at the Grain Elevator further enhancing the guest’s tasting experience. Want to learn more? See Flâneur’s Site to find out more about their local projects and what events they have coming up.