2020 Norris Ribbon Ridge Dry Riesling
“This 2020 Dry Riesling from Norris Vineyards is something I am truly excited to share with you. I met the Mckinley family about two years ago now, and have been looking forward to the release of this wine ever since. This wine has everything I am looking for; namely that green apple crunch that I typically can’t find in domestic versions of this grape. The care and precision that went into this wine is unparalleled.” – Lexi Jones, Director of Imports
Organic farming practices and only 213 cases produced.
A Southern California native, Robert Mckinley fell in love with wine while traveling in Europe at a young age. His family purchased property on Ribbon Ridge almost 20 years ago, though he never imagined he’d be farming vines and making wine there one day. Robert graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in wine and viticulture, then worked in vineyards, cellars, and tasting rooms at Williams Selyem, Jonata/The Hilt, Trisaetum, Craggy Range (Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand), and Torbreck (Barossa Valley, Australia).
Although Robert has worked on his family’s property for over 15 years, 2020 marked the inaugural vintage of Norris, which featured 213 cases of Riesling and 650 cases of Pinot Noir. All vineyards are farmed using organic practices and a meticulous attention to detail is used in the cellar. The resulting bottles are bright, sophisticated, and truly embody what it means to make artisanal wine.
Being in the heart of Ribbon Ridge AVA is a special thing. This is some of the most sought-after land in Oregon. The island-like land mass creates shelter by the Chehalem Mountains. Warm days and coastal winds that cool down the nights. These cool nights lead to extended hang time on well-drained ancient marine sedimentary soils. “This seems to be key in our production and makes our wines special.” – Robert, winemaker
Riesling was one of the fruit grapes planted in the state of Oregon in the 1960’s. With the boom of Pinot Noir and now Chardonnay, Riesling is only made by a handful of people in the valley. These few producers tend to make fantastic wines and have become something wine nerds seek out.
Today, old vine Riesling is not something you really find in the valley anymore. I like to say we are falling into the old vine category as we approach the 15th leaf. Only a handful of vineyards come to mind. In this small Riesling producing club, Ribbon Ridge is in an even smaller group.
The 2020 vintage brought us uncommon heavy rains during bloom. The vintage dictated your crop for the year with lower yields. All the 2020 wines show great concentration and flavor. Nature gave us what we would be working with and I am happy with the results.