If you are looking to impress with a special bottle for the wine enthusiast on your holiday list, look no further than Stoller Family Estate.
Wines to Impress for Holiday Wine Gift Ideas
When I gift a wine to someone special — whether a loved one, a client, a teammate, a boss, whomever — I give a wine that has significance to me. Whether it was from a region I had the pleasure of visiting in person, a favorite winemaker, or rare wine, it has to be something with a good story behind it. I never recommend a wine just because it has achieved some kind of cult status, high score, or is the “hot” thing at the moment (I’m talking to you orange wine!). If the wine has significance to me, it has more meaning as a gift.
I’ve grown to know Stoller Family Estate, first as a writer, second as a club member and fan. I’ve always respected and enjoyed the wines of Stoller, ever since I started writing and teaching about wine. Heck, in one of the first classes I taught on wine, I recommended the Stoller JV Estate Pinot Noir as a great Thanksgiving wine. Throughout the years I’ve developed deeper appreciation for their wines, story, and stunning tasting room and property. And as a result I joined their wine club to express my further support for what they are doing there.
About Stoller Family Estate
Native Oregonian Bill Stoller purchased his family’s former turkey farm in 1993 and has worked hard over the last 20 years to build the 373-acre property into the largest contiguous vineyard in the Dundee Hills. Thanks in part to a dedicated team — including Winemaker Melissa Burr and Vineyard Manager Robert Schultz — they have built a solid reputation of quality, innovation, and sustainability.
(Winemaker Melissa Burr. Photo Credit: Andrea Johnson. Used with permission)
Winemaker Melissa Burr is in one word, a badass. Also a native Oregonian, Melissa first got into the wine industry by working as an intern at Cooper Mountain Vineyard while taking wine classes on the side to learn the trade. But just before the 2001 harvest the winemaker quit and Melissa was put in charge of producing their 16,000 cases of wine. That’s quite the crash course for a newbie, but she took on the challenge with stride and succeeded.
Just a couple of years later she was approached by Bill Stoller to help grow the wine program there. She accepted, but also finished up her work at Cooper Mountain, essentially working two harvests at the same time. Like I said, a badass. Since 2003 she has been in charge of Stoller’s winemaking, helping it grow from 500 cases to more than 20,000 where it is today. She doesn’t just hide in the cellar like some winemakers; she is visible at most Stoller events I’ve been to, either pouring wine, or talking to guests. If that wasn’t enough, she’s also a mother of two young boys. Basically, she’s my shero.
About The Wines
The Legacy, their highest end tier represents small barrel selections from the vineyards oldest plantings. All three wines in the Legacy tier are named after important women in Bill Stoller’s life — his late wife (Cathy), his aunt (Helen), and his sister (Nancy). These wines are all very limited production and thus won’t be found outside their tasting rooms. They are elegant, powerful, complex, rare, and unique wines that represent the best of Stoller’s vineyards. They are stunning! If you’re looking for a high end Oregon Pinot Noir this year, something that will impress even the most knowledgeable wine enthusiast on your list, this is the way to go.
Reserve tier wines represent their flagship wines, and are blended from different barrel selections. Their Reserve Pinot Noir ($45) and Reserve Chardonnay ($35) are fantastic representations of the region. I could drink that Reserve Chardonnay everyday. Seriously.
They also offer their Dundee Hills line, designed to be approachable and affordable, ranging from $20-$25. Among that lineup was one of my favorite rosés of this past summer. These are wines you are more likely to find at your favorite wine shop if you live outside of Oregon.
Depending on your budget, any of these wines would be my choice to gift to someone special this year. If that wasn’t enough convincing, the regional publication, Wine Press Northwest, honored Stoller Family Estate as 2014 Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year. They’re on a roll!
Wine Holiday Gift Ideas
Stoller Family Estate “Helen’s” Pinot Noir (Dundee Hills, Oregon)
85 cases produced ~ $75
Stoller Family Estate “Ruth’s” Pinot Noir 2011 (Dundee Hills, Oregon)
73 cases produced ~ $100
Stoller Family Estate Reserve Pinot Noir 2011 (Dundee Hills, Oregon)
1300 cases produced ~ $50
The Stoller Family Estate Tasting Room
(View from the Stoller Family Estate Tasting Room. Photo Credit: Mike Haverkate, used with permission)
If you have a chance to visit Stoller Family Estate, it’s worth the visit! It’s one of my favorite tasting rooms in the Willamette Valley, and it’s not hard to figure out why. The tasting room offers a 180-degree view that includes Mount Hood and the Willamette Valley to the west, but the focus is on the vineyards.
(The view from the tasting room in the wintertime. That would be the hubs and my two boys braving the chilly weather and fog to go check out the tire swing.)
No matter the time of year, the views are stunning and the ambiance is peaceful.
For more information, or to purchase online, you can visit their website.
The Legacy tier Pinot Noir of Stoller Family Estate represent special wines worthy of an equally special occasion. Both are sure to impress your loved ones this year.