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New to Our Portfolio: Teutonic Wine Company

Great news from Brian Pilliod and Juerie Park, our Domestic Portfolio Managers: Teutonic Wine Company has joined our book!

What follows are a few words from Brian:

I met Barnaby and Olga when I was out in Oregon in December.  It’s really a great honor to introduce their wines to you and to begin our relationship with them.  

When we found out that the Tuttle’s had planted a vineyard 20 miles from the Pacific Ocean, which is the only coast range vineyard in Oregon, and that they naturally vinify their wines (anywhere from 9 – 12% alchl), we were hooked. When we tasted these wines, they made us question the potential and the limits of American Wines; immediately, we felt that this was an opportunity we should share.

Winemaker Barnaby Tuttle is a native Portlander, a rarity these days. He was just 12 years old when he began to wash dishes at Papa Haydn Restaurant in Southeast Portland. After years at this benchmark institution and a few other jobs, Barnaby returned in 2003 to work as general manager and wine steward. During his tenure there, he developed an insatiable passion for wine, and after meeting German wine importer Ewald Moseler, he became obsessed with esoteric cool-climate wines.

Drawing parallels to his native land, Barnaby and his wife Olga set out to produce lean/low alcohol wines that maintain their sense of place and varietal structure. The Tuttles found their hallowed ground in some of the most coveted vineyards in Oregon: including Medici, Maresh, David Hill, and John Albin’s Laurel Vineyard (with an elevation of 1200ft the highest vineyard site in the Willamette Valley). Their house style is represented by wines that are low in alcohol (typically 9% to 12% alcohol by volume), and high in acidity.

In early spring 2005, Barnaby and his wife, Olga, were presented with the opportunity to plant a small vineyard on a friend’s property in Alsea, Oregon. Alsea is west of Oregon’s coast range and only 22 miles from the Pacific Ocean. They took a gamble, planting Oregon’s first coastal vineyard. The first years were quite challenging, as they learned some valuable lessons, but they remained true to their goal—to grow fruit in a cool climate. Their first crop in 2008 produced two barrels of Pinot Noir which became available in Oregon in November 2009.

Barnaby worked as the assistant winemaker at Laurel Ridge Winery in Carlton, Oregon for two years before moving off on his own to form Teutonic Wine Company with Olga [where he designs these stunningly gorgeous labels for their wines].

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