Every now and again you run across a winemaker or winery owner like Ryan Harms, founder of Union Wines and Underwood. But, not often enough!
Ryan is not an Oregon native. He arrived there in the mid-1990s, after a term at Binghamton University in upstate New York. He'd majored in organic chemistry. It was a good way for him to start, as chemistry is an integral part of making wine.
He married his childhood sweetheart, Tori, whose family introduced him to wine - and the rest, as they say, is history. He began studying wine and never stopped.
Oregon in the 1990s was a fascinating place because, as a wine region, it was relatively new, relatively obscure and also relatively Bohemian. New to the area, Ryan had the good fortune to be tutored by two of the best winemakers in the state: Lynn Penner-Ash at Rex Hill Vineyards and Myron Redford at Amity Vineyards.
When it came time to make his own wines, Ryan knew enough to hire a great winemaker, and he couldn't have chosen better. JP Caldcleugh's winemaking resume looked like a travel brochure. From California to Australia to New Zealand, JP had created astounding wines. He only needed to conquer Oregon.
And so he has. Our selection is an astounding blend of red grapes, headed by Pinot Noir. The blush color is attained by lowering the temperature of the grapes and allowing just a few hours of skin contact. The result is a lovely mix of peach nectar, strawberry and rose petals, with a finish that can't be matched.