Illahe Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley

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Pinot Noir

Willamette Valley, Oregon

At Illahe, the goal is to make wine as naturally as possible from soil to bottle. They work by hand on small lots with age-old techniques and materials. Our focus is to grow and make quality Pinot Noir and white wines that express the vintage and their varietal characteristics. We don't use enzymes or additives. Some of our wines are made entirely by hand, with no electricity or modern mechanization. We use a gentle wooden basket press and age our Pinot Noir in French and Oregon oak.

Brad's job at Illahe is to make delicious wines that have a unique character. He hopes that by working with his grapes year after year, he will discover the little things that ensure each one is a special, hand-crafted product. He reaches back into the history of wine for hints and ideas on how to improve. So far, this has included working with horses, trying ferments in oak, acacia, and clay, and spending hours on the pedal-powered pump moving the 1899 wine from the fermenter to barrels. Recently he built a kiln so he can make his own amphorae, earthenware pots used for fermenting and aging.
After receiving a degree in classics, Brad was a carpenter, grant writer and English instructor. In 2004, he followed his dad into the vineyard and worked his first harvest. He went on to work with Russ Raney (Evesham Wood), Michael Lundeen (Lundeen Wines) and Gabriel Jagle (Scenic Valley Farms).

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