Pinot Noir
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Anyone who is slightly obsessive about Pinot Noir, be it from Burgundy, Russian River, Sta. Rita Hills, New Zealand, wherever, knows that Oregon, specifically the Willamette, it's WIL-LAM-ETTE dammit, Valley, is a magical, earthy land where this diva of grapes thrives. Light, silky with notes of complexity and definitely forest floor, the way Pinots develop in Willamette are just astounding. It's no wonder they get lots of love with the critics and Pinotfiles alike. 

Grochau Cellars has such a cool backstory – founder John Grochau caught the wine bug in his early 20s while racing bicycles for a French team in the Loire, Champagne and Burgundy (what a terrible way to spend your early 20s...). He came back to his home of Portland, slung wine in restaurants and eventually pivoted to winemaking, introducing his first GC vintage in 2002. As someone who knows the beautiful relationship between wine and food, Grochau strives to craft wines with balance, texture and a true expression of place while being keenly apt to enhancing a meal.

This happy 'lil Eola-Amity Pinot is a testament to that method: precise flavors and aromas, lots of complexity with ripe cherries, black currants, weird notes of root beer and orange pekoe tea (hey it's Oregon, there have to be some hipster tasting notes), with a lovely silky texture. It's just plain Pinot-tastic. And $15? You'd be crazy not to snag some.


Complex with ripe cherries, black currants, notes of root beer and orange pekoe tea, with a lovely silky texture


John Grochau was first introduced to wine and the winemaking landscape in his early 20’s, while racing bicycles for a French team in the Loire Valley. For several years, he raced through some of France’s most revered winemaking regions including Champagne, Burgundy and the across the Loire Valley. When he returned to his hometown of Portland, Oregon, he went to work in the restaurant business and quickly discovered an even greater appreciation for wine.

After more than decade selling wine in some of Portland’s finest restaurants, including a 14-year stint at Higgins, Grochau plunged into winemaking. He spent a year in Sonoma before returning to Oregon to work at Erath Winery, and then worked alongside winemaker Doug Tunnel at Brick House Vineyards for four years. His first vintage as owner and winemaker at Grochau Cellars was 2002.

With Grochau’s restaurant experience, there was a natural progression as a winemaker to craft food-friendly wines that enhance a meal. Grochau strives to make wines that are balanced, textured and expressive of place. Inspired by the diversity of the Willamette Valley’s soils and microclimates, Grochau sources fruit from organic and sustainably-farmed vineyards.

Grapes are hand-harvested and wines undergo a slow, natural fermentation. Working with grape varieties with a legacy in the Willamette Valley – namely Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc – Grochau also seeks to showcase the potential of emerging varieties like Melon de Bourgogne and Gamay.