Tuesday, March 30, 2010

On the road with Rock Point

Thought I'd give you a bit of historical perspective on our namesake bridge. The Rock Point Bridge, crossing the mighty Rogue River, and the gateway to Rock Point Wines, was completed in 1919, and spans 112.9 feet. The total length is 504 feet, with a width of 19 feet. As you can tell by the pictures, a lot of water under the bridge since 1919, and it much needed a facelift. The Oregon DOT began work in September of 09, with a now pushed back completion date of Summer, 2010.

Anyone who has driven across the beautiful, yet dilapidated Art Deco "Major Arch Bridge" can attest to how narrow 19 feet can be. So, during the rehabilitation, ODOT is widening the bridge by 6 inches. Everyone knows how important 6 inches can be. The original glory will be restored, with special attention paid to the classic urn shaped balustrade.

When originally designed, there were some distinct challenges. Due to the great depth of the Rogue (80 feet), a standard falsework structure could not be built to support the structure, so the contractors built a wooden truss to support the build. Just think how many happy river rafters have floated under the span and admired it's beauty or was saddened by its disrepair. We look forward to the reopening this summer, and if you are in one of those rafts, make sure to have an ample supply of Rock Point Wines reserved for dinner.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

On Point with Rock Point

Imagine my delight and surprise, when sitting at the bar awaiting the chance to talk wine with the Mesa Grill team, and in walks Bill Powers, Wine Director and Manager of Mesa Grill, Bobby Flay’s flagship restaurant on Fifth Avenue in NYC. The first words out of his mouth were “Terry, did you read the NY Times today?” As it turns out, The Times did an in depth tasting of Oregon Pinot Gris/Grigio, and included our Rock Point Pinot Grigio. Not only was it the only Pinot Grigio in the tasting, but the least expensive and rated 7 out of twenty. Look it up. Not bad for a brand new wine, eh? http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/03/dining/reviews/03wlis.html

As you probably know, the grape used as Pinot Gris is exactly the same as Pinot Grigio. Think of Syrah and Shiraz, and you will start to get it. The true difference comes from the vinification, terroir, and traditional style of each.

Pinot Grigio claims its roots from the Alto Adige region of Northern Italy. The wine is characterized by a light, green apple acidity that is refreshing and clean. Pinot Grigio rarely sees any wood, as the grape itself is quite delicate.

Pinot Gris hails from the Alsace region of France, and is the definitive white grape from Oregon. Filled with complexity and nuance, Pinot Gris was and is a loyal companion to the red grape that put Oregon on the wine map, Pinot Noir.

At Rock Point, we pick our Grigio early, maintaining all that lovely crisp acidity, and ferment in all stainless steel. We want all the freshness the grape can give, and treat it carefully to maintain that freshness. The taste is as crisp as a ski ride down the Tyrols.