Teutonic Wine company, Olga and Barnaby Tuttle will be hosting a three-course dinner served with pairings of their own making. We will also be featuring a few wines from German wine importer and expert Ewald Moseler.
Barnaby started his career in wine long ago at Papa Haydn. He started out as a young man washing dishes, then busing, then waiting tables, assistant managing, general managing, and finally buying wine. The day that Ewald brought him in a special collection of German wines was the day that Barnaby realized his future as a wine maker. He knew that he had a passion for German wines, and wanted to try making similar wines in Oregon.
He and Olga first planted 56 chardonnay plants in their back yard in order to experiment with grape growing. They made small amounts of "yard chard" while Barnaby studied up on wine making by reading books and taking classes. In 2005 Olga and Barnaby had the opportunity to plant a vineyard on their friends' land (an old garlic farm) in Alsea, Oregon. The site falls out of the Willamette Valley AVA and is very close to the coast- meaning they would have to work with cold, wet and difficult growing conditions. While some people might not like the sounds of that, these conditions sounded just right for the wines that they loved- lighter styled, mineral-driven wines. They planted 2 acres of Pinot Noir, Pinot Menuier, and Pinot Blanc. In 2008 they had their first commercial sale. Since then, Barnaby and Olga have run the whole show- from working the land and harvesting the grapes to bottling and selling the wines. They work long hours every week, but the wines are exactly as they want them to be.
I had the chance to taste their first vintage at a friends house last year. I had never tasted anything like their '08 Pinot Menuier, and still regret not buying a few bottles to hold on to when they were still available! But the name (and perfect label) stuck in my mind, and when I started buying wine for Park Kitchen in the spring of 2010, their Riesling was one of the first wines I selected. The Park Kitchen staff, as well as Chef Scott and his wife Mary, loved the wine so much that we were able to keep a steady order with Olga and Barnaby.
All of this adds up to one great story, and a story that we want to share with you in more detail at our dinner on the 28th. Come meet Olga, Barnaby and Ewald and try the wines that they, and we, love.