Namaste means "the spirit in me honors the spirit in you" according to David Masciorini, owner of Namaste Vineyards of Dallas, Oregon. From its origins in the Indian subcontinent, this salutation and valediction has been popularized through cultural contributions like yoga and other quasi-religious associations. For Mr. Masciorini, whom I spoke with for this blog article, the meaning for his purposes would be "the spirit of the wine honors the spirit of the vine". Mr. Masciorini intimated to me that Namaste may not have been an intentionally meaningful selection of a name for his vineyard and winery but to my understanding, I'm not sure just how much more meaningful he could have gotten.
Namaste Vineyards is located just about in the middle of the Willamette Valley, the finest wine region of Oregon. Dallas is fifteen miles west of Salem, the state capitol, in Polk County which is home to a veritable who's who of great Oregon Wineries including Eyrie Vineyards whose founder, David Lett, first planted Pinot Noir in the state in 1966. Today the Oregon wine industry contributes $800 million to the state directly through wine sales and $1.4 billion is believed to be indirectly contributed to the Oregon economy through ancillary trade and...40% of Oregon's wineries are ecologically sustainable!
Namaste Vineyards consists of thirty-three estate acres with eight of those acres planted between Pinot Noir Dijon 115 (Abundance Vineyard) and Pinot Noir Pommard Clone (Prosperity Vineyard). Each of those vineyard Pinot Noirs is now in the store at special pricing while the Reserve Cuvee Pinot Noir, made from a 50-50 blending of select vines from each vineyard, has yet to appear in the Atlanta market. Namaste also markets white wines made from Chardonnay, Riesling, and Gewurztraminer including the proprietary white blend, "Peace", which has been a very popular item here in the past.
Namaste Vineyards was planted in the years from 1980 to '83 so all of their estate production is now sourced minimally from thirty year old vines. They produce 2000 cases annually with 200 cases each of the two estate Pinot Noirs. Some additional fruit is sourced locally to supplement the Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, and Riesling grown on the property. The topography of the vineyard is rolling hills and the climate features ideally mild temperatures for Pinot Noir with little rainfall during the growing season but plenty in the off-season.
This Friday, September 13th from 5 to 7pm, Henry Leung of Hemispheres Global Wines joins us for a tasting of two French whites (Gascogne & Rhone), Osso Anna Napa Chardonny, an Italian Primitivo (Zinfandel), a French Red Rhone, and Bridesmaid Napa Red Blend. Henry has been written up in several food and wine magazines for his ability to pair wines with foods and according to the Wine Spectator, Henry is "the man who solved the Chinese puzzle". You can ask him about that one Friday evening. Please join us for the tasting and please become a "follower" of this blog.