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Sharing the passion and the journey of creating world-class Pinot Noir.

Alexis Truitt
 
April 28, 2016 | Alexis Truitt

Mother's Day Gift Guide

Mother's Day is just a few weeks away! We've rounded up some fun wine-inspired gifts for the special women in your life: your mom, your wife, your grandmother, your favorite aunts, your sisters, or your friends. Treat them a Pinot Noir scented soap made of specialty oils, wine infused coffee or jelly, or the perfect nail polish color to wear while they sip their favorite Rosé...Torii Mor's perhaps? 

1. Drinking Wine and Feline Fine Tank - $19.99

2. Grape Mother's Day Card - $4.50

3. Rosé Vibes Nail Polish - $18.00

4. Wine Wipes - $8.75

5. Merlot Infused Coffee - $19.95

6. Wine Jelly - $14.00

7. Pinot Noir Bar Soap - $9.00

Cheers!

Alexis Truitt

Social Media and Marketing Assistant

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Time Posted: Apr 28, 2016 at 6:19 AM Permalink to Mother's Day Gift Guide Permalink
Alexis Truitt
 
April 21, 2016 | Alexis Truitt

Spring in the Vineyard

Springtime brings the beginnings of the hustle and bustle of the year here at the winery and vineyard. Jacques's once again writes us a letter about the happenings here this spring. These letters are always a special read and we include them (along with lots of other goodies!) in our quarterly newsletters. If you're not signed up for our mailing list, do so now to get the first look at all the action. Click here and then scroll down to the bottom of the page to sign up! 

Yes, it is still raining. Spring arrived a couple days ago without fanfare, and it still looks and feels like it did a couple days ago, but the plants are noticing; the daffodils are finishing their hoorays while the Tulips are beginning theirs and every day more trees are also getting their flowery spring dresses on.

The vineyards are also coming out of dormancy. Our vineyard workers have been busy trimming the vines down to two canes that are now laying down on the fruiting wire from where the new shoots will sprout upward toward the sun. As of now the bud scales are just opening and the wool protecting the new shoots are starting to show, meaning we are going to start our spray season to protect this new crop still hidden from us.

In the winery, we have been busy finishing the new 2015 white wines, bottling the new Pinot Gris and Rosé, and also the 2014 Chardonnay and 2014 Olson Pinot Gris. The new Pinot Blanc, Riesling and Viognier will be next. The 2015 Pinot Noirs are a lot like 2014's: rich, sweet, soft tannins and very fruit forward.

We are starting to plan for the 2016 grape harvest barrel deliveries. The cooperages are now busy in France making those barrels that will have to be shipped across the Pacific by mid-July to arrive early to mid-September (everybody is on vacation in August in France).

We know the rainy days are behind us, but it will be nice to see the blue sky…

Cheers,

Jacques Tardy

Winemaker

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Time Posted: Apr 21, 2016 at 6:24 AM Permalink to Spring in the Vineyard Permalink
Alexis Truitt
 
April 14, 2016 | Alexis Truitt

Earth Day All Year Round

Earth Day is next week! In honor of being kind to the planet, we wanted to share how we honor and respect the Earth every day and break down some of the different green certifications that wineries can obtain to help their facilities be kinder to the planet. 

We have a long-standing tradition of environmental sustainability here at Torii Mor. We're pretty proud of the innovations made in the state of Oregon in the past several years and we're equally proud of our own contributions. Since 2007 when we built our winery, we have aimed to keep our facilities as earth-friendly as we can. Our winery is a gravity flow building which enables us to use less electricity, and it's equipped with solar panels to allow us to generate some of our own power. 

Because of our efforts, we've been awarded two special achievements: LIVE Certification and LEED Gold Certification. Next time you visit our tasting room, be sure to take a peek at our two plaques for these special awards!

Here's what we do to stay Earth conscious and hold these prestigious awards. 

LIVE (Low Input Viticulture and Enology) Certification: We are one of 41 wineries that strive towards responsible wine production and vineyard cultivation. We limit water consumption and fuel usage during production and use only environmentally safe chemicals and fertilizers in the vineyard. As well we have our own aquifer on our property which allows us to better control our water usage. 

Torii Mor's water well

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification: We received our certification in March 2010 by meeting very specific guidelines. Our gravity flow winery helps us reduce our footprint in a variety of ways. From a roof with a low Solar Reflectance Index to our solar panels on the south side of our roof, to installing aerators and planting local plants to reduce overall water usage, and using recycled materials whenever possible, we have a building that is not only functional but kind to the environment. 

Torii Mor Winery with solar panels

How do you keep your businesses and homes earth-friendly? 

Cheers!

Alexis Truitt

Social Media and Marketing Assistant

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Time Posted: Apr 14, 2016 at 6:07 AM Permalink to Earth Day All Year Round Permalink
Alexis Truitt
 
April 7, 2016 | Alexis Truitt

Care and Keeping of Wildflowers

In our most recent club shipment we included a little surprise: a packet of wildflower seeds! This spring at Torii Mor we're celebrating Hanami, the Japanese celebration of blooming flowers. And what better way to celebrate than with brand new seeds to grow your own summer celebration? 

Wildflowers are one of the easiest plants to grow, but we thought we'd include some tips and trips here so your wildflowers last and last. 

American Meadows breaks down the process of planting and growing wildflowers into three steps: Plan, Plant, Grow.

As a general rule, you want to plant after the last frost, in spring, summer or fall. For wildflowers, you want to choose a spot that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight each day and is clear of other growths, like weeds and grass. Also be sure to plant your seeds the same day as you prepare the area where they'll be planted. Weeds are inevitable, so planting your seeds the same day as tilling the plot of land gives the wildflowers a better jump to grow.

Planting wildflowers couldn't be simpler: you simply scatter the seeds on the soil and walk over them to press them into the dirt. You can mix the seeds with light sand or vermiculite before you scatter them to better see where they fall. 

Then you can mostly leave them! Be sure to keep the soil moist until the plants are a few inches tall, but after that they can rely on normal rains. 

The mix we included in the cub shipment is a mix of perennial wildflowers which will continue to bloom year after year. We'd love to see your pictures! Use the hashtage #tmwildflowers to share them on social media. 

Want to join in the fun? We'd love to have you as a wine club member! Click on over here to see our club options and to sign up. 

Cheers!

Alexis Truitt

Social Media and Marketing Assistant

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Time Posted: Apr 7, 2016 at 6:10 AM Permalink to Care and Keeping of Wildflowers Permalink
Alexis Truitt
 
March 31, 2016 | Alexis Truitt

Wine Cartoons

Since tomorrow is April Fools, we thought we'd round up our favorite wine funnies to give you a laugh. 

Happy giggling!

Cheers!

Alexis Truitt

Social Media and Marketing Assistant

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Time Posted: Mar 31, 2016 at 6:15 AM Permalink to Wine Cartoons Permalink
Alexis Truitt
 
March 24, 2016 | Alexis Truitt

Easter Wine Pairings

Easter brings to mind images of bunny rabbits, brightly colored eggs, candy similar in scope to Halloween, and a dinner of dishes similar in scope to Thanksgiving. Roast lamb, ribs, ham, and plenty of sides, appetizers, and desserts, all ask for a delicious wine to pair with them. Here's our breakdown of wines for your quintessential Easter dishes. 

Cheers!

Alexis Truitt

Social Media and Marketing Assistant

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Time Posted: Mar 24, 2016 at 6:50 AM Permalink to Easter Wine Pairings Permalink
Alexis Truitt
 
March 17, 2016 | Alexis Truitt

Bottling and White Wine Releases 2016

If you follow us on Instagram then you saw our slew of videos and pictures from last week's bottling. We brought in a huge truck containing the bottling line. If you want more information on what happens to a bottle as it goes through the bottling line, check out this blog post or follow us on Instagram to see our videos and pictures from last week. 

Bottling always means one thing: new wines! Some of these wines won't be officially released for several weeks, but we love giving you sneak peeks of what wines you can expect to see. Last week we bottled the 2014 Chardonnay, the 2015 Pinot Gris, the 2015 Rose, and the 2015 Olson Estate Pinot Gris! Stay tuned as we release these delicious new gems! We'll post on social media and on the blog when they're released!

Here are a few photos from this round of bottling. 

Oh! And Happy St. Patrick's Day! 

Cheers!

Alexis Truitt

Social Media and Marketing Assistant

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Time Posted: Mar 17, 2016 at 6:01 AM Permalink to Bottling and White Wine Releases 2016 Permalink
Alexis Truitt
 
March 10, 2016 | Alexis Truitt

Hanami at Torii Mor


Spring is a special time of rebirth, renewal, and refreshment. You can see the bulbs just starting to bloom and the landscape covered in bright colors once again. Here at Torii Mor, we are connected to the earth in many ways, from the vines in the vineyard to our Japanese garden, to our commitment to sustainable agriculture. We wanted to do something special this year to celebrate spring, so we reached into our Japanese legacy to bring you the celebration of Hanami. 

What is Hanami? Literally translated hanami means "flower viewing". Each spring, from mid-March to early May, Hanami is celebrated in honor of the blooming cherry blossom trees. Since the trees only bloom for about two weeks, the weather bureau in Japan keeps a close eye on them to announce the start of Hanami and allow time to prepare for the festivities. Celebrations are generally an outdoor party with food, drink, and for evening parties, lanterns hung in the trees. 

Here at Torii Mor, we'll be celebrating Hanami as a spring celebration, checking in with our garden and our cherry blossom trees each week of spring and sharing pictures on our social media outlets. As well, visit our tasting room for a fun and festive surprise!

Follow along here on the blog, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Make sure you're following us to get updates!

Cheers!

Alexis Truitt

Social Media and Marketing Assistant

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Time Posted: Mar 10, 2016 at 6:03 AM Permalink to Hanami at Torii Mor Permalink
Alexis Truitt
 
March 3, 2016 | Alexis Truitt

Get Outside in the Willamette Valley

Spring is almost here and with it comes a flurry of activities in the Willamette Valley that invariably pull you outside. Tasting rooms buzz, the tulip festival colors the valley, and baby animals abound on the back country roads. Here's a roundup of our favorite out-of-doors things to do in the Willamette Valley springtime. 

Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival

If anything symbolizes spring in the valley, it's the tulip festival at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm in Woodburn, OR. Fields and fields of brightly colors tulips, with activities and fun for all ages. There's pick-your-own tulips, a gift store, train rides, wine tasting, live music, and special events all spring long. The Tulip Festival runs March 25-May 1, 2016. More information and tickets available for purchase on their website.

 

Heirloom Rose Garden

If you really enjoy flowers, add to your tulip excursion and check out the Heirloom Rose Garden in St. Paul. With a variety of rose gardens on seven acres, it's the perfect place to enjoy a brisk, sunny, spring day. Bring a book, a lunch, or a friend and enjoy the gardens year round, free to the public. Roses are in bloom starting in May. 

 

Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge

If you want to enjoy a bit more of a rugged wildlife, a trip to the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge is the perfect stop. Enjoy a walk through the basin and see a variety of plants and animals. A lovely spot for a calm spring morning walk, perhaps with a peak at the new baby animals of spring. 

 

Torii Mor Winery Japanese Garden

And last but not least, we have to mention ourselves, Torii Mor. We have our beautiful Japanese Garden on our property, just steps from our tasting room. It's a lovely location to enjoy a glass of wine, a simple lunch, or the company of friends, year round. 

What are your favorite things to do in the spring in the Willamette Valley, or elsewhere? 

Cheers!

Alexis Truitt

Social Media and Marketing Assistant

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Time Posted: Mar 3, 2016 at 6:09 AM Permalink to Get Outside in the Willamette Valley Permalink
Alexis Truitt
 
February 25, 2016 | Alexis Truitt

2013: The Vintage of Three Harvests

If you were in the Willamette Valley in September of 2013, your memories are probably marked by one thing: rain. Lots and lots of rain. At the time of year when it's normally beautifully sunny, dry, and temperate, the valley became a damp mess. There is a whole list of words winemakers and viticulturists would use to describe the 2013 vintage. Easy or straightforward would not be on that list. Challenging and problematic would be. 

2013 was the vintage of the three harvests: those who harvested grapes before the rains, those who harvested grapes during the rains, and those who harvested grapes after the rains. The summer of 2013 was a really lovely summer, warm and dry. Then the rains set in, with almost seven inches of rain at the end of September. Excessive rain impacts grapes in a few ways, but the one that caused the most problems was botrytis, or in the more common term: rot. Winemakers and viticulturists had to make hard decisions on what fruit to bring in when, and if they did wait, they had to vigorously sort the grapes as they went to the fermentors. 

What resulted was a vintage of wine that left people both excited and apprehensive. But they needn't have worried. For a vintage riddled with surprises and stress, the 2013 wines are gems. You wouldn't expect remarkable wines to come from a vintage notable for its unpredictability. But that's the beauty of Oregon: turning expectations on their heads to reveal the true pearls in this oyster that is the Willamette Valley. 

The vintage was set to produce ripe and lush wines but in the end, the 2013 Pinot noirs have turned out more elegant and restrained (right up Jacques's alley!), with a lower alcohol content. Warmer vintages can make fruit flavors highly pronounced in wines while colder vintages allow more acidity and herbal notes to shine through. The 2013 vintage bridges the gap and delivers wines that are elegant, refined, and incredibly food friendly. You can enjoy them now or let them age to really have a chance to shine. 

Have you gotten your hands on some 2013s? We still have a few in stock! Don't miss out on these beauties. Not only do they pair perfectly with any dish, but they'll make a nice addition to your cellar, and will reveal a bit of wonder when you pop them open years down the line. 

What have been your favorite 2013 Willamette Valley wines?

Cheers!

Alexis Truitt

Social Media and Marketing Assistant

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Time Posted: Feb 25, 2016 at 6:32 AM Permalink to 2013: The Vintage of Three Harvests Permalink