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

Alexis Truitt
December 3, 2015 | Alexis Truitt

November Events Recap

It's been a busy month here at Torii Mor! With wine club pick up parties and Thanksgiving weekend, we've had a cheerful and busy month. For those of you who couldn't make it to the event, here's a recap of the events. 

Woodinville Wine Club Pick Up Party

We started the club pick up party fun at our Tasting Room in Woodinville, WA. Our Seattle fans are so good to us and we had a fun day of tasting some library wines, and our new limited release Syrah. Our assistant winemaker Jon and our wine club manager Monique made the drive up the spend the day with our club members and walk everyone through the wines. 

Dundee Wine Club Pick Up Party

We had our second wine club pick up party at the winery in Dundee, OR the following weekend. The winery was decorated with twinkle lights and Christmas cheer, and guests tasted through library wines and our Syrah while Jon and Jacques Tardy, our Director of Winemaking, walked each guest through the line-up. And as with every November here in the winery, we served a variety of soups to warm us up on that cold November day. The Hungarian Mushroom was a big hit! 

Thanksgiving Weekend Seated Tastings

And of course, November means Thanksgiving for those of us in the USA, so we celebrated Thanksgiving weekend with a special change this year. Instead of doing normal tastings, we closed the tasting room and hosted a more intimate experience of seated tastings. With a line-up of seven different wines, a cozy atmosphere amongst lit barrels, and individual charcuterie plates of local bites, it truly was a weekend to remember. We can't wait to host them again next year!

Don't want to miss out on our future events? Want to know what our wine club is all about? Click here to see more about our wine club and sign up for the club that fits your needs and desires. All our events are discounted or free for our club members! If you just want to stay abreast with our events and promotions, sign up for our email list here, and scroll down to the bottom of the page. 


Alexis Truitt

Social Media and Marketing Assistant

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Time Posted: Dec 3, 2015 at 1:09 AM Permalink to November Events Recap Permalink
Alexis Truitt
November 19, 2015 | Alexis Truitt

Pinot Noir Cranberry Sauce

Thanksgiving is a week away and as you're preparing your dinner table, you might be wanting something a little different this year. While many people are hard pressed to change their Thanksgiving menu (who doesn't want the quintessential mashed potatoes?), sometimes a change can be good. We've got a recipe for you to mix up your Thanksgiving sides. 

When people talk about cranberry sauce, lots of people automatically think of the stuff from the can. But here's a recipe that just as easy and absolutely delicious, from The Daily Meal. With a touch of spice and hints of your favorite Pinot Noir, this is a cranberry sauce that will send your guests home raving and will become a staple at every Thanksgiving. 

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
2 Cups cranberries
1 Tablespoon minced ginger
2 Cups Pinot noir
1 1/2 Cup sugar
3 Tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
1 Teaspoon curry powder
Large pinch of Chinese five-spice powder
Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the cranberries and fresh ginger. Stir until the cranberries begin to burst, about three minutes. Add Pinot noir and sugar. Boil until the mixture is reduced to 2 ½ cups, about 15 minutes. Add the crystallized ginger, curry powder, and five-spice powder. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Recipe Courtesy of the Daily Meal

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Time Posted: Nov 19, 2015 at 6:01 AM Permalink to Pinot Noir Cranberry Sauce Permalink
Alexis Truitt
November 12, 2015 | Alexis Truitt

The Best Wines for Your Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the one time of year where we intentionally stop and take a moment to give thanks for all we have. And sometimes that can get lost in the bustle of preparing a turkey and gravy and picking wine and worrying about what to do about your great-aunt Judy's not so positive thoughts on your mother and how to keep your kids from getting into a sweet-potato fight. And while we can't guarantee we'll help keep your kids positively occupied, we can at least help you compile the perfect wine list. 

Thanksgiving is a big meal, with big flavors. There are a few classics that pair well with dinner that never die: Rosé and Pinot Noir. No two wines pair so well with so many of the dishes at Thanksgiving dinner: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, and even pumpkin pie. 

Of course nothing pairs better with appetizers than a light, bright white wine. We love Riesling, and Viognier with cheese plates, dips, and most anything with bacon. 

And to finish off the night, don't miss out on a delicious dessert wine! Our 2011 Syrah Port pairs beautifully with anything with chocolate or pecans, or nab a late harvest Viognier to pair with your pumpkin and fruit pies. 

The Best Thanksgiving wine pairings. Easy wine pairings for Thanksgiving, turkey day dinner wine pairings


Alexis Truitt

Social Media and Marketing Assistant

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Time Posted: Nov 12, 2015 at 6:34 AM Permalink to The Best Wines for Your Thanksgiving Permalink Comments for The Best Wines for Your Thanksgiving Comments (2)
Alexis Truitt
November 5, 2015 | Alexis Truitt

Harvest/Crush 2015

Harvest and Crush was a whirlwind of a season this year. Not only was the year hotter than most any other, the fall weather was cooler than past years, with cold nights. The 2015 vintage has already been hailed by Wine Spectator as our "most extraordinary vintage". And that's without anything even in the bottle yet! 

For Torii Mor, this was a vintage that had us moving practically non-stop. Not only did we bring in all your favorite single vineyards, like Alloro, Nysa, La Colina, and our AVA Select blend, but we also have a surprise single vineyard! Keep an eye out for the big 2017.

Our harvest crew of five (plus one lab assistant) were hard at work, processing anywhere from 40-80 tons of grapes a day. The winery and barrel room were stuffed to the brim with bins full of grapes. Here's a compilation of pictures from the season, with some highlights of events. Enjoy!


Alexis Truitt

Marketing Assistant and Social Media

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Time Posted: Nov 5, 2015 at 9:00 AM Permalink to Harvest/Crush 2015 Permalink
Alexis Truitt
October 29, 2015 | Alexis Truitt

The Perfect Pairing for Halloween

Halloween is here and in a few days the streets will be filled with small, costumed children ringing doorbells and more or less unenthusiastically shouting "Trick or Treat!" in hopes of getting candy. If you don't have a small child to tow around, you can still celebrate the holiday. Because who doesn't love candy on a holiday mainly focused around candy?? 

All of us here at Torii Mor rounded up our favorite Halloween candies to see if we could find a wine to pair. Some were easier than others (and some might just be silly) but for a holiday dedicated to costumes and make-believe, what's a little silliness? Here is our all-for-fun, fun-for-all Halloween candy and wine pairing guide!

Mounds- it doesn't get much better than dark chocolate and coconut so this candy bar requires an equally decadent wine. Try a slightly sweet Tempranillo for mouth-coating decadence. 

Almond Joys- so maybe it can get better: milk chocolate, coconut, AND almonds. Revisit that Tempranillo for this one. One bottle is plenty to get you through a few candy bars...or if you're feeling a white wine, grab a Chardonnay for the best pairing. And while you're sipping that Chard, munch on a Butterfinger  too. 

M&Ms- I'll let you in on a little secret: these are Jacques's favorites. And while he doesn't normally pair them with wine, they'd go nicely with something like a malbec. Contrariwise, you could bake M&M's into brownies and pair with a deeper, full-bodied red. There's a reason brownies and Syrah go so well together. 

KitKats- Ah...who can't go for a KitKat occasionally? To pair, try an American sparkling wine or if you want, jump onto the new English sparkling wine trend. The bubbles will pair nicely with the wafer. If you're feeling really fancy, go for champagne. 

Reeses Cups- There are few things in the world that compare to the combination of peanut butter and chocolate. And to make that pairing even better? Have a few sips of our Syrah Port and it'll taste like the most delicious PB&J sandwich of your life. 

And of course, we had to include CandyCorn because is it truly Halloween without candy corn? Pair with a Viognier for a bright and sweet pairing. 

Let us know what pairings you've tried and Happy Halloween!! 


Alexis Truitt 

Marketing Assistant and Social Media

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Time Posted: Oct 29, 2015 at 2:01 AM Permalink to The Perfect Pairing for Halloween Permalink
Alexis Truitt
October 22, 2015 | Alexis Truitt

The Ultimate Guide to Bottle Sizes

When was the last time you heard someone ask about Nebuchadnezzar in a tasting room? How about Jeroboam? Or Methuselah? Probably never, if you're like most other wine lovers who take home the normal 750ml bottles. But if you've ever wondered about the mysteries of large format bottles, then this is the post for you.

Before we get to the hard-to-say, harder-to-spell names of large formats, let's have a quick history lesson. Large format bottles came about in the mid-1700's. Cork was discovered to act as a sealant, allowing wine to age in the bottle and preventing wine from going bad. Shortly after, larger bottles came in vogue, due mostly to their impressive appearance, but also in part to the fact that they allowed the wine to last longer. Larger bottles could be aged for longer periods of time, and would develop more intricate flavor profiles, than if aged in a standard 750ml bottle.

With few exceptions, the names are all kings of ancient Israel. Maybe as an honor to these esteemed kings or maybe an indication of the value of the wine in a large format bottle, the names indicate the impressive volume each size holds. And there are some pretty interesting back stories too.

For instance, Methuselah lived for almost one thousand years and Nebuchadnezzar is the Babylonian king who possibly commissioned one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Pretty impressive. 

There are also smaller sized bottles, that are hardly ever used. One of particular interest is a 20 oz bottle, called the Winston Churchill. Apparently, that was the exact amount of champagne that Winston Churchill wanted each morning, and thus it was named after him. 

But because pictures are worth a thousand words (or 279 glasses in this case!) here's a handy infographic to give you all the details. 

Torii Mor Winery - large format wines, magnums and big bottles can get pretty confusing. Here's the ultimate big bottle breakdown so you're never left questioning again. - Large format bottles, bottle size chart.

Does anyone have a large format of Torii Mor? We'd love to know what you have and love! And if you need to add to your collection, check out our selection here


Alexis Truitt

Marketing Assistant and Social Media

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Time Posted: Oct 22, 2015 at 9:04 AM Permalink to The Ultimate Guide to Bottle Sizes Permalink Comments for The Ultimate Guide to Bottle Sizes Comments (1)
Alexis Truitt
October 15, 2015 | Alexis Truitt

Fall Club Recipes 2015

Nothing fits the autumnal season better than a warm soup paired with a perfect wine. For our September club shipment, we featured a delicious recipe from club member Kevin Gehringer: Butternut Squash Soup. Kevin and his wife Susan throw impressive dinner parties, complete with multiple courses and plenty of wine pairings so we knew he'd have a good recipe for our club.

We tested the recipe and it's just as delicious as it sounds. There are plenty of things that scream fall in this season of pumpkin spice lattes and changing leaves, but we'll curl up inside with a glass of Pinot and this delicious soup any day of the season. 

Want to try the recipe for yourself? Let us know how much you love it!

Butternut Squash Soup

1              Medium/large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into ½ inch cubes

4              Medium/Large carrots cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2              Stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

3              Cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

3              Small white potatoes, with skins, cleaned and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

3              Large apple, peeled, cored, coarsely chopped (honey crisp, pink lady, or granny smith)

1/4 t        Ground cayenne pepper (add more or less to your taste)

1/2 t        Cinnamon

1/4 t        Turmeric

1/2 t        Fresh finely ground black pepper

1 t           Salt

2 T          Olive Oil, enough to just coat the bottom of the pan

Makes: 6-8 servings

Combine butternut squash, carrots, celery, and garlic in a bowl. Just before cooking, prepare the apple and add it to the bowl with the other vegetables. This prevents browning of the apple.

Put potatoes in a separate bowl with 2 cups of water, or enough water to cover the potatoes and prevent browning. The water will be added to the pot too.

Heat a 4-quart stock pot over medium/medium-high heat until hot, and then add olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. When ready, the oil should shimmer but not smoke. Add spices to the hot oil blooming the flavors for several seconds, until fragrant.

Add the chopped apple and all of the cut vegetables except the potato to the pot and stir to thoroughly mix and evenly distribute the oil and spices. Cook until some browning occurs, most of the moisture has evaporated, and a fond begins to develop on the bottom of the pan. Be careful not to burn it!

Add potatoes and their water to the pot, with additional water, if necessary, to just cover the vegetables. Bring back to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cover. Let cook until squash and carrots are soft, and potatoes are completely cooked, stirring occasionally to cook evenly.

When the vegetables are done, puree with a blender until smooth. Additional water may be needed to get the desired consistency or to help the pureeing process. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper. Be careful with the salt if you plan to use finishing salt when.

Serving suggestions:

Serve with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt in the center of soup, garnish with smoked salt, fresh ground black pepper, and chopped basil.

Did anyone try the second recipe in the club shipment, the harissa rubbed pork tenderloin? Let us know! 

Curious about our club? Want more delicious recipes? Click here to see our offerings. We have something for everybody! 

And wine club members! We would love to feature one of your recipes! If you have a recipe that you just love with one of our wines, send it here, and we might feature it in a future wine club shipment! 


Alexis Truitt

Marketing Assistant and Social Media

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Time Posted: Oct 15, 2015 at 10:05 AM Permalink to Fall Club Recipes 2015 Permalink
Alexis Truitt
October 8, 2015 | Alexis Truitt

Autumn in the Vineyard 2015

It's been a full and busy season of harvest this year! Jacques detailed the harvest in our last newsletter, and we decided to include it on the blog too, to keep you in the loop. If you missed the newsletter, sign up here by scrolling down to the bottom of the page! 

We had a hot summer with 28 days over 90F and a couple to 106F at the end of July. After this hot summer, September turned out to be cooler than expected and allowed us to let the fruit hang two to three weeks longer than we thought possible at the beginning of summer. This hang time allowed for great fruit flavor development while keeping the high sugar accumulation to a reasonable level.
Our 2015 harvest started with picking grapes from September 12 to September 29 for Pinot Noirs. Olson Estate Vineyard was harvested on September 27th with good yields, an average of 3 tons per acre, a total of almost 29 tons, including 2.8 tons Pinot Gris and 1.5 tons Chardonnay, all with great flavors.
Fermentation was speedy for the Pinot Noirs, a normal occurrence in warm vintages when the fruit comes in cool from the vineyard, but the air temperature inside the winery is on the warmer side. The resulting wines have good intensity and great finesse.
We still have Pinot Blanc, Viognier, and Riesling out in the field for the whites and the Syrah for the Port, all of which should be in before mid-October.
The vineyard yields were on the high side, with full and heavy clusters, two to three clusters per pound instead of the average of four to five per pound!  
Needless to say, the winery is full, and Jon and I are strategizing on how to make everything flow and fit in the winery. 
We have begun pressing this week, starting with the first Pinot Noir that came in. Now it is going to be the dance of the barrels since the dance of the grapes has almost ended.
Another vintage is in, and it is looking like a great one!
Cheers to 2015!

Jacques Tardy, Winemaker

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Time Posted: Oct 8, 2015 at 5:25 AM Permalink to Autumn in the Vineyard 2015 Permalink Comments for Autumn in the Vineyard 2015 Comments (3)
Alexis Truitt
October 1, 2015 | Alexis Truitt

September Wine Club Events

September was another anticipated club shipment! Our wine club is where we really get to do what we love: share our wine with our special friends and family. And this fall's club shipment was no exception. 

This month's shipment featured two new 2013 single vineyards: La Colina Vineyard and La Cuillere, our Member's Reserve Blend. If you attended one of our club events in Woodinville or Dundee, you got a chance to taste through a three year vertical of both La Colina and La Cuillere, from 2007 to 2009 and enjoy an aroma sensory experience to calibrate your nose. 

And if you were in Dundee, we brought in Cream Northwest, a local ice cream truck to spoil you all! With special flavors like Earl Gray and Sweet Corn Caramel, the truck was a hit with our guests. A really delicious hit. 

If you couldn't make it to the event, don't worry, there will be another event in November for both Woodinville and Dundee. And if you're not a club member, sign up now! It's the best way to get  limited production wines and first access to new vintages before anyone else! Plus you could get free ice cream. 


Alexis Truitt 

Marketing Assistant and Social Media

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Time Posted: Oct 1, 2015 at 2:54 AM Permalink to September Wine Club Events Permalink
Alexis Truitt
September 24, 2015 | Alexis Truitt

Tasting Room Changes

If you follow us on Facebook you've seen some of the projects going on in and around our tasting room. Not only have we added new photographs to the walls of the tasting room (including a great little series of pictures detailing the cycle of a cluster of grapes on the vine), but we've also had the chance to work with two great landscapers, Andy and Calina, who have transformed our courtyard into a drought-resistant, native plant paradise. Next time you visit the tasting room in Dundee be sure to take a walk to the courtyard to see their great work. 


Alexis Truitt

Marketing Assistant and Social Media

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Time Posted: Sep 24, 2015 at 11:15 AM Permalink to Tasting Room Changes Permalink