America embodies the pioneer spirit. The very idea of America began by those seeking a new way of life in an unfamiliar, uncharted land. Not long after we won our independence many sought to move beyond our east coast comforts to explore our vast territory. President Jefferson commissioned Lewis and Clark in 1803, to begin to explore our western territories. Their pioneering spirit lead them all the way to western coast of the US, where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean. This route, later known as the Oregon Trail, became a passageway for many more pioneering Americans to journey west. It is that same pioneer spirit that lead the Wright Brothers to invent aviation, Thomas Edison to invent electricity, and Henry Ford to revolutionized automotive manufacturing. From business, to technology, to winemaking, that pioneer spirit is alive and well in America today.
Jesse and Lindsay Applegate left Idaho seeking a southern route into the Oregon Territory in 1843. I am guessing had no idea that one day they would have a trail, river and AVA named after them. The first grapes were planted in what is now the Applegate AVA around 1853 with the first winery, Valley View Winery, opening in 1873. Even during the years of Prohibition, the region produced small amounts of wine for many years. However, it was not until the 1970’s when winemaking pioneer Dick Troon began planting grapes and selling his juice to other producers. Troon Vineyard is home to the regions earliest Zinfandel plantings, which is one of their perennial award-winning wines.
In 2003 Dick Troon decided it was time to pass his pioneering torch to his good friend and fishing buddy Larry Martin. Martin accept the pioneering charge and has enhanced Troon Vineyard with a beautiful, Tuscany style tasting room, and modern wine production facilities. Additionally, Martin has continued Troon’s pioneering spirit by planting new vineyards with varietals new to the southern Oregon viticulture, including Vermentino, southern France varietals, and Tannat.
Troon Vineyards makes wine for life:
The foundation of our winery is located squarely in the rows of vines that grow here. Our wines are vineyard-driven, derived from the ancient granitic soils, elevated benchland, and incredible climate. Uniquely situated at the spot where the Siskiyou Range bends westward toward the Pacific Ocean, we benefit from cooling sea breezes which moderate the heat from inland valleys. Long hours of sun, cool nights and warm days, infrequent summer rain, and well-draining soil produce wonderful fruit for making complex wines of deep color, pure aromas, and low alcohol.
We are committed to producing wines for all parts of your life. Drinkable, approachable, affordable, food-friendly wines that, just by their inclusion, make the everyday a little less typical. But also award-winning and collectible wines that elevate the commonplace to the extraordinary; fine wines for life’s finest moments. Whatever you chose, it will be absolutely Applegate…entirely Troon.
Troon sent me three lovely media samples as an introduction to their winery.
Troon Vineyards 2014 Vermentino Sauvignon Blanc: Crafted of 80% Vermentino and 20% Sauvignon Blanc from grapes grown on bench lands above the Applegate River; this wine poured a delicate yellow into the glass; aromas of crisp green apples and pears are met with notes of white peaches, citrus zest, soft grassy notes, and a touch of cedar; it is crisp and refreshing on the palate, mouth-coating, zesty acidity with a long finish; an unusual blend that works great for simple enjoyment or paired with seafood, shellfish, poultry; 167 cases produced;12.5% alcohol.
Troon Vineyards 2014 Longue Carabine: Crafted from 38.5% vermentino, 33% viognier, 33% marsanne, 1.5% roussanne grapes that were all co-fermented together allow Mother Nature to do her magic; vibrant yellow in the glass; fascinating aroma of summer peaches, Korean melon, citrus zest, a touch of lychee, apricots, yellow apples, soft floral notes and just a tease of allspice; really interesting on the palate, layers of texture and flavors cascade throughout the mouth, crisp with balanced but not zesty acidity, refreshing yet gentle at the same time; long, pleasant finish; mother nature has done very well here; super enjoyable on its own, great with a wide variety of food including seafood, shellfish, cheeses, poultry, pork, salads, and creamy pastas; 143 cases produced; SRP $34
Troon Vineyards 2014 Zinfandel: Craig Camp feels “this wine is an American equivalent to those simple Côtes du Rhône pleasures;” vibrant, soft ruby in the glass; dazzling aromas of fresh summer berries including raspeberries, blackberries, boysenberries, and strawberries are wrapped up in warm spice notes, pepper, black tea leaves, and a touch of dusty earth; this is not your smack in face zinfandel, don’t get me wrong I do like those zins at times but this wine is much more nuanced, it has power in its restraint, spicy on the palate, well-structured wine with balanced acidity and dusty tannins, it offers a lot of complexity for a single varietal wine, I can see why Craig compares it to a the elegant pleasures of a Côtes du Rhône, it is juicy on the front but has a solid earthiness on the back, the two meet on the mid-palate; great zin for summer grilling of steaks, pork, chicken even, ribs, brisket, and my left over lamb chops; a great wine to carry into fall for football season as well; SRP $20
I am super excited to see what the future has in store for Troon Vineyards. They have just recently added Craig Camp, a wine pioneer and man I admire, as their new general manager. Craig has worked in many facets of the wine industry since the 1970’s. He has a brilliant mind and great palate for wine. I suggest you visit the web site of Troon Vineyard to learn more about them, view their fun events and their entire portfolio of wines, and order these wines for yourself!
My Song Selection: These Troon Vineyards wines were such high quality, very unique and individual in their own right. It is hard to select a song to represent such diverse wines; however, it is not hard to pick a song that represents uniqueness, pioneering spirit, or a trend setter. There are many in the history of music that fit that bill, here is one of my favorites:
Get your own bottles of Troon wines and let me know what song you pair with them. Cheers!