At Pacific Rim we love Riesling. We love this varietal so much that we make 12 different styles of this wondrous grape! Each version is a pure varietal Riesling expressing different facets of the grape mainly playing on the building blocks of Riesling: alcohol, sugar and acidity as well as location and concentration methods (ice wine, noble rot, etc…). We also make Northern Europe aromatic varietals such as Gewurztraminer, Chenin Blanc and more recently Gruner Veltliner. Over the years we have played with blending all those grapes in small batches and have always found those blends fun and exciting – we never released them and chose to enjoy them ourselves. We have also been fan of the Gentil blends and the usually more modest Edelzwicker blends from Alsace. After several years drinking those wines, we thought it would be fun to blend the four nobles of Alsace (Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Muscat and Riesling) and create our own “Gentil” of sort.
At the same time we were crystalizing our plans to make this Alsatian style blend, we met Flora Bowley, a Portland artist who creates fantastic art very organically. We found many similarities between the way she approaches painting and the way we approach winemaking. In some ways we all have the same canvas and the same colors and what makes something special is the way we combine those elements. For Flora it leads to unique paintings created with no preconceived roadmap. Similarly for us those four varietals always lead to unique aromatic wine profiles. We worked with Flora to design the Eufloria label to emphasize that connection between her free art style and our winemaking journey. The name itself was inspired by the very floral aromatic character of those Alsatian noble varieties – the little phrase ”Aromatic Blend” along with the floral artwork on the label are clues as to the intense aromatics of Eufloria.
The grapes for Eufloria are from the Columbia Valley and come from many of our best vineyards such as Wallula (the dramatic vineyard pictures found on our homepage) in the Horse Heaven Hills and Ramos on Snipes Mountain. The grapes are machine picked at night to preserve acidity and limit phenolic extraction then quickly pressed at the winery. Each varietal is fermented separately and the blend is made in January following harvest. Riesling and Muscat are the dominant part of the blend. Each varietal brings a key element to the blend: Riesling brings the acidity and the backbone and pretty jasmine and peach aromas, Gewurztraminer brings spice and roses, Muscat brings orange blossom and citrus notes, Pinot Gris brings clove and lilac – together they are like a taste of spring. To preserve the bright nature of these grapes, the blend does not go through malolactic conversion and does not see any oak. The resulting wine is fresh and aromatic with a hint of residual sugar and 12% alcohol. The bottling is sterile and the wine is closed with a screwcap to guarantee freshness and avoid spoilage. Last year with the 2015 vintage, we added a Eufloria Aromatic Rosé made from the same varietals with a drop of Pinot Noir to give it some fresh strawberry notes and a pretty pink color.
Spring favorite pairing: This Spring we are enjoying Eufloria White wine with fresh salads tossed with citrus fruit, salmon burgers and fancy quesadillas. The Eufloria Rosé has been a hit with a bruschetta, spicy fish tacos and strawberry parfait.