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winemaking process


Under the vigilance of Winemaker Gary Horner, Erath Pinot is as it was over 40 years ago. Only better.

Just as modern gem cutters use lasers to perfect time-honored diamond cuts and unleash the brilliance of a gem, Erath Winery thoughtfully introduces new winemaking tools to remove imperfections and reveal the Pinot varietal’s true beauty and character.

In such Old World trades, tools are critical, yet secondary to the artistry, skill, judgment and experience of the craftsman. Horner’s intimacy with each of the barrels he procures from various parts of French oak forests, for instance, allows him to thoughtfully match vessel to vineyard, revealing the site’s best fruit profile. Drawing on intuition and scientific sensibilities, he quantifies myriad factors – soil variations, clone selections, weather, barrel personalities – and wields them into quality wine, year after year.

Chalkboard with winemaking checklist

Across all of the Erath tiers, from premium barrel and estate selections to the value-priced Oregon wines, winemaking at Erath remains focused on bringing out the best characteristics of the vineyard.

Quality wine begins with quality fruit, which is why Horner actively farms vineyards throughout the Willamette Valley and Oregon to achieve consistency in style. However, it is his embracement of new technologies that has allowed him to transform thin-skinned Pinot grapes into memorable, critically acclaimed wines that are also affordable.