Winemaker Ray Walsh Appreciating Oregon Flavours

Winemaker Ray Walsh of Capitello Wines is bringing out the best of terroir in Oregon and his native New Zealand, the Register-Guard’s Vanessa Salvia reports.

New Zealand has become known as a cinematographer’s heaven, a place of wild rugged beauty with an intensity of light that comes from the country’s proximity to the South Pole.

“Even on a cloudy day you would wear your sunglasses,” Walsh says. “The intensity of the light is quite bright and the grapes are really going to enjoy that.”

In California, say, where the heat can ripen anything, sugars develop, which converts to alcohol.

But “this isn’t about sugars, it’s about developing flavours,” he explains. “Light develops flavours; the longer grapes stay on the vine, the more flavours you’ll get. With this intensity of light, we’re also getting these intense flavors and they really stand out.”

Walsh came to Oregon’s wine industry in 1993 because he appreciated the complex flavours that are coaxed from Oregon grapes.

In New Zealand, it’s the heady aromatics he loves.

“The pinot noir I’m fermenting in New Zealand has this intense cardamom spice that comes off, and marionberries … you just don’t see that intensity in Oregon wine,” he says.

Original article by Vanessa Salvia, The Register-Guard, May 20, 2015.

Tags: Capitello Wines  Oregon  Ray Walsh  Register-Guard (The)  

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