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Silvan Ridge Winery
by
Kathy and Terry Sullivan

Silvan Ridge WinerySummary: Silvan Ridge Winery’s history in Oregon’s Willamette Valley AVA, dates back to 1979, making it one of Oregon’s earlier wineries. Silvan Ridge offers a variety of wines for wine enthusiasts to enjoy. With two tasting counters, the winery can accommodate one visitor or groups. An adjacent room with a large fireplace offers many chairs and tables. Visitors will receive a warm welcome when arriving.

The name for Silvan Ridge Winery was derived from the family name Silva. The Silva family were originally from Portugal.

The approach to the Silvan Ridge Winery and tasting room provides a view of a cozy and quaint building with a small clock tower. The view might remind visitors of a small Italian/Portuguese village. Views from the tasting room include the rolling hills of Silvan Ridge WineryOregon’s countryside. The tasting room is immediately inside the double doors and has two tasting counters for busy times. Adjacent to the tasting room are two additional rooms; one is for events and the other is a delightful spot to relax with a glass of wine. During our November visit the fire in the fireplace was inviting.

History

According to a Silvan Ridge wine bottle back label, "Silvan Ridge Winery is one of Oregon’s earliest winemaking pioneers, and ranks among the twenty oldest wineries in the state today.” The original Hinman Vineyards was started by Doyle Hinman in 1979. Eventually the winery was purchased by Carolyn Chambers in 1993 who renamed the winery Silvan Ridge Winery. Carolyn’s maiden name was “Silva.” Her daughter, Elizabeth left a career in finance and became the newly branded winery’s General Manager. Today, Elizabeth’s daughter Julia is co-president along with Julia’s husband Andrew Stiltner. The winery is operated by the third generation family.

Vineyards

Doyle Hinman planted five acres of vines in 1979. Planted in the vineyard are Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Muscat, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. Silvan Ridge Winery uses the estate vineyard and also sources grapes with 98% of the sourced grapes coming from 20 local growers.

Winery

Silvan Ridge WineryBack in 1979 the winery began in the original space that is now an event and overflow space. This area has a fireplace where visitors enjoy sitting with a glass of wine. During the 1980s the owners added another space for a bottling line. During the 1990s a tasting room was added to connect the two earlier buildings. The tank room was also added. In the 2000s as production increased, another tank room was added which now houses three 8,032 gallon tanks and several 4,724 gallon tanks.

There is now an additional event space for private events including wedding and meetings. The walls are decorated with the work of local artists which changes periodically. A large patio has been added to the premises and visitors are welcome to purchase a glass of wine and enjoy it on the patio. Silvan Ridge is currently producing 12,000 to 13,000 cases.

Silvan Ridge WineryJuan Pablo Valot, Winemaker

Juan Pablo (JP) Valot began working at Silvan Ridge in 2005. JP was born and raised in Argentina. His mother was of Italian descent and his father was French/Italian. JP went to college to study agricultural engineering. He commented that one of his parents was involved in vineyards and the other in a winery. Eventually JP went into vineyard management. In Oregon the majority of employment opportunities were for winemakers; in time, JP went into winemaking.

JP is quick to autograph wine bottles for customers. He also autographed a bottle for us.

Silvan Ridge would like people to know that they offer a great variety of different wines from the Willamette Valley, including big reds from the Rogue Valley. The wines offer a lively mouthfeel and finish. The wines can pair with meals or enjoy as aperitifs.

Silvan Ridge Wines

Silvan Ridge WineryOur wine tasting was at the main tasting counter. We began with the Pinot Gris 2018 Willamette Valley AVA. This wine with 13% alcohol was a blend from five different growers in the Willamette Valley. The wine was a light yellow color with an aroma of citrus. The taste included notes of grapefruit with a hint of pineapple and mineral. The finish was crisp and fruity with some mineral on the aftertaste.

The Rosé of Pinot Noir 2018 Willamette Valley AVA had 13.5% alcohol. The wine was produced from a single vineyard. The color was a light orange with a pink hue. The aroma and taste were of strawberry. The finish was crisp and fruity.

Silvan Ridge WineryPinot Noir 2015 Willamette Valley AVA with 14.2% alcohol was produced with grapes from four different vineyards. The wine was a translucent ruby color with an aroma of raspberries. The taste included notes of raspberries and baking spices. This was a medium/full-bodied wine with medium tannins. The finish was fruity yielding to cinnamon and cloves.

The Murphy Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015 Willamette Valley AVA had 14.2% alcohol. The wine was a translucent red color with a sienna hue. The aroma was of red berry fruit. The taste included raspberries and spices. The wine was a medium/full-bodied wine with medium tannins. The finish offered fruit notes followed by spices - cinnamon and pepper.

Super Rioja 2017 Rogue Valley AVA was a blend of Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine with 14.2% alcohol was a dark ruby color with a red hue. The aroma was reminiscent of a black fruit salad. The taste included notes of black raspberries, blackberries and spices. The wine was a full-bodied wine with bold tannins. The finish included fruit and spice notes.

Elizabeth’s Red 2015 Rogue Valley AVA was named after the former owner. The wine was a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo and Malbec. With 14.6% alcohol the wine was a dark ruby color. The aroma was of black fruits. The taste included blackberries, baking spices and black raspberries. The mouthfeel was smooth and the wine was full bodied. The wine had bold tannins. The finish was fruity and spicy. This wine is not made every year, only when the grapes are best quality.

Our tasting concluded with The Early Muscat 2018 Semi-Sparkling. The wine had 6% alcohol and 90 g/L of residual sugar. Orange blossoms were noted on the aroma and taste. The sweet finish was floral. This dessert wine is perfect for all seasons.

While in the Eugene area of the Willamette Valley AVA, be sure to add Silvan Ridge Winery to your itinerary.

Silvan Ridge Winery
27012 Briggs Hill Road
Eugene, Oregon 97405

GPS: N43º 57.4009’ W123º 15.9019’

 

Article written November 2019



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