Hiyu Tzum "Lunasa" 2019
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Columbia Valley- Syrah/Grenache
When I went to gather info about Hiyu, I quickly realized I couldn't write more beautifully about this winery than they have.
"Twenty-two miles from Mount Hood’s snowy peak, in an alpine river valley teeming with birds and oscillating light, lives a wild farm. Cows, chickens, and pigs graze among vines and fungi and flowers proliferate as gardens merge with forest. Upon this valley, the omnipotent mountain routinely asserts her mercurial hand. Frigid gusts challenge temperate drafts and clouds compete with sunbeams. Storms swirl, rainbows propagate, and the volcanic soil eternally churns. Reading between these celestial and terrestrial signs, humans gently steer the land — co-creators of a startling alchemy."
I mean... you wanna drink wine from there, right? "Hiyu cultivates wildness..." they go on to say, and that's ever apparent in their sparse and beautiful wines and ciders. Their bottles are frozen moments in time, nature's memories preserved in liquid and housed in glass. Founders Nate Ready and China Tresemer have a litany of impressive skills. Nate was a sommelier at the world renowned French Laundry in Napa, and China, the estates agriculturist, is also an accomplished artist who creates all their labels. There isn't much of any one cuvée to be had, and we sold out of some before we even got them online. These make lovely gifts for the epicures in your life who are always seeking something ephemeral and special, or maybe that deserving adventurer is you?
Named for a traditional Gaelic harvest festival, "Lunasa" is a blend of 65% Syrah and 35% Grenache grown in the black basalt sands of Hiyu's desert vineyards on the banks of the Columbia River. The grapes are hand-picked and fermented whole-cluster, then foot-stomped, and after a short fermentation time, aged for a little over a year in old oak barrels. Nate says, "The Grenache gives the Syrah a shimmering, vanishing quality, quenching its dark heart and rendering it more transparent, pure and ethereal.” Yes, please.