Paetra (Pay-truh); from Latin for "Rock"
The basis for all great wine is the soil from which it comes. Paetra wines are crafted by intensive hand labor in the vineyard and a minimalist approach to cellar work. "As little as possible, as much as necessary" is a fitting motto. Paetra produces Riesling using traditional European techniques on American soil.
On a recent visit, our man behind Paetra, Bill Hooper described how his days studying and apprenticing in Germany involved every sort of grueling task one could fit into a ten hour work day from the vines to cellar work -to scooping out the freshly decapitated bull head at Odinstal to fill it with oak bark in preparation for a Winter along a riverbank for a biodynamic preparation.
Hooper has worked at a number of wineries in Germany and a number in Oregon including Brooks and now works at a vineyard management company tending many properties including some of Argyle's holdings among others tending vines, scouting for any issues and treating them, and pursuing LIVE certification on their behalf. Bill's genius taught us many things on this chummy visit but new to most if not all of us were his insights on vine hormones.
He explained Auxins versus Cytokinins in the vine's roots and shoots encouraging shatter for smaller berries and more open clusters = focused flavors and not heavy growth. More on plant hormones HERE Hooper's leaf thinning is careful because he needs to reduce canopy to prevent but not expose clusters to sunlight which lead to diesel flavors but this is labor intensive NO ONE ELSE is doing this in all of Oregon. For example: 50hrs/acre for pruning, 50hrs/acre for leaf thinning...
Having tasted these Rieslings we can attest to the crystal clarity of th Eola-Amity, the sapid life springing from Nicholas Vineyard, and the beguiling texture and purity unique to his >O< orange wine -the only stable one we've tried to date -and beyond question the most delicious thanks to the vineyard management and cellar hygeine unique to Bill Hooper. These wines are remarkable on their own, fit for the high table, and will prove patience a virtue for those with cool, deep, steady cellars. Skol!
2014 Eola-Amity Hills Riesling– 9.4 Delectable, 4 stars Vivino
-wine tasting notes by LAC, May, 2013
2014 >O< Eola-Amity Hills Riesling – 9.5 Delectable
Wine review by Jason Kallsen, December 2011
2014 Nicholas Vineyard Riesling – 9.6 Delectable