2021 Eola Amity Hills
Label: Niew Vineyards
Region: Oregon, United States
love / happness / freedom / bliss / sex / thrill
organic / biodynamic
Prints from two traditional Chinese stone seals are used on our wine labels. One of them is of the character 饶, which is our family name. The other one is of the character 静. The simple translation of that character is “quiet, calm, still”, but it actually embraces much more.
Our farming ethos is heavily influenced by the philosophy of the Japanese farmer Masanobu Fukuoka, and a well thumbed copy of his seminal work “The One-Straw Revolution” has been a constant companion throughout this journey.
It is difficult to distil the essence of the book in the limited space here, but the starting point of the process is to be observant, and to ask “what is the natural path of this eco system if left undisturbed”? It requires the farmer to be humble, to be at peace with nature, and to calmly open up their senses to fully appreciate the nuance, pace and dynamics of what the eco system would do, before any farming decision is made. To be quietly, gracefully, aware. The more at peace the farmer is, the more aware they will be.
If done right, at its apogee, only sunlight, air and water should be required to produce beautiful grapes, with minimal labour (no tilling and composting) and no sprays (well, except perhaps some milk …).
This philosophy translates into the winery too. The point of a “natural” process is that it should not be prescriptive. For example, to stubbornly refuse to use sulphur, is no better than the formulaic use of it, without asking “does the wine actually needs some help?”.
At all times, the pace and dynamic of work, should be inquisitive, peaceful and calm. We don’t grow grapes or make wine, we create the environment for the vines and wine to thrive. That is the essence of our ethos.
Please note, all orders come with chips!