Gramercy Cellars was founded in 2005 by Greg Harrington, a Master Sommelier, and his wife Pam Harrington, an investment banker. Greg Harrington spent his early career running the wine programs for some of the nation’s most legendary chefs, including Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck and Stephen Hanson. In 2004 he and his wife, then residents of Brooklyn, became intrigued with Walla Walla wines. A year later they were proprietors of Gramercy Cellars, which is dedicated to making Bordeaux and Rhone-style wines. The estate makes 8,000 cases annually with grapes from the Walla Walla and Columbia Valleys. Wine writers have been impressed. Wine Advocated wrote that “Master Sommelier turned winemaker Greg Harrington is fashioning some of the top wines in Washington from his base in Walla Walla.”
Willamette Valley AVA was established in 1983, and it is the oldest appellation in Oregon. Oregon’s modern wine industry began in the Willamette Valley in the 1960s when artists, vagabond winemakers, and U.C. Davis oenology graduates looking for new territory started their own, small, off-the-grid wineries. The appellation is the state’s largest, and it extends 175 miles from Columbia River on the Washington/Oregon border to just south of Eugene, near central Oregon. The Willamette River runs through the area, helping to give the appellation a mild year-round climate. There are six smaller sub-appellations within this AVA, but altogether the Willamette Valley has the largest concentration of wineries in Oregon, as well as the majority of the state’s most famous producers. Pinot Noir is king here, followed by Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Riesling. To most admirers of Oregon Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley offers the most distinctive wine choices in the state.
This red wine is relatively light and can pair with a wide variety of foods. The grape prefers cooler climates and the wine is most often associated with Burgundy, Champagne and the U.S. west coast. Regional differences make it nearly as fickle as it is flexible.