White Rose Estate is on the upper elevations of the Dundee Hills, just up a gravel road from some of Willamette Valley’s most venerable wine producers, including Archery Summit and Domain Drouhin. White Rose was founded in 2000 when Greg Sanders purchased the 10-acre White Rose Vineyard, one of Oregon’s oldest and most renowned vineyards. Sanders had been an entrepreneur in the aerospace industry when, in 1995, he started taking viticulture courses at UC Davis. The White Rose Vineyard was planted to Pinot Noir in 1980, and over the years it was a source for premium grapes for Torii Mor, Panther Creek and St. Innocent. Sanders produced his first commercial vintage inn 2001. In 2009 Sanders purchased an additional four acres. Jesus Guillén has been head winemaker since 2008. White Rose focuses on Pinot Noir. Wine writers have been complimentary, often rating the wines in the mid- to high 90s. Wine Advocate wrote “Old vines, low yields, and a willingness to stretch the envelope have made White Rose Estate one of the premier producers of American Pinot Noir.”
Dundee Hills AVA is in Yamhill County, and it is entirely contained within the Willamette Valley AVA, Oregon’s best known appellation. Dundee Hills is about 30 miles southwest of Portland, and has 1,300 vineyard acres. It was awarded AVA status in 2004 and, like much of Oregon, is known for Pinot Noir. Several of Oregon’s 20th century wine pioneers established their vineyards and wineries in Dundee Hills, adding to its status as a region long-recognized for producing high quality, iconic Oregon wines. Eyrie Vineyards, Erath Winery and Sokol Blosser remain some of Oregon’s most celebrated producers, and all were founded in what is now Dundee Hills in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
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.