Chapter 24 Vineyards’ debut wine was a 2012 Pinot Noir, and by 2015 Wine & Spirts Magazine was calling one of the estate’s 2013 wines “one of the 100 best wines of the year.” Despite being a relatively young venture, Chapter 24 comes with a pedigree. Its founder is Mark Tarlov, a Hollywood producer and director who also founded Evening Land Vineyards in 2006. Louis-Michel Liger-Belair of Burgundy’s famous Château de Vosne is consulting winemaker, working alongside Chapter 24 Director of Viticulture Ryan Hannaford. The estate’s name is taken from the final chapter of Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey and is meant to refer to the idea of final resolution, as in grapes ending up as fine wine. The estate focuses on Pinot Noir.
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.