Our Wholesale Partners:
Natural Wine Company
445 Bryant St., Unit 10, Denver, CO 80204
Eagle Eye Brands
38120 Michigan Ave., Wayne, MI 48184
9304 SE Main St., Milwaukie, OR 97222
4375 Republic Court NW, Concord, N.C., 28027
Roanoke Valley Wine Company
1250 Intervale, Salem, VA 24153
1605 S 93rd St., Seattle, WA 98108
Climbing the folded hills of Oregon’s fertile Willamette Valley, small vineyards flourish on land once thought unsuitable for anything but grasses or Christmas trees.
Each year, the struggling vines produce tight clusters of grapes that gradually ripen during the long, dry summers. The warm days and cool nights of autumn help the fruit develop intense, complex layers of flavor and aroma that produce delicately rich, elegant and nuanced wines.
Sass Winery is one such place, producing small amounts of handcrafted pinot noir, gamay noir, pinot gris, pinot blanc, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, riesling, marsanne, roussanne, and gamay noir rosé.
We sank our winery into the hillside so that the crush pad is 5 feet above the winery floor, allowing gravity, not pumps, to power the harvest. We’ve learned – and keep on learning – how to read each nuance of our two sustainably farmed vineyards.
We will not expand production past 5,000 cases because we believe the finest wines are handmade, and we want our vineyards to fully express their complex, evolving ecosystems.
Our goal is to produce wines that are complex, elegant and balanced. Because we make wines to enjoy with food, firm, balanced acidity is particularly important.
Although we watch the chemistry of each vintage in each vineyard, once it gets into the ballpark range of physiological ripeness, we make picking decisions based on taste.
The 2021 vintage was my 28th harvest from my estate vineyard, Wild Winds. I learn something every year, which is important to me. I keep finding new ways to help the vines and the resulting wines tell their story in each glass of Sass.
Close spacing (1,800-2,100 per acre); vertical trellis; target 2 pounds of fruit per vine; shoot thinning; leaf-pulling in fruit zone; crop dropped when necessary; sustainable farming practices. Our estate Wild Winds Vineyard has volcanic soil, and we purchase fruit from other vineyards on sedimentary soils. The fruit from each is very different.
Pinot Noir: Hand-picked and hand-sorted; mostly destemmed; minimal sulfur additions; 1-5 day pre-fermentation cold soak; native yeasts; 14-21 days crush to press; gentle press; punched down once daily during primary in 1-1/2-ton open-top fermenters; pumped only 2-3 times total; full malolactic fermentation; never fined or filtered; 10-28 months in mostly neutral French oak.
Pinot gris/sauvignon blanc/riesling: Fermented in neutral oak or stainless steel; whole cluster pressed, minimal sulfur additions; long, cold fermentation; lees stirred and left in barrels.
Chardonnay/pinot blanc/marsanne/roussanne: Barrel-fermented; whole-cluster pressed; cold fermentation; 12-14 months in neutral French oak and small stainless steel barrels.
Gamay Noir rosé: A few hours of skin contact in press; cold fermented in stainless steel.