tBoW Hot Wine News Flash: Dewey Kelly Is Staying…he ain’t going anywere…mostly

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tBoW really likes Dewey Kelly’s wines
…at least the 2006 and 2007 vintages of his eponymous label and the 2008 Ribbon Ridge VIneyards Pinot Noir. We wrote about it in 2009 and again this year following the Portland Indie Wine festival or PIWF.
We also reported something we heard that 2009 would be Dewey Kelly’s last vintage making any wine, at least for sale. He would be selling off all his fruit and letting other capable winemakers work with his carefully tended and, apparently, much admired Pinot Noir grapes.
NOT SO…at least not exactly.
Dewey wrote a thoughtful, clarifying email to tBoW in which he conveyed the following information.

Dear tBoW [ed. he did not call you tBoW!] – Thanks again for stopping by to see us at the Indy. It’s always nice to see familiar faces from year to year. And we do appreciate your enthusiasm about our wines. One correction, however: Rumors of our demise are premature. We are not stopping making wine. Our 2009s are in the barrel and doing really well and we have no plans to stop. What is true is that we are working out of a different facility closer where we live in Portland and we are cutting back production for a few years. I’m not quite ready to give up my day job and working 60 hours a week while making 1100 cases of wine was a little insane. But I love making wine and love the wine I make, so stepping away from that isn’t anything I’m interested in at the moment. Beginning with the 2009 vintage our plan is to keep the fruit from the Wedding Block section of our vineyard for our own production and selling the rest of the fruit. The Wedding Block, the spot in the vineyard where Robin and I got married in 1978, is at the crest of the vineyard and has been the source of fruit for our best barrels over the years. That will keep us at about 250-300 cases for the next few years. And will hopefully keep us from burning out too soon. And will let me focus on making the best wine I can. btw, I’m also working to get the day job down to 50 hours a week.


Let us dissect. He loves making wine for all kinds of wine drinkers. We knew that. It is obvious when a guy puts out a delicious Pinot Noir from a premiere growing region and makes it ready to drink with a screw top that he wants people to taste what Ribbon Ridge can produce.
He loves his Ribbon Ridge vineyard. It is the high point – literally – in his marriage to Robin. He also has tremendous respect for her and makes it a point to let her and you know that. Cool.
Finally, while we are happy he will continue to make wine under his own label ([precisely which label still tbd) it is going to be harder to come at 250-300 cases. Yet, this is not much different from the production that many winemakers at PIWF pour for the tasters.
The PIWF truly is a great wine tasting. And this kind of emotion and commitment is one of the reasons why.
Wedding Block vineyard? Cant ‘wait to taste it on its own.

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