Make the McKenzie Connection!

McKenzie Crest Wines

Don’t miss “Your taste of the McKenzie”

Ever wonder if the McKenzie area shares the underpinnings that have made the Willamette, Umpqua, and Columbia valleys famous for wine making? You’re not alone in that thinking, and McKenzie Crest Wines has been making it a reality.

In 2015 close friends, Dan Perkins and Chris Freytag decided to follow their dreams of grape production and quality wine making. They planted a small vineyard of Maréchal Foch - a hybrid French-American grape - along the McKenzie River. The result they say, was “an experiment that went very, very right.” The fledgling winery went on to produce two fruit-driven expressions of variety in 2018 and 2019.

Their vineyard focuses 100% on Marechal Foch and has been the figurative blank “canvas” upon which Chris and Dan practiced viticulture to craft their first wines. Because the vineyard is sited on the eastern side of the I-5 corridor (15 minutes east of Springfield) it’s protected from the coastal winds that bring cooler conditions to much of the Willamette Valley. As a result, the vines enjoy a slightly warmer climate where grapes fully ripen in late September or early October. The location and dry farming practices contribute to what has been recognized for a decadently rich fruit that yields deep colored, purple-to-black juice.

In 2020 McKenzie Crest Wines came fully to life with the production of Pinot Noir, Tempranillo and Maréchal Foch sourced from the Willamette Valley. In addition, the winery introduced Merlot to its line-up from the exciting and diverse Columbia Valley AVA (American Viticultural Area). That vintage produced two Rosé wines, produced from Pinot Noir and Tempranillo; stand alone expressions of Pinot Noir, Tempranillo, Merlot, Maréchal Foch, and a 50/50 blend of Tempranillo and Merlot appropriately labeled “Tempest.” That allowed McKenzie Crest Wines scale up production and offer wines for retail.

McKenzie Crest Wines is the collective product of hard work, labors of love, Dan’s excellent vineyard management and passion to plant, grow and harvest quality grapes, Chris’s intensive research and exploration of Oregon and Washington wines and growing regions, and their combined efforts to produce high quality wines.

McKenzie Crest Wines is the collective product of hard work, and the labors of love that result from Dan’s excellent vineyard management and passion to plant, grow and harvest quality grapes, combined with Chris’s intensive research and exploration of Oregon and Washington wines, growing regions, and their combined efforts to produce high quality wines.

People are invited to join them for wine tastings at the charming “Wine Garage” at 6112 Main Street in Thurston on the first Saturday of every month - rain or shine. For more information contact the winery at 541-513-6813, [email protected] or follow updates at facebook.com/mckenziecrestwines.

 

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