For Turkey Day – Willamette Valley Vineyards 2020 Whole Cluster Pinot Noir

The countdown to Thanksgiving brings a barrage of

wine touts and recommendations. 

If you had a nickel for every online/newspaper/magazine article

suggesting the perfect wine for your Thanksgiving meal,

well, you could buy yourself a bottle of

the perfect wine for your Thanksgiving meal.


49021202 - roasted turkey garnished with cranberries on a rustic style table decoraded with pumpkins, gourds, asparagus, brussel sprouts, baked vegetables, pie, flowers, and candles.


The Thanksgiving feast includes such a wide variety

of flavors…sweet, savory, salty and then some…

that it’s difficult to single out a single varietal

that works for the entire meal. 

But if you have to pick one,

picking Pinot Noir is not a bad way to go.

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It’s Wine Thursday! 

Every Thursday, we recommend a wine that’s

priced right and is easy to find,

either at your store or online. 

This week, we’re checking out a Pinot Noir

that’s produced using an old process

that’s new again.




Whole cluster fermentation is a method of wine making

in which stems and grapes, i.e., the whole cluster, is thrown

into the “vat” during fermentation.

Whole cluster used to be de rigueur,  a widespread method

of making wine. 

With time and technology, things changed.

During the 20th century, mechanical destemming

grew in popularity.  Now whole cluster wines are relatively rare. 


In the current context, Willamette Valley Vineyards is the anomaly.

WVV started producing whole cluster Pinot years ago

and continues to turn out a significant quantity.

It’s one of the highlights of WVV’s portfolio.


Why whole cluster? 

It’s a process that’s designed to result in a  

Pinot Noir that is uniquely fruit-forward and brightly acidic,

along the lines of Beaujolais Nouveau. 

Willamette Valley Vineyards’ 2020 whole cluster Pinot

doesn’t have the zing of a young Beaujolais.   

Its fruit flavors…cherry and strawberry…are more muted. 

But it is juicy and smooth with pleasing aromas. 

It also has enough acidity to pair effectively with

the cornucopia of flavors…turkey, dressing, roasted vegetables and more…

that your Turkey Day menu will provide.   

Put simply, this wine would work at the beginning, in the middle

and at the end of your Thanksgiving meal,

up until the pumpkin pie.



We found Willlamette Valley Vineyards 2020 Whole Cluster Pinot Noir 

at Total Wine for $18.99. 

Fred Meyer and QFC both carry it for $21.99. 

You can order it from Empire Wine for $17.95 

All-Star Wine has it for $18.99 sells it for $20.99 

and you can order it from the winery for $24.00