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Division: Effortless Wines from Oregon

Division: Effortless Wines from Oregon

Truly talented people have a knack for making their best work look effortless. Likewise, Division's wines make it seem like all Oregon should be affordable and exquisite.

The wines share a taut hum of acidity, harmoniously enshrined in cool, restrained fruit, floating in a pool of minerality, the structure so seamless, so…effortless. It makes you ask: Why aren’t Oregon wines always this good? How does Division Winemaking Company pull off this rare feat?

Part of the answer lies in their winemaking influences. Kate Norris and Thomas Monroe got their start as cellar rats in the Loire Valley, Beaujolais, Burgundy, and the Northern Rhône. These classic regions shaped their expectations of what wine can and should taste like: balanced, pure and of their place.

They certainly aren’t the first Americans to jump the pond and bring back wild European notions of quality and style. Ted Lemon and Jean Paul Cameron have made international waves with their tiny (and truly outstanding) projects. But Norris and Monroe also carried with them the concepts of affordability and easy drinkability. The Division wines belong on a dinner table, every day, not just on special occasions. They can be quaffed with pleasure, no discussion required.

The rest of the equation is pure talent — you see it in the cellar, where Kate and Thomas touch the wines as little as possible to keep the focus on the fruit, not the winemaker. You also see it in their sourcing: all their grapes come from herbicide-free, often dry-farmed, mostly organic and biodynamically farmed vineyards where the growers clearly care.

A lot of thought, planning and work goes into making wines this naturally elegant. And yet none of that seems to be reflected in the very reasonable prices they charge. 

Division Wine Co. L'Orange 2022 $25.99
From the producer: ""L’Orange” is one of our most complex wines to make but one of the easiest to enjoy. The goal is to capture unique colors, textures, and aromatics deliciously. We layer multiple white grape varieties and macerations (hence. the “skin contact”) to harmoniously land on a truly special wine for the category to enjoy this summer and all year long!
Along with notes of peach and thyme, we can't help but notice a touch of eucalyptus in the wine, connecting it to artist Camille Shu's "Eucs."

Division Wine Co. Eola-Springs Vineyard Pinot Noir Deux 2021 $42.99
From the producer: Brimming in briny-covered red fruits, the wine is classic Pinot meant for a long future. “Deux” has the power, elegance, and balance that we always seek in Pinot Noir. There is perhaps no other site that we have as much experience and intuition with as Eola Springs Vineyard. The Pinot Noir vines are some of the oldest in the Willamette Valley - part of our block is 50 years old - ancient by New World standards.

Division Wine Co. Division-Villages Beton 2022 $26.99
The ultimate bistro wine, inspired by the Loire, specifically Cheverny. Superbly food-friendly, fresh, and neverly overly heavy or boozy.

This story was originally featured in our newsletter, where it was offered at a special subscribers-only discount. Subscribers get special offers, the first look at new discoveries, invites to events, and stories about wines and the artisans that make them.