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Why isn't all wine this good?

Why isn't all wine this good?

The most talented athletes have a knack for making their best tricks look effortless. Likewise, Division's "Un" Pinot and Chardonnay makes it seem almost inevitable that Oregon Wine should be affordable and exquisite. The taut hum of acidity is harmoniously enshrined in supple fruit, floating in a pool of minerality, the structure so seamless, so effortless. It makes you ask: Why isn't it always this good?

But of course, this sort of wine is rare, especially in places like Oregon and California where producers struggle to craft wines this dynamic. How does Division Winemaking Company pull it off?

Part of the answer lies in farming and winemaking influence. Winemakers and co-owners 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. 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 concept of affordability. The Divisionwines belong on a dinner table, every day, not just on special occasions.

The rest of the equation is equal parts talent and luck. You see the talent in the vineyard 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, mostly organic and biodynamically farmed vineyards where the growers clearly care.

In 2019 they also got lucky. It was a return to cool climate viticulture with cool to warm days and cold nights. They worried grapes wouldn’t ripen fully, but a long growing season got them there with acid and pH levels that were lower than many in Burgundy!

A lot goes into making a wine this naturally elegant. And yet none of that seems to be reflected in the very reasonable price they charge. Click through now to take advantage of the special, newsletter-only discount.

Division, "Un" Pinot Noir, 2019

Ethereal yet savory aromatics meet earthy spicy base notes. The palate is concentrated with wild berries and fresh strawberries, dried and fresh herbs and a gorgeous mineral finish. Only 15% new French and Austrian oak was used during the 9 months of aging before blending and settling in concrete tanks. A Pinot Noir that punches way above its weight class.

Division, "Un" Chardonnay, 2019

A blend of their exceptional organic and biodynamic Chardonnay sites in the Willamette Valley. The aromatics are a nice balance of orchard fruit - pears with hints of marzipan (think pear almond tart, but not too buttery) and hints of light and well integrated flinty reduction. On the tongue, the wine is lively with gorgeous fruit, mineral character and tons of length.