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ROCO Winemaker Rollin Soles Releases New Willamette Valley Sparkling Wine

Posted on May 23, 2016

PORTLAND, OREGON (May 23, 2016). Rollin and Corby Soles, co-owners and operators of ROCO Winery in Newberg, Oregon, will release a new Willamette Valley sparkling wine: the 2013 RMS Brut. The new méthode champenoise bubbly, a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay sourced from higher-altitude vineyards, bears Rollin Soles’ name on the label—a first for the celebrated sparkling winemaker.

A founder of Argyle Winery, Rollin was drawn to the Willamette Valley in the late 1980’s after stints in California, Switzerland, Washington, and Australia. He believed then—and still believes now—that the Willamette Valley’s cool, maritime climate is ideally suited to world-class sparkling wine production.

Rollin built the first sparkling wine facility in Oregon in 1987 and was instrumental in establishing the state’s first mobile méthode champenoise production company in 2013. He opened ROCO Winery with his wife Corby in 2001, who convinced him to make a sparkling wine under his own label in 2013.

RMS (Rollin Michael Soles) is a blend of 67% Pinot Noir and 33% Chardonnay--specifically, the same clones of both varieties found in Champagne. The fruit was sourced from higher-altitude vineyards in the Willamette Valley: Blossom Ridge (Eola-Amity AVA), Vista Hills Vineyard (Dundee Hills AVA) and Gran Moraine (Yamhill Carlton AVA). Grapes were handpicked in late September for ripeness without compromising acidity.

“After thirty years of making fine sparkling wine, I feel like it’s part of my DNA,” says ROCO winemaker Rollin Soles. “For RMS, I found three unique sites that were late ripening, had interesting soil profiles and were at a higher elevation that would ensure later harvest. I’m excited to see how the fruit from these vineyards will work together in bottle over the next decades.”

700 cases were made of the 2013 RMS Brut, with 600 cases disgorged this year. Following the tradition of the great Champagne houses, 100 cases will be held for future disgorgement in 2023.

The 2013 RMS Brut label bears a map of the Oregon Trail—a nod to Rollin and Corby Soles’ love for the Oregon landscape and its pioneer spirit.

The new bubbly has a suggested retail price of $65. The wine will be distributed nationally by fall 2016, just in time for the holiday season.

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