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Sibling Rivalry and Football Determine Who Makes Oregon Mountain Estate Pinot Noir at Sunshine Mill

Posted on September 09, 2020

The Dalles, Ore. (September 8, 2020) - Sunshine Mill Winery and Artisan Plaza, The Dalles’ premier winery and tasting room owned by a seventh generation pioneer family, announces the launch of Oregon Mountain Estate 2016 Pinot Noir. Sister and brother winemakers, Natasha Martin-Skov and Griffin Martin, University of Oregon and OSU alums, respectively, used their alma maters’ rival football game outcome as the deciding factor on who got first pick when choosing which barrels to blend. Thanks to the Beaver’s win in 2016, Griffin picked first and together, with his sister, harvested and crushed 19 barrels of pinot noir, for the 2016 vintage from the family’s vineyard, Oregon Mountain Estate. 

“When a seventh generation Oregon family is split down state university lines, only spirited friendly competition can keep the winery together!” said Sunshine Mill owner and father, James Martin. “Natasha, a University of Oregon graduate, wanted the wines to be expressed in a traditional delicate pinot noir style. Griffin, an Oregon State University alum, wanted to create a wine that spoke of its place. The finesse of an intellect focused pinot noir verses the visceral instinctive nature of primal earthly terroir. In the end, Griffin led the charge this year and we are thrilled with the outcome - a bold, earthly and delicious wine with just enough sibling rivalry to keep things interesting.”

This fall, Oregon Mountain Estate 2016 Pinot Noir will be available for purchase at Sunshine Mill.

About Oregon Mountain Estate

Oregon Mountain Estate is 130 acres of pinot noir planted in the Walla Walla Loam of the Columbia Valley, making it the largest planting of pinot noir in the largest American Viticulture Area (AVA) of the Northwest. The selection of pinot noir clones was accomplished by Phil Freese, one of the world’s top viticulturists. Oregon Mountain Estate is planted uniquely in Eastern Oregon where there are 300 days of sunshine annually and the terroir is composed primarily of rich flood sediment material from the Missoula floods that created the Valley. With five years of harvests on a large scale, consistently selling grapes to the largest producers in the Northwest, Oregon Mountain Estate has proven that the warmer climate can create great tasting pinot noir in higher yields. Oregon Mountain Estate pinot noir will be the first, self labeled wine by Oregon Mountain Estate. 

About Sunshine Mill Winery and Artisan Plaza

Sunshine Mill Winery and Artisan Plaza, originally a wheat mill producing everything from biscuit to Cheez-its, was purchased by the James Martin family in 2010, a seven generation The Dalles, Ore., pioneer family. Being the first designated “skyscraper” in the Columbia River Gorge and the first building in The Dalles to have electricity, the Martin family understood the historical significance of the building and restored the wheat mill into a beautiful tasting room, paying homage to its history by proudly displaying the original motor designed by Thomas Edison in the lobby. The mill is now equipped with a boiler house bar, an outdoor amphitheater, a grand tasting hall and 80-foot grain silos near the wine cellar. Today, Sunshine Mill is home to the Martin’s three wine labels Quenette, Oregon Mountain Estate and Copa Di Vino. For more information, please visit:

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