Patty Green Whiskey Distillers
Three years to the month (September, 2020), week and maybe even day when our wines from the 2020 vintage were tainted by the crazy levels of smoke from the omni-present wildfires in many different parts of Oregon. Like every winery in the state we had hard choices to make about what to do with tens of thousands of gallons of wine, most of which ranged from being somewhat impacted to so befouled that there was no hope of making even some mildly passable, inexpensive Pinot Noir. What did we choose?
- We made some of our white and rosé wines, as they were less subject to the insidious taint the smoke caused.
- We produced 800 cases of our Willamette Valley Reserve Pinot Noir from the small amount of tonnage we picked before the fires and smoke became all-encompassing in the valley.
- We bottled a lower-end second label Pinot Noir created from the least tainted wines. A bag full of winemaking tricks allowed for that wine to be enjoyable if utterly simple, with no aging capacity at all.
- We paid, in full, all the grower’s we took fruit from which was 19 of the 22. The three we did not take fruit from were all owned by other wineries that knew the situation and were either not picking their own fruit or were able to take on our tonnage into their own winery.
- We met and partnered with an incredibly talented distiller named Lynsee Sardell (more on that coming).
- We distilled thousands of gallons of ruined wine into incredibly delicious and supremely textured (this is important) brandy.
- We started sourcing and distilling heritage strains of barley and rye from small family farms in Oregon.
- We jumped through an unimaginable amount of government red-taped hoops to get to this point.
While we still have a large number of barrels of whiskey aging in our version of a rickhouse, earlier this year we came across three items that we felt were incredibly delicious and ready to be bottled under Patty Green Whiskey Distillers. We would like to introduce you to the first three releases from the distillery side of the winery.
First, though, it is important to note that these whiskeys are 100% Oregon products. All the grains were sourced locally as Oregon is a grain growing region just as it is a grape growing area of international renown. The distillery we contract with to do the distilling is located in Forest Grove and in 2022 Jim Anderson, Matty Russell and Steve & Cheryl Mozinski, purchased it in conjunction with the distiller, Lynsee Sardell. All the barrels used are either repurposed Patricia Green Cellars barrels or barrels made from Oregon oak made by cooperages here in Oregon specifically for whiskey aging. The addition of the brandy is really just replacing a distillate of corn. In fact it is a much more expensive replacement while still serving the purpose of raising the alcohol level of the distillate to bring out texture and flavor. Hardly any of the other Oregon whiskeys were made in Oregon let alone used exclusively Oregon products and labor to create them. These whiskeys are a testimony to Oregon’s ability to produce an insanely wide range of delicious products and to a group of people who wanted to figure a way around an incredible problem and make something entirely unique. Enjoy.