Breaking Ground Pinot noir: Your Perfect Condiment for Summer


With the summer months ahead, Oregonians look for any excuse to be outside. What better way to embrace the long, sunny days than firing up the grill? Instead of the classic ketchup and mustard, let a fruit forward, acid-driven Pinot noir accompany your summer grill session. Regardless of what you throw on the coals, Pinot noir shares similar characteristics to the grill’s traditional condiments.

Pinot noir is the perfect example of a “medium wine”: body, acidity and tannin. It also exhibits balanced amounts of fruit, earth and spice, depending on the “terroir”, the environment in which the grapes are grown. With California’s riper and juicier Pinot noir on one end of the scale and Burgundy’s leaner earthier Pinot on the other end, the Willamette Valley sits comfortably in the center. The Pinot noirs from this region have acidity that is bright and refreshing, cutting through fatty meats and keep you reaching for the glass after every bite of food. The tannins are strong enough to stand up to lamb and beef, and easily softened by the salty seasonings, creating a balanced sip. Pinot’s diverse flavor profiles complement many of the smoky, meaty and sweet flavors from the grill. Between the bright acidity, structured tannin and abundance of flavor, the Willamette Valley gives Pinot enthusiasts a quality wine for every occasion.

Pinot noir make up approximately 81% of the Willamette Valley, and about 69% of the Chehalem Mountains American Viticulture Area (AVA), Willamette Valley’s northernmost AVA. In 2014, Adelsheim’s winemaking team created a wine that perfectly represents the Chehalem Mountains AVA: Breaking Ground Pinot noir. The second edition, 2015 Breaking Ground Pinot noir has a similar profile to the previous vintage - the three dominant soil types of the Chehalem Mountains are represented along with the range of elevations across five different vineyards.


Breaking Ground Pinot noir is the ultimate grilled food wine. Its strong acidity cuts through fatty meats and balances vinaigrettes. The weight of the wine matches the weight of any food and its ripe red fruit flavors with light brown baking spice are complementary to most spice rubs, not to mention the length of the finish will outlast the length of Oregon summer days.

Is your mouth watering yet? It should be. Light that grill, scoop up that bottle and relax. Summer has arrived, so enjoy it with a glass of the Chehalem Mountains’ best.

Don’t take our word for it, try it yourself! These recipes are simple to follow, and will show you exactly what we’re talking about. Bon appétit!

Stephanie Maldonado