During the pre-conference excursion to Oregon’s gorgeous Umpqua Valley, Wine Media Conference participants were fortunate enough to visit the Knostman Family Winery. I really enjoyed the hospitality there! This down home, family run winery is casual and friendly, with a terrific back porch and view of the Umpqua River. It’s a great place to hang out and sip a while.
The winery, which makes its product in very small lots, was started in 2019 and has a 4 acre vineyard. An average production here ranges from 25 to 125 cases. If you pick up a bottle or two to add to your cellar, you’ll truly have something special that very few will also own. The winery produces a variety of whites and reds, from Pinot Gris to Cabernet Franc.
I tasted four of Knostman’s flagship wines: the Estate Sauvignon Blanc, Estate Pinot Gris, Estate Gamay, and Estate Malbec. I found all of the wines in their portfolio to be very light-bodied with a thin structure. This isn’t necessarily a sign of an inferior wine, it’s just that my palate gravitates towards more bold and highly tannic wines. The red wines here are a good choice for wine lovers who don’t want too much weighing down their palate. I found both of the whites to be very tart, and overly so for my taste.
The tasting presentation was super cute and clever, with the wines being delivered in a tasting flight of tiny carafes. Tasters are able to control their own pours, which is a welcome safety feature that keeps things sanitary during the pandemic.
I also liked that the by-the-bottle wine prices are clearly posted in a very visible spot (behind the main tasting bar). You can see these as soon as you walk in, so there are no surprises. Most of the wines are reasonably priced, hovering in the mid-$20 range.
If you’re looking for a terrific view and a laid-back tasting, this is a great stop on your Oregon wine journey.