On Saturday, July 13, Phelps Creek Vineyards, Mt. Hood Winery and Stave & Stone Wine Estates will release each of their Smoky Pinot Noirs at their Tasting Rooms.
Throughout the 2017 Eagle Creek blaze, Phelps Creek estate vines were immersed in thick smoke.
“We quickly realized the smoke could have an irreversible effect on the ripe fruit. We carefully selected only the best blocks and eventually, the most intriguing barrels to bottle,” said Phelps Creek’s Becky Morus.
“A typical growing season yields approximately 3,000 cases of Pinot Noir from our estate vineyards. For 2017, we bottled 181 cases due to the fires.”
The Eagle Creek fire of 2017 burned nearly 50,000 acres in the Columbia River Gorge. Phelps Creek Vineyards, along with local winery partners Mt. Hood Winery and Stave & Stone Winery are each donating $3 from every bottle of Smoky Pinot Noir to the Eagle Creek Restoration Fund.
During the fire, the Eagle Creek Restoration Fund was established to aid the recovery of the Columbia River Gorge. The fund is dedicated to rebuilding the hiking trails that were closed due to the fire. Learn more at www.nationalforests.org/get-involved/eagle-creek-fire-restoration-fund.
Morus said, “We are committing to a purpose bigger than just our family winery.”
It began with a firecracker. In September of 2017, a spark on the Eagle Creek trail located some 30 miles west of Phelps Creek Vineyards soon brought calamity to Phelps Creek Winery’s door. The famous, howling winds of the Columbia Gorge caused flames to race 13 miles within the first 48 hours.
“Nothing stood between our vineyard and the fire, but tinder dry forest and hundreds of valiant firefighters,” Morus said. “We worked with local wineries to create an evacuation plan for already bottled wines. Then our family gathered important papers and priceless possessions. As the frontline approached a mile from the estate, our family vowed to rebuild the property that we’d (put) our lives into for the last 30 years,” Morus said of the winery founded by her father, Robert.
“Then suddenly, the first raindrops in months began to fall (as did our tears of relief).”