Usually, Rex Hill focuses largely on the Pinot Noir and white still wines for which Oregon is known. But visitors to the winery's cellar earlier this year had to step around temporary riddling racks set up between the stainless-steel tanks of Pinot Gris and casks of aging Chardonnay.
The new sparkling wine, to be called Millennium Release, is a 50-50 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay made in 1993. According to winery president Lynn Penner-Ash, the bubbly will be finished dry and offered for sale this fall.
Penner-Ash, who made wine at Domaine Chandon in California's Napa Valley earlier in her career, decided to make this attempt at Oregon bubbly long before millennium talk started heating up. "I would like to take credit for a marketing coup," she said with a shrug. "But I only did it because I love sparkling wine and hadn't made any since my days at Chandon."
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