Bottoms Up — June 30, 2014 at 10:40 am

Into the Vines with Elizabeth Chambers Cellar

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elizabeth-chambers-cellar

Elizabeth Chambers Cellar is a winery in Oregon that was founded by Liz Chambers in 2013. Liz is a third generation Oregonian whose family was one of the pioneers of winemaking in that region. Liz works together with winemaker Michael Stevenson to make these amazing wines with the least amount of manipulation.

I had the chance to taste the Winemaker’s Cuvée Pinot Noir and as a big wine drinker I was very impressed by the quality of the Pinot Noir. It is light bodied, the color is a translucent red, the aroma is very strong and as the wine is swirled, it smelled very fresh and clean. When I tasted the wine I noticed that while it was both fruity and tart, it was the right combination of the both. The wine goes very well with dinner and as it ages in the bottle it tastes even better. This Pinot Noir was made primarily with dark fruit, specifically plums and red cherries, black licorice and sassafras. The fruit for this first cuvée comes primarily from the Freedom Hill Vineyard, as well as from some selected blocks from the Lazy River Vineyard.

The bottle is very beautiful and the label is even more so. Each bottle has the Elizabeth Chambers Cellar signature label that is composed of three windows set against a white back ground with a blue butterfly. The blue butterfly was inspired by Liz’s mother who used to collect them and who also inspired Liz tremendously to start her own wine company.  I had the opportunity to ask Liz a few questions about her brand to gain more insight into Liz, as well as the brand as a whole.

The blue butterfly on your label is a tribute to your mother. Was the background of the label, the three windows, also inspired by your mother? If not, where did this idea come from?

The three windows are an illustration of the front of my actual cellar, the historic power plant building where we have the winery in McMinnville, Oregon.

In the winemaking business do you feel that it’s harder for you to be taken seriously because you’re a woman?

No. There are a lot of female winemakers and women in the wine business now.

How long have you been working with Michael Stevenson and how is the dynamic between you two?

Since 2005. The dynamic is hilarious. We have a great relationship. We have a mutual admiration for each other.

You and Michael both believe in “working with what nature gives them.”  For those that do not know much about winemaking, do you think they would notice the difference between a wine that is majorly manipulated versus a wine, such as yours, that lets nature take its course?

I think that they would taste the difference, that we don’t use a lot of oak or additives, and that it’s noticeable in a pleasing way.

Are you planning on expanding the distribution of Elizabeth Chambers Cellar to other states?

Absolutely. We just acquired a distributor in New York and we’re in the process of partnering with many other state distributors as quickly as we can.

What’s next for Elizabeth Chambers Cellar?

We’re just getting started! We’re working to get our name out there in the wine-loving regions of the country and secure further distribution. We’re having a grand opening at the newly renovated winery in Oregon in July.

The fact that Liz and Michael believe in working with what nature gives them is amazing because, as the saying goes, “why fix something that’s not broken?” Letting nature take its course with this wine clearly shows in the quality of the Pinot Noir. Elizabeth Chambers Cellar is definitely on my radar after having had the pleasure to taste the Winemaker’s Cuvée. I am very excited to follow Elizabeth Chambers Cellar as they continue on their path to making more exquisite wines.

Twisted Talk: Have you tried Elizabeth Chambers Cellar yet? If not, are you planning on going out and getting a bottle? Discuss below!


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