Alexana Opens in Carlton

By Yvette Saarinen

Nestled beyond the big “Welcome to Carlton” sign, the new Alexana Winery Tasting Room is easy to find at 116 W. Main St.

The classic tasting room showcases the wines of Alexana Winery, which draws its fruit from the Dundee Hills and Yamhill-Carlton District AVAs, according to Manager Kelda Kinne.

The winery offers three wines, two from Dundee Hills. The 2007 Revana Vineyard Pinot Noir blends six clonal selections from seven microblocks to create a superb expression of this distinctive appellation. The 2007 Revana Vineyard Pinot Gris is a fragrant un-oaked wine with a silky mouthfeel balanced by lemony acidity and a hint of minerality. The third wine is the 2006 Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir, a classic Pinot with dark fruit, spicy florals and velvety tannins.

All three have drawn accolades from the Wine Spectator and Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. Previously, Alexana wines were available for purchase only on the winery website.

Alexana Winery was started by Dr. Madaiah Revana, whose Napa winery, Revana Family Vineyard, is touted as one of the best Cabernet Sauvignon producers in California.

Nearly five years ago, Revana began looking for the region and the winemaker that could produce Pinot Noirs to rival those from Burgundy. He met local winemaker Lynn Penner-Ash, whose reputation goes beyond the Willamette Valley where she has crafted wine for two decades and established herself as a premier maker of Burgundian-style wines under the Penner-Ash label.

The two began working together and found an 80-acre property in the famed Dundee Hills. Sixteen acres already were planted with Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Further acreage was developed and a wide range of Pinot Noir clones were planted.

In 2006, the first two wines, a Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir were made from the property. A third Pinot Noir was made from the Shea Vineyard.

The wines and the property are named for Revana’s daughter, Alexandra Revana.

Kinne, a California transplant, has worked in the wine and hospitality industry for several years; her husband, Alan, is a winemaker/consultant for private clients.

The understated tasting room features an oak bar, gorgeous tile and a pine table that seats eight for private tastings. Soon charcuterie and cheese pairings will be featured along with wine tasting.

The tasting room is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. For more information call 503-852-3013 or visit .

Yvette Saarinen is the business editor at the News-Register in McMinnville.

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