It might just be the beard, but I actually think there's something in the slow, lyrical way that McKinlay owner Matt Kinne talks--like plucking strings on a mandolin--that reminds me of bluegrass impresario Dave Grisman. I caught up with Kinne in mid-September, during the tenuous, rainy days before the 2010 harvest at his home and vineyards in the Willamette Valley, and we talked about his winemaking philosophy and tasted his soon-to-be-bottled 2009s.
Established in 1987 after two years working with the team at legendary Pinot and Chardonnay producer Hanzell, Kinne started off sourcing about half his fruit from around the Willamette Valley. These days the winery is an all-estate, Pinot-only operation using fruit from nearly 30 acres of of vines planted to jory and nekiah soils just outside the town of Newberg. Happy at home with his wife Holly, and helped by one of his two grown sons, Kinne is a reluctant businessman, more at ease with his two good-natured pitbulls in the dark cellar beneath his house than out on the road selling wine. Fortunately, we're big fans of what he does, which makes it an easy job for us. And though it's been a few months since the trip, I've finally gotten the opportunity to edit down the hour and a half of video to give you a sneak peek into the life of one of our favorite winemakers. The timing couldn't be better, either. Kinne just released McKinlay's 2009 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir ($16.99) and it's both affordable and fantastic, full of beautiful dark cherry fruit and subtle spice, with chalky minerality etched in around the edges. Enjoy the video and the wine!