Did you know we might be the only wine shop in the country with an actual winery in the basement, and with a floor-to-ceiling window that looks into the winery? Our downstairs neighbor, Bow & Arrow, rocks out (during harvest, sometimes too loudly!) a very nice line-up heavy on Loire varieties and lighter on Pinot. Their first "Willamette Valley" bottling, the 2017 is snappy, bright, and fruit-filled.
Bow & Arrow's chief archer, Scott Frank: "Bow & Arrow is my interpretation of the Willamette Valley’s humble terroir. The most important parts of that equation are the Willamette Valley and “humble.” Our growing region is frequently approached as a grand terroir destined to produce prestigious wines with an implicit Burgundian influence. I’m honored to make wine here. Still, the valley I know and love is as much a blue-collar agricultural area as it is a boutique wine destination. It’s as much a collection of relatively simple, clay dominated soils as it is home to multi-generation family estates and renowned AVA’s. Bow & Arrow uses a different template to explore this different, simpler side of the Willamette Valley. Instead of Burgundy, we pay homage to the refreshing and decidedly working class wines of France’s Loire Valley.
I’m certainly not the first person to have this notion. Loire Valley grape varieties like Melon, Chenin Blanc, and Gamay were planted in the Willamette Valley decades before I moved here from New York in 2001. As a newly immigrated grocery store wine buyer in Portland, I was always excited when local winemakers shared their interpretations of these less typical grapes. I fantasized about creating my own winery devoted exclusively to such wines. Even after one of Oregon’s great contemporary Pinot Noir and Chardonnay masters, John Paul of Cameron Winery, drafted me as his unproven assistant winemaker in 2007, the thought of bottling Loire Valley varieties was never far away."