Darby and I both had yesterday off, so we headed out to wine country to retrieve our two Collector’s Club magnums at Sokol Blosser. Given that Sokol Blosser is located deep in the heart of the Dundee Hills and surrounded by other excellent wineries, we decided to drop in on Tori Mor and Archery Summit, as well.

Tori Mor makes a respectable product, no doubt. But when the nectar served at Archery Summit hit our palates, we knew we’d left excellence at the gate for another realm where adjectives fear to dwell. Of course, that hasn’t stopped mortals from describing Archery Summit’s wines.

Wine Spectator says, “Archery Summit has established itself as the Rolls-Royce of Oregon Pinot Noir.”

Tamara Belgard of Sip With Me says, “I think they (Archery Summit) just might be the Princess Diana of Oregon Pinot Noir; elegant, graceful and classy yet still somehow strong, warm and approachable.”

Clearly, winemaker Anna Matzinger has two hands, her heart, mind and soul in this, along with the requisite volcanic soils and micro-climates where the grapes are grown.

Willamette Live says Matzinger is “unassuming for someone who just had her 2006 Red Hills Estate Pinot Noir named the best wine in Oregon by Portland Monthly Magazine.”

Here’s a passage from the Willamette Live piece:

Archery Summit uses the most sustainable and organic processes possible while producing their vintages.

Matzinger views pinot grapes as the ones best able to express the terrain on which they were grown. She prefers to get out of their way over fiddling with something that isn’t broken.

From the fermentation tanks, the wine flows down to settling tanks and then down again to one of the winery’s more than 600 barrels – all of which are stored in man-made tunnels excavated for the task of storing the wine at a constant temperature.

“We have a great facility, but its job is not messing up the fruit coming in from the field,” she said.

Sean in guest relations at the winery explained to us how Archery Summit prunes its vines by as much as one-half to maximize the flavor in the remaining fruit. This also helps explain the steep prices per bottle, as the winemaker is removing plenty of good fruit in order to pursue her annual masterpieces.

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Food & beverage, Oregon