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Winemaker's Spotlight: LUMOS Wine Co.

Lumos Wine Company, based in Philomath, Oregon, started with Dai Crisp and PK McCoy in 2000. Dai grows all the grapes used in Lumos wines in USDA/Oregon certified organic vineyards. The philosophy of a natural approach with minimal intervention also drives the winemaking. Lumos was recently recognized by Wine & Spirits Magazine as one of their Top 100 Wineries for 2022!  Following are descriptions of the vineyards managed by Dai and from which the Lumos wines are made.  Temperance Hill Vineyards, managed by Dai since 1999, is a 100-acre vineyard located in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA. This vineyard was first planted in 1981 on basalt-based volcanic soil and is primarily Pinot Noir, with a few acres of Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Aligoté. With an elevation range of 660 to 860 feet, Temperance Hill is a cool site, providing excellent growing conditions for Pinot Noir.  The vineyard supplies about 26 clients. Wren Vineyard is the Lumos home site. Originally planted in 1985 by Dai and his folks, it has grown to 15 acres and is planted in Pommard Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Muller-Thurgau and Dijon clone Chardonnay. Elevation is 300 – 500 feet and even with direct south facing exposure, it is an extremely cool site prone to frost. Logsdon Ridge Vineyard is owned by the Rudolph family and known to the Lumos team as Rudolfo. This small 10-acre vineyard is planted entirely to Pinot Gris and has been farmed by Dai and his team since 2000. Located just north of Corvallis, it is a warm, low elevation site that ripens very early. The vineyard supplies 6 clients, all making beautiful Pinot Gris.

The Carménère grape is a wine grape variety originally planted in the Médoc region of Bordeaux, France, where it was used to produce deep red wines and occasionally used for blending purposes in the same manner as Petit Verdot.

A member of the Cabernet family of grapes, the name "Carménère" originates from the French word for crimson (carmin) which refers to the brilliant crimson color of the autumn foliage prior to leaf-fall.

Season Cellars


 More of a fruity and dry full-bodied variety, but the fact that this predominantly France-produced wine is growing so popular in Oregon now shows how unique and special its taste is.


Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 

J. Scott Cellars

Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 

Petite Sirah (“Peh-teet sear-ah”) (aka Durif or Petite Syrah) was first found growing in France in the mid-1800’s. It’s loved for its extraordinary deep color and full-bodied flavors of blueberry, chocolate, plums and black pepper. Despite its popularity, Petite Sirah is an exceptionally rare grape with less than 10,000 planted acres worldwide.

J. Scott Cellars

Petite Sirah 2018       

Unlike the fruity wines that Oregon produces, Syrah is more of a spicy wine that might take acclimating to. It tends to take on a rich flavor and is almost black in color, giving a whole new name to deep red wine.

Eola Hills

Syrah, 2015  

In true Oregon style, Merlot, which is a dark blue colored variety of wine, is another common option in the regions.

It’s no big surprise that it is a big deal among wine drinkers who stream through the Oregon wine country and in this case, it has a lower acidity than some other paler wines. That might be why some people prefer it, but it could also be because of Merlot’s herb-centric taste and aroma.

Eola Hills

Merlot Barrel Select, 2017

Tempranillo grapes are prominent in the western region of Oregon, but it’s no secret that the grapes found their home in Oregon because of its ideal climate for proper growth. The Tempranillo itself has a fruity and herb-like flavor that is robust, but not overpowering. It’s more of a black grape wine that is known better for its abundant growth and production in Spain, but if you prefer to find your wine in the Oregon wine country, you can grab a few bottles of this.

Eola Hills

Tempranillo, BSR 2018  

Parra Wine Company

Tempranillo, Zenith 2020 

In the late 1800s, a white, Folle Blanche, was crossed with an unknown American wine and the end result was Baco Noir. It’s a deep red wine that has so many layers of flavor it can sometimes be hard to pinpoint just one note.

But if you taste blueberry, plum, mocha, and spice somehow all at the same time or individually, that’s not uncommon. The wine is commonly grown in cooler climates and it was first brought to Oregon by a French winemaker, so you know it’s the real deal.

River's Edge Winery

Baco Noir 2020  

Because deep red and even darker wines are so prominent in Oregon, it should come as no surprise that an Italian-originated wine like Dolcetto, which is almost black in color, is another popular variety in the region.

In Oregon, it is most common in the Southern Oregon wine country valley and it is typically a dry but fruity and mild wine. Unlike some other wines, however, this one should be consumed a few years after it is released rather than age for much longer than that.

Chris James Cellars

Dolcetto 2018  

Lagrein (pronounced lah-GRAH’EEN, lah-GRINE or lah-GRI’NE)[1] is a red wine grape variety native to the valleys of South Tyrol, northern Italy. Along with Marzemino, it is a descendant of Teroldego, and related to Syrah, Pinot noir and Dureza. Additional plantings include small acreage in the Willamette Valley.

Chris James Cellars

Lagrein 2019     

Malbec is another wine that might not have had a permanent home in Oregon up until a few years ago. It comes from a grape that was commonly grown in Argentina and even New Zealand thanks to the warm climates those areas offer, but it has also found a home in Northwest Oregon.

The flavor is full-bodied with notes of blackberry, plum, and even smoke to give it a rich feel.

Season Cellars

Malbec 2020 ***DRAFT***

Although Grenache is most commonly produced in Mediterranean countries, it also holds a special place in the hearts of Oregon wine lovers. It comes from a deep red grape and is slightly sweet with a fruity and spicy flavor.

Luckily, Southern Oregon’s hot dry summers and long sunny days during the fall make for the optimum growing conditions for the grapes for this wine. It might not be totally comparable to the Mediterranean, but it is an area that has a low risk of cold blasts in the colder months out of the year.

Season Cellars

Grenache 2016 

Although Zinfandel grapes are primarily grown in California, Oregon has adopted its own way to grow the vines to produce its own kind of Zinfandel that offers another wine variety to wine-loving visitors and residents.

Oregon wineries may have either a light-colored Zinfandel or, if the grape skins are left on the grapes during production, you’re left with a more full-bodied red Zinfandel which offers its own flavorful benefits.

J.Scott Cellars

Zinfandel 2019 

The beauty of a red blend is that you can highlight the best characteristics of each grape you use in your wine. Take the black fruits, plum, and raisin notes from a Zinfandel, the blueberry and fresh fruit characteristics from Syrah, and the ripe red fruits from a Merlot, blend them well and you have some pretty spectacular wine.

Season Cellars

Phoenix 2014    

66% Sangiovese – 24% Carmenere – 7% Malbec – 3% Cabernet Franc

Chris James Cellars

Miscella 2020    

33% Lagrein -- 33% Dolcetto -- 34% Barbera


RTW 6th Edition 2020   

70% Puinot Noir -- 30% Tempranillo

While Chardonnay might not be on the main wines produced by Oregon wineries in the past, it is slowly becoming another favorite. This white wine in Oregon has a pleasantly acidic taste that might give off flowery undertones to offset some of the acidic flavors. The ending result is a white wine that feels like it should have been produced in Oregon wine country all along.

Björnson Vineyard

Reserve Chardonnay 2021  

Denison Cellars

Cassin Chardonnay 2020   

Parra Wine Company

Chardonnay 2019    

Schaad Cellars

Chardonnay 2021   **DRAFT**

Another popular Oregon wine is Pinot Gris. Oregon’s climate offers perfect conditions to grow the Pinot Gris grape and the resulting wine is light-bodied and crisp. If you’re looking for an “easy” wine that doesn’t feel too heavy on the taste buds, this might be your flavor.

Eola Hills Vineyard

Pinot Gris ***DRAFT ***

Willamette Valley Vineyards

Pinot Gris 2021      


Pinot Gris 2021     


"Heart" Pinot Gris 2019 

Parra Wine Co.

Pinot Gris 2021    

As another white wine found in Oregon, Sauvignon Blanc is dry with a fruity but also grassy flavor and light colors. But, unlike some other Oregon wines, this is almost a delicacy in the area. In fact, there are only around 100 acres in Oregon dedicated to the growth of grapes for this particular wine. To some, that makes it even more in demand. And for those who prefer white wine over all others, this can be a fast favorite.

Croft Vineyards

Sauvignon Blanc 2019   

Fences Winery

Sauvignon Blanc 2021   

Although Pinot Noir is considered one of the premier wines of Oregon, it’s easy to see why Pinot Blanc also holds a special place in the hearts of those who frequent the Oregon wine country.

It’s a medium-bodied wine with an aroma of honey that is so distinct you can’t really ignore its uniqueness. In Oregon specifically, the method used to make Pinot Blanc is fermentation in stainless steel or older oak, which eventually leads to rich and smoky wines that make them unique to Oregon.

Brigadoon Wine Co.

Pinot Blanc 2021   

Oregon’s Willamette Valley rosé wines run the gamut of styles. Most of the offerings will be rosé of Pinot Noir, although the occasional rosé of Pinot Gris will show up. Their color will range from a light salmon color to a distinctive red – what used to be called claret style.

J.Scott Cellars

Rosé of Grenache  

Stangeland Vineyards

Rosé of Tampranillo '21

Red Hawk Vineyard

Rosé of Dolcetto '21      

Season Cellars

Rosé of Malbec **DRAFT**

Voiolet Vines

Rosé of Pinot Noir     

Parra Wine Company

Rosado 2019    

Fences Winery

Rosé of Cabernet Sauvignon '21

Trinity Vineyards

Rosé of Pinot Noir  '21

Although you might expect most feelings to have generally the same taste, somehow the unique Rieslings of Oregon have different notes depending on the winery you go with. Some might, for example, gives off hints of lime, while other options might have a pear flavor undertone. Like other whites, Riesling might not be what Oregon is immediately known for, it is becoming a fast favorite among wine connoisseurs and those who are less experienced in the art of wine tasting.

Willamette Valley Vineyards

Riesling 2021          

Chris James Vineyard

 Riesling, WV (Estate) 2021  

Brooks Vineyard

 Riesling, WV (Estate) 2021 

Muscat Ottonel Wine. Muscat Ottonel is a younger and less-distinguished member of the broader Muscat family. It was created in 1852 in France by a private breeder who crossed Chasselas and Muscat Ingram. The variety makes a range of wine styles, from light, dry table wines to richer styles with more residual sugar.

Eola Hills Vineyard

Muscat Ottonel 2020   

In a region so famous for particular varietals, other wines from the same place can appear like second-class citizens. Such is the case for Burgundy’s “other white,” Aligoté. When we consider Burgundian wines, we naturally think of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay; but other remarkable wines, like Gamay and Aligoté (al-i-goh-tey), are produced there, too. Aligoté, often in the shadow of its Burgundian sister, Chardonnay, is gaining its own enthusiastic following. With its driving acidity, bright fruit flavors and solid fruit set, more people appreciate the wine’s approachability and intrigue.

River’s Edge

Vintage Farm Vineyard 2021 

Viognier is most well known for its origins in France. Because it comes from a grape that is difficult to grow in just any region and because it is equally as complicated to craft the perfect wine from the grape.

In the Pacific Northwest, however, including Oregon, some vineyards have developed the right temperament and grow atmosphere to create a variation of the wine. While it is made in a dry style, the wine still has hints of apricots and orange blossoms, which adds to its overall unique style and flavor.

Season Cellars

Viognier 2018               

Darque Wines

Viognier 2020            

Chenin Blanc

It wasn’t until recent years that Chenin Blanc was even a thing in the Oregon wine country. It comes from a grape known most well for being planted in the Loire Valley of France and then becoming more popular in California, but not Oregon until a few years ago.

Now, it remains one of the premier white wines and has a fruity dry flavor while remaining one of the milder wines that are easy to drink and smooth for even the less experienced wine drinkers.

Satyr Fire

Waxwing Chenin Blanc 2021 

White Blends

White blends are most common in Old World regions but are make waves throughout Oregon as winemakers craft amazing wines while carefully selecting their varietals and percentages.

Season Cellars

Transparency 2021 

Satyr Fire

Nectar Flow 2021  

Sunday glasses: 50% OFF

Many sparkling wines that you find now from Oregon, and the Pacific Northwest, are made in the Méthode Champenoise, which is the traditional method used in Champagne. 

Capitello Wines

Sparkling Brut NV              

Darque Wines

Sparkling PN Rosé 2021   

Trinity Vineyards

This-N-That Sparkling PN Rosé 2021   

Dessert Wines

Dessert wines, sometimes called pudding wines in the United Kingdom, are sweet wines typically served with dessert. There is no simple definition of a dessert wine. In the UK, a dessert wine is considered to be any sweet wine drunk with a meal, as opposed to the white fortified wines drunk before the meal and the red fortified wines drunk after it. Thus, most fortified wines are regarded as distinct from dessert wines, but some of the less-strong fortified white wines

Wetzel Estate

Vin de Glace 

Bjornson Vineyard

"Thor" Dessert Wine '19  

"Ratafia" Dessert Wine '19

Parra Wine Co.

Dulce Remedio 2015

DAnu Wines

'Boru' Dessert Style Tempranillo 2016

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