Grape(s): Pinot Gris
Localization: Willamette, Oregon, USA
Tasting Notes: The Aurosa showcases a charming, light golden rose color and unique hibiscus tea and rose hip tones. Slight wisps of lavender, violets, and tea rose intermingle with citrus, river stone, and steel. A layered, tannic texture compliments and supports the profile of this unique and intriguing expression of Pinot Gris.
The Domaine: Stephen and Niki Hagen founded Antiquum Farm with a passion for creating truly natural wine, working hard on their land, and raising their family with total respect and love for the outdoors and nature. Their children Daisy and Juel are both involved in the vineyard, which truly is a farm; they scout the vineyard on horseback, take care of the poultry flock, the shepherd, help make the wines, and more. Hagen was born in the Willamette Valley’s coastal foothills, raised only a few miles down the road from what is today Antiquum Farm. Stephen is steeped in a great appreciation for all things outdoors and as a child was given free rein to roam the streams, hills, and woods for miles in every direction on foot, bike, or horseback. He grew up to know the country well and developed a deep knowledge and love for his native Oregon hills. It is this intuition that guides his farming, winegrowing, and vinification decisions. He began learning the art of working draft horses after purchasing the land that was to become Antiquum Farm.
Perched at 800 feet above sea level, Antiquum Farm is nearly at the edge of what is considered a growable elevation for wine in the Willamette Valley. Despite this elevation, the slope collects heat during the day and is warmer the higher up the slope you go, then it all cools down at night. Stephen refuses to irrigate his vines, making them dig for their needs. The soils are cultivated in the tradition of pre-1940s agriculture. No outside fertilizers, synthetic or otherwise, are used. His methods are even more organic than what the certified organic rules require. The vineyard floor is intensively managed for an abundant life. This means letting the wild in while contributing species enhance vine health, insect habitat, and diversity. Returning livestock to this mix is essential: a flock of Katahdin/Dorper crosses is the cornerstone of fertility management. The Hagens use intensive rotational grazing to cycle nutrients from diverse cover crops to the vines. Several years of this practice have led to a vineyard that needs no other fertilizer, creating wines that are truly site-specific. We are calling Antiquum organic here above in the icons, but this estate is beyond organic, and even beyond biodynamic the way that Hagen is farming and creating wine. Fermentation is done with indigenous yeasts and the wines are vegan.
"Some folks tell me I am crazy. I grow wine differently. They say my methods are slow, difficult, and simply too much work. I say, life is work. It's a gift to have work you love." - Stephen Hagen, Winemaker