The McKinley clan has a long history of farming in Oregon, dating to the early 1900s when George Angus McKinlay dry farmed cherries, apples, prunes and nuts on his farm in the Eola Hills region of Oregon's Willamette Valley. Great-grandson Matt Kinne worked as an assistant winemaker to Bob Sessions at Hanzell in Sonoma County, California before returning to his family's farming roots in Oregon. He has farmed grapes on the slopes of Parrett Mountain in the Chehalem Mountain AVA since 1990. Pinot Noir is the sole wine produced with the Estate Vineyard supplying half of the fruit with the remainder sourced from neighboring Chehalem Mountain vineyards.
New plantings will provide more estate fruit in the coming years. Pinot Noir is crafted using native yeasts, 25% new oak, no additives, and bottled unfined and unfiltered. 20 vintages have been crafted in the cellar of the Kinne's home. Production is about 1,000 cases per year.
Kinne shuns fancy labels and marketing, but his wines have a loyal following in Oregon.
Over the years, many have written or said that McKinlay's head winegrower, Matt Kinne, takes a very "Burgundian" approach. After a recent visit to the winery with Matt, Holly and second generation winemaker Jake, we are revising that statement: "McKinlay takes a very Oregonian approach."
The Kinnes are friendly, humble, hard-working, low-key and welcoming; their wines are a direct reflection. The winery is truly in the cellar -- their house sits above it.
The hunt for ~$20 wines that deliver complexity and transparency on par with our more fine and rare selections is always a challenge. Very few in this range bring out the enthusiasm we're continually chasing. The McKinlay Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is not only part of this select group, it's our reference point.
Matt Kinne works with vineyards in the Chehalem Mountain range in the Willamette Valley. He's meticulous in farming, allowing only one grape cluster per shoot, and relying on dry-farming to push roots deep into the rocky volcanic soil below.