Utopia Vineyard produces the best Willamette Valley wines in Oregon in any vintage. It’s onf of the best vineyard to visit if you plan on vineyard tours or wine tours in Willamette Valley. Dan Warnshuis’s vineyard not too far from Willamette Valley Vineyards, is situated at an elevation of 500 feet in the heart of the Ribbon Ridge appellation in the Northern Willamette Valley Yamhill County, Oregon. Utopia Estate Vineyard consists of 16.8 acres of sloping contiguous south-facing hillsides of Willakenzie series soils. Dan is vineyard manager and also a winemaker that allows him to produce the high quality of wines. He follows sustainable Organic Farming practice. The vineyard is dry-farmed because the holistic nature of this practice ensures grape quality, complexity of flavor and water conservation. Through dry-farming the deep growing plants interact with the microbes in the soil, absorbing nutrients and minerals that contribute to an increased complexity and structure in the finished product.
Dan’s wine-making philosophy is that the wine should always be a reflection of the growing season and therefore unique each and every year. Daniel believes that maximum clonal diversity and careful attention to every detail from the vine to the bottle is essential to creating more complex wines, similar to being a small producer (vigneron) in Burgundy while making wine in Willamette Valley.
Dan while working in the technology sector discovered Willamette Valley Pinot-noir working for Tektronix in the 90s. The raw beauty of Willamette Valley wine country attracted him along with its nascent state as a wine producing region. Daniel was a big proponent of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir while still living in California and running his Napa wine business at a time when even most savvy wine drinkers were still unaware of Pinot from Oregon.
Utopia was born in 2000 and Dan produced his first commercial vintage in 2006, 413 cases of Estate wines and today the annual production is around 3000 cases. Utopia currently produces four different Estate Pinot Noir’s, each a distinct blend of different clones from the Estate Vineyard. In addition, Utopia produces an Estate Chardonnay, Pinot Noir Rose’and a Pinot Noir Blanc along with several other single vineyard varietals. All wines are produced onsite at the Estate Winery. Please visit Utopia’s site for more selections.
Dan’s wines have received numerous awards, In May 2020 “Cellar select ” award from Oregon Wine Press for his 2017 Pinot Noir, “Outstanding” award for 2016 Pinot Noir from Wine Press Northwest, Gold and Double Gold from Oregon Wine Awards for several vintages of Pinot Noirs, etc.
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