Tucked away in the verdant serenity of Oregon’s Chehalem Mountains is a place where beauty and passion combine to inspire all of the sense. The turn of a potter’s wheel, an explosion of vibrant juice from luscious grapes, and in your glass behold the finesse and charm of Andrew Beckham’s amphora wines.
Andrew is a a professional ceramist by trade, a teacher and maker of stunning pieces of art. With his partner Annedria, they settled in this glorious region of the Willamette Valley in 2004 to raise their family. Life took an unexpected twist when, after tasting their neighbour’s wine, it occurred to them that their property was also perfectly situated for vines. Soon they were busy planting, and their first vintage arrived in 2009. Reading about the amphora wines of legendary producer Elisabetta Foradori, Andrew could not resist the urge to combine his passions, and apply his own art and craftsmanship to creating these containers that have been used in winemaking for centuries. After much experimentation, he now produces amphorae in sizes ranging to 500 litres, lovingly handling terracotta from the Sacramento delta in a purpose-built facility adjacent to their home. Using both estate grown and locally sourced organic and biodynamic dry-farmed fruit, the amphora wines are fermented and partially or fully aged in these distinctive vessels which impart freshness, tension, and clarity. Native yeasts, no additives save for a small amount of sulphur at bottling, unfined and unfiltered, Beckham’s wines are the beautiful expression of a Pacific Northwest terroir coming to life through the artistry of a creator whose inspiration transcends the strictures of time and space.
Amphora Blanc, 2017
A lively blend of Auxerrois, Pinot Blanc, Ehrenselser, Scheurebe, Sylvaner, Viognier, and Pinot Gris. Just 10.8% ABV but 100% fun! Its light effervescence, sparkling golden hue, notes of green apple and saline minerality make it the ideal easy-going kick-back-and-relax wine for any occasion.
Amphora Vermentino, 2017
The Vermentino is sourced at the nearby White Family Estate and fermented and aged for eight weeks in amphorae, then finished in neutral barrels and stainless steel. Bright acidity, medium body, and playful notes of crisp tree fruit make this an eminently crushable wine.
Amphora Pinot Gris, 2016
A luscious Pinot Gris of a fiery orange colour reminiscent of a magnificent Oregon sunset. Here, Beckham combines juice that has fermented on skins for forty days in acacia barrels with a smaller proportion having aged in his handcrafted amphorae. If forty days evokes long dessert crossings, this is the epic celebration at the end!
Amphora Grenache, 2016
Full of joyous crunchy red fruit, this ripe yet nicely acidic, beautifully balanced Grenache is an undeniable crowd pleaser! Not sweet, but warm and fruity, its debonaire character comes from grapes sourced in southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley, fermented in amphorae and aged half in amphora, half in neutral French oak. Sadly, the region was badly hit by recent wildfires, so this will be it for a while. This wine’s joie de vivre is a striking reminder of the need we all face to be a bit gentler on our climate.
Amphora Pinot Noir Creta 2016
Beckham’s signature wine made entirely from estate Pinot Noir, a magnificent expression of the quintessential Willamette red varietal. Creta is Latin for clay, and the wine is named in this way because it is fermented and entirely aged in the winery’s terracotta amphorae. Rich and textured dark fruit, supple tannins and just the right acidity...Any occasion becomes a special one in this wine's company.