Angela Vineyards was founded by Antony Beck in 2006. Antony is the son of the well-known Graham Beck, making him a second-generation vintner. Antony followed closely on the heels of his father. Though he may not have been a coalmine pioneer or one of the wealthiest magnates of South Africa, Antony adopted his father’s interest in horse breeding and winemaking and has helped continue some of the companies his father founded within these industries. Angela Vineyards, however, is Antony’s own legacy.
An idea took root fifteen years ago after a conversation among friends Antony Beck and Ken Wright about the potential for Yamhill-Carlton wines. The Beck family welcomed the opportunity to steward a unique and storied place in Oregon’s wine history. Antony established the estate in honor of his wife, Angela, intending to create a warm, casual gathering place centered around wine and hospitality in the Willamette Valley.
Alban Debeaulieu leads the evolution of Angela Vineyards, producing an exacting style of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay full of life and expressive of the vineyards where they are grown. Alban was born in the Loire Valley of France. In 2013, Alban moved to Oregon to work a second harvest at Domaine Drouhin Oregon, then became an assistant winemaker at White Rose Estate. In 2016, Alban joined Chapter 24 Vineyards and 00 Wines as a winemaker before arriving at Angela Estate in May 2017.
Winemaker Alban Debeaulieu is guided first by what the vineyard provides, handling each vintage with a light touch and gentle coaxing to bring out the purity and individuality inherent in each wine. The grapes are hand-harvested, carefully sorted either by whole berry or whole cluster, and encouraged into fermentation naturally, with the help of native yeasts and gentle extraction methods. The wines of Angela Vineyard see time in barrel, lending structure, and gravitas, and are unfined and loosely filtered as the vintage allows to preserve expression and elegance. This minimal intervention philosophy in the cellar honors the nurturing that has taken place in the vineyard.
A sustainability commitment guides Angela Vineyards’s methodology, so their grapes are organically farmed and absent of herbicides. After a very gentle extraction of either whole berries or whole clusters, the wine is aged 12-18 months in barrels on lees. French oak barrels of 228L and some 500L barrels are used for fermentation; 30% are new. The winemakers use a delicate cap management technique. There is no crushing; instead, a series of pump-overs help to coax the desired result – and what a fabulous outcome.
The winemakers at Angela Vineyards source grapes from the estate vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA and neighboring vineyards within the AVA and Willamette Valley, whose farming commitments mirror their own. Viticulturist Heath Payne is dedicated to regenerative farming using an organic and biodynamic farm program, eliminating all herbicides, and expanding plant species to support polyculture and native habitats and species.
This region is home to some of the finest Pinot Noir vineyards in the world and is rapidly becoming the hub for Pinot Noir production. A western coastal range casts a rain shadow over the area. Other surrounding mountains and hills offer additional coverage. The soil is abundant with ancient marine sediments, a well-known feature of Willamette Valley. These conditions combine for a well-suited environment, perhaps even perfect, for viticulture – especially where Pinot Noir is concerned.
Aromas of raspberry and wild red cherries are detected from a glass of this beauty. These red fruit flavors are delivered with freshness and juiciness on the palate. Velvety structure. This Pinot Noir is beautifully balanced, fruit-forward, and bright, which lets the vintage speak for itself. Pair this with beef, veal, venison, or poultry; you’ve got yourself a party.