Ledger David Cellars – Vineyard and Winery in Southern Oregon

Ledger David Gleans Winemaking Insight from Legendary Winemaker Gary Figgins of Leonetti Cellar

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By Kiley Evans, Winemaker


David and Kiley toured the wine barrels of Leonetti Cellar.

A relentless pursuit of quality. This mantra guides every winemaking activity at Ledger David Cellars. The pursuit of quality takes many different forms, as well. Scientific research, vineyard experiments, and cellar trials have merit in the pursuit, but the wisdom handed down from those with more experience has its place, as well. When that wisdom comes Gary Figgins, who planted the first commercial vineyard in the Walla Walla Valley and with his wife founded Leonetti Cellar as the first commercial winery in the Walla Walla Valley nearly 40 years ago, it takes on serious weight. Leonetti Cellar is a legendary vineyard and winery whose focus has always been on quality. Their exceptional wines, consistently reviewed and rated as among the very best in America, combined with a very limited supply creates an undeniable mystique, as evidenced by the 3+ year wait to get on their mailing list. While justly revered for monumental, collectible, impossible-to-get Cabernet Sauvignons, what many may not realize is that Mr. Figgins produces arguably the best, and most highly respected, Sangiovese on the planet that isn’t from Italy.

Owner David Traul and I had the great fortune to meet Gary and Vineyard Manager Jason Magnaghi recently and when the opportunity arises to sit with the Master and his benchmark wines one seizes the chance to take proper objective measure of one’s efforts. We tasted the Ledger David Sangiovese from multiple vintages. The comments were encouraging (deep, ripe, effusive fruits with great weight and acid/tannin balance). We also were fortunate to taste the Leonetti 2005 and 2010. Both were beyond impressive for their balance, integration, presence, and personality. Trying to choose between the two would be an exercise in futility as they were so different, yet so utterly delicious.

We toured the winery, cellar, bottling room, and barrel cave. We discussed, among other topics, all things Sangiovese from trellising to crop loads to fermentation to blending to aging. The questions, answers, and discussions were lively and the wealth of knowledge offered was astounding. What we learned is that we are doing quite a few things right in the vineyard and winery. Our crop loads are in line for the variety when considering our spacing and site. Solid vineyard management. Our wines are showing a good balance of fruit, oak, and spice with the variety’s typical dustiness. The intensity and concentration are there. Varietal character? Check. What we also learned is that there are some areas of experimentation we should explore that could have potentially huge impact on wine textural quality, length, and longevity. No, we’re not going to spell it all out in this short blog post, but trust us when we say the bar is about to get raised…again.

April 16 Winemaker Dinner at Ledger David

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Join Winemaker Kiley Evans and the Ledger David team for a special winemaker dinner at Le Petit Tasting Room in Central Point on Thursday, April 16 at 6:30pm.

A pre-release of our long-awaited first vintage 2013 Petit Verdot will take center stage with a special menu created by Chef Bill Prahl from Déjà Vu Bistro & Wine Bar. The event will also feature a selection of library wines.

Cost is $65. Reservations Required. Limited Seating.
Contact Heather Davis at (541) 664-2218 for more info.


Chilled Lobster, Baby Bok Choy, Toasted Almonds & Orange Salad
Paired with 2013 Viognier

Cassoulet of White Beans, Morels, Spanish Chorizo, Tricolor Pepper Confit
Paired with 2012 Tempranillo

Spice Braised Crispy Pork Belly, “Tobacco” Caramelized Red Onions, Farro, Blackberry Gastrique
Paired with 2011 Dark Night

Smoky Anderson Ranch Lamb Loin Roulade, Rosemary Potato Cake Pink Peppercorn Lamb Reduction, Charred Brussel Sprouts
Paired with 2013 Petit Verdot

“Peaches & Cream” Oven Roasted Peach Crepes, Vanilla Crème Anglaise, Pistachio Dust
Paired with 2014 Malvasia Bianca

Kick Off Spring with Oregon’s Best Cheese & Wine!

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OR Cheese Guild 2015 Dinner Menu FINAL 021815By Regina Vaccari

Calling all fine cheese and wine lovers! Kick off spring with Ledger David this weekend at Le Petit Tasting Room in Central Point as we celebrate the 11th Annual Oregon Cheese Festival. It’s always a busy, fun time during this annual event, held this year at the Rogue Creamery, Saturday, March 14 from 10am-5pm. To complete their culinary experience, event attendees make it a tradition to stop at the Artisan Corridor’s neighboring wine and chocolate shops. That’s where we come in!

We’ll be open from noon-5pm to greet you with a selection of your favorite wines paired with warm tomato soup and clam chowder, and fresh baked bread. Don’t miss live music from local artists from 1-4pm. If you’re heading over to the big tent at the Creamery, stop by and see David & Deanna!

Ledger David is honored to have been selected as one of four wineries featured at the pre-event Cheese Maker Dinner the night prior to the festival, on Friday, March 13. Our 2011 Orion’s Nebula is being paired with Braised Kurobuta Pork Cheeks with a Bing Cherry Infused Pan Jus, Fresh Mozzarella (Face Rock Creamery Curds), Grilled Ciabatta, Arugula & Hazelnut Oil.

We stopped to talk to event organizers about the event. We found out that Southern Oregon (actually Central Point) is the birthplace of the Oregon Cheese Guild, which was founded in 2006. Rogue Creamery was the site of the first Oregon Cheese Guild Benefit Dinner and the first Oregon Cheese Festival.

The event features a unique menu, an opportunity to learn about some of the finest cheese in Oregon directly from the cheesemakers (OSU Creamery, Face Rock Creamery, Ancient Heritage & Fern’s Edge Goat Dairy) as well as an opportunity to learn about Oregon wines from the winemakers. All event proceeds benefit the Oregon Cheese Guild.

For more info, visit www.oregoncheeseguild.org.


Pomme Rösti Served with Ledger David 2013 Viognier

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By Robert Trottmann

Serves 4

Pomme Rösti or röschti is a Swiss dish consisting mainly of potatoes. It was originally a common breakfast eaten by farmers in the canton of Bern, but today is eaten all over Switzerland and also in many restaurants in the western world. Many Swiss people consider rösti a national dish. Today, rather than considering it only for breakfast, it is more commonly served to accompany other dishes such as “Spinat und Spiegelei” (spinach and fried eggs, sunny side up), cervelas or Fleischkäse. It is also a dish one can order in many Swiss restaurants to replace the standard side dish of any given meal.

This is a real comfort food dish. I served it with poached eggs, a dollop of sour cream and a side of asparagus. This is an in between time for seasonal cooking at my house as things start to get going in my gardens. Potatoes are readily available and in honor of my new chicks in the coop, the poached eggs seem a fitting tribute to springs arrival. All of these are delightful served with Ledger David 2013 Viognier. A perfect pairing, simple and delicious!

4 medium sized potatoes
2 tsp. salt
Generous amount of freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup melted butter

Coarsely grate the potatoes and place in ice water until thoroughly chilled. Lay the potatoes out onto a cloth and roll them up to thoroughly squeeze out the moisture. Put the potatoes into a mixing bowl and pour the melted butter over them. Add salt and pepper. Toss until the butter and salt and pepper are evenly distributed on the potatoes. Place the potatoes evenly into a 10” diameter cast iron skillet on medium high heat and cook on one side until crispy and golden brown, flip and repeat until both sides are equally browned. It is divine!

To poach an egg (it is so easy):
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place one tablespoon of water in a muffin tin cup (you can make as many poached eggs as you have spaces in your tin). I like to add a dash of melted butter to my egg but it is not necessary. Put one egg per muffin tin cup and cook at 350 degrees for 8-10 minute depending on how well done you like your egg.

Serve immediately. I like asparagus, collards, chard, kale, spinach or other cooked leafy greens as a side. You can top the potatoes with sour cream, Greek yogurt, and chives. Other toppings that are wonderful are pickled vegetables. Get creative and enjoy!

Trends in Vineyard Management Include Using Birds of Prey for Pest Control

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By Winemaker Kiley Evans

Every year the entire Oregon wine industry gathers to discuss all things marketing, sales, business, vineyard, and yes, wine. The peak is the Awards Dinner during which members of the state’s wine industry are recognized for their contributions to the advancement of Oregon wine. Ledger David’s award-winning 2011 Orion’s Nebula red blend was fortunate enough to be selected by a team of talented Oregon sommeliers as one of ten wines served at the dinner.

The Oregon Wine Board scheduled lectures on subjects ranging from using drones to gain perspective on vineyard management impacts to business succession planning. The most interesting lecture I attended featured insights into different fermentation vessels comparing stainless steel tanks, wood tanks, concrete vats, and clay amphorae. The textural differences were remarkable owing mainly to the different air permeation rates for each material. Concrete, oak, and clay all “breathe” to different degrees whereas stainless steel is completely airtight. That subtlety has a big impact on how wines develop mouthfeel during fermentation. Another interesting session focused on how viticultural practices can impact the pace of fruit ripening. An experimental vineyard site harvested fruit at similar ripeness levels on three different days called “early”, “middle”, and “late.” After identical fermentation and aging protocols the wines exhibited similar color and aromatic profiles, but the level of extract and tannin was significantly different between the three treatments. The early harvest was light and elegant, the middle harvest was richer and more intensely flavored while the late harvest was deep and broodingly structured with obvious ageability.

March Blog Post Symposium Falcon Pic

In addition to lectures, the symposium included an extensive Exhibit Hall featuring everything wine-related from tractors to wine bottle labels to winery floor coating options, but the most interesting booth contained bird roosts. That’s right.

There is a company that specializes in an unique form of bird control. Some migratory birds such as Robins, Starlings, and Cedar Waxwings are ravenous feeders that absolutely love ripe grapes. A flock of any of these can consume several tons of fruit in just a few hours. Many control methods use distress calls or propane gas cannons to scare birds away or nets to cover the fruit. A novel biological method to control these pests that is completely sustainable and has nearly zero impact is to use birds of prey to literally chase the pest birds out of the vineyard. Using imported Asian falcons (domestic birds of prey are protected species and as such cannot be legally domesticated for use) this company will come to your vineyard and use their trained falcons to chase out other birds. Having seen this in operation I can say it is really interesting to see how a single small falcon can have such enormous impact.

I always enjoy the time with friends that I don’t see often, as well as meeting new people. Here’s to another great Oregon Wine Industry Symposium and a big thank you to the organizers for putting together a fantastic educational program!

Spring Wine Club Pick Up

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Join Ledger David Cellars for our spring Primoris Wine Club pick up party March 20-22 at Le Petit Tasting Room. Celebrate the release of our newest wines including 2012 Estate Tempranillo and 2012 Epitome of Three. This adventurous red blend recently took home a silver award at the reputable 2015 San Francisco Chronicle International Wine Competition. Other wine club selections include our latest vintage 2013 Viognier – perfect for spring wine parings.

Enjoy these wines with small bites from Pomodori Bistro & Wine Bar all weekend. We’re staying open a little late on Friday and Saturday just for wine club members. If you come Sunday, don’t miss local blue grass band Not Too Shabby from 2-4pm!

Event Hours: Fri. & Sat., noon-6pm | Sun., noon-5pm

Please let us know if your billing information has changed. Call Heather Hamlin at (541) 664-2218 or email [email protected] and she would be delighted to update your payment information before processing your wine club order. For your convenience, you can also now update your credit information online with our secure wine club form.

We will be processing orders on Monday, March 16. As a reminder, 3-bottle members receive a 15% discount, 6-bottle members 20% and 12-bottle members 25% discount on all wine club selections.

If you are unable to join us during this event weekend, your wine club selections will be available after Monday, March 23 at the tasting room in Central Point (next to the Rogue Creamery) any time during regular hours.

Ledger David Wins Top Scores at San Francisco
Chronicle Awards

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By Kiley Evans

Dateline: San Francisco, CA.
Event: The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
Result: Ledger David Cellars brings 9 medals back to the Rogue Valley including 4 for our first vintage efforts!

2011 Malbec. 2011 Dark Night. 2011 Syrah. 2012 Epitome of Three. Our first vintage of these crowd favorites medal at the 2015 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Tack on awards for 2011 Orion’s Nebula, 2013 Sauvignon blanc, 2012 Sangiovese, 2012 Cabernet franc, and 2013 Primoris Chenin blanc, too.

Why is this a big deal? First of all, the fact that we are such a young winery makes us a legitimate David versus Goliath when compared to the big name established wineries. It’s a role we really enjoy, too. Secondly, we validate our focus on both varietal wines and blends. Our first Tempranillo-based blend, 2011 Dark Night, our first Syrah-based blend, 2012 Epitome of Three, and our flagship Cabernet franc-based blend, 2011 Orion’s Nebula, all brought home some hardware. Imagine the look on the judge’s faces when the bags are removed and our wines are standing right there toe to toe with the big brands with international reputations! We can almost hear the judges say, “That wine is from where? They grow that in Oregon? Seriously?”

The sheer size of the SF Chronicle Wine Competition, over 6,400 entries, is what makes it such an important measurement for our wines. The event conducts blind tastings by some of the country’s most highly regarded professionals in the wine, restaurant, travel, journalism, and academic industries. When the size of the playing field is considered, a medal at the Chronicle Competition is considered more prestigious than most others. Here’s to a great contest and inspiring results!

Stars Align For Orion’s Nebula

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By Kiley Evans

We get asked pretty regularly about the name of our flagship red blend Orion’s Nebula. How did you come up with that name? What does it mean? How does that connect to wine? Are you astronomers?

Dreamers? Definitely. Stargazers? Maybe.


In a broad sense Orion’s Nebula is a creative outlet for Ledger David Cellars just as Orion’s Nebula gives birth to new stars. We call upon our estate vineyard’s star vines to compose Orion’s Nebula as the celestial stars make up Orion. We further personalize the strength in unity of our winegrowing and winemaking efforts much like Orion is visible in both the Earth’s hemispheres. Colloquially, we call Orion’s Nebula our “Right Bank” red blend based on Cabernet franc as an ode to the great wines from St. Emilion along the Eastern bank of Bordeaux’s Dordogne river, the “Right Bank.” Our priority is a wine of elegance and authority that embodies the beauty of the night sky and the power of the warrior hunter. Bold yet sophisticated. Powerful yet refined.

Orion is visible in the northern hemisphere from Fall into Spring. Besides the star Betelguese, a red supergiant whose color is apparent with the naked eye, the most immediately discernable feature of the constellation Orion is a small southeast-to-northwest line of three distinct stars referred to as Orion’s Belt. Descending from that “belt” is a second line of three stars known as the hunter’s sword. The sword’s middle star is in fact not a star at all, but a cluster of stars and gas known as Orion’s Nebula, which is actually a stellar “nursery” where new stars are born.

Orion. His enormous size, supernatural strength, and cunning skill with the sword made him a legendary warrior and hunter. So much so that he was retained by Kings to rid their kingdoms of vicious beasts. His prowess led to him being in the company of the virgin goddess Diana, sister of Apollo, as a companion and friend. Upon seeing their mutual infatuation, Apollo became enraged. He sent an invulnerable scorpion to chase Orion into the sea while he taunted his sister as she strolled the shoreline that she was not his equal with the bow and arrow. He pointed out a tiny dot in the ocean that she certainly could not hit. Diana unleashed an arrow with mortal accuracy then cried incessantly as Orion’s body washed ashore later. She placed him and his sword among the stars so she might enjoy his company as she rode her chariot across the night sky.

Ancho Chile Soup with Chocolate

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Paired with Ledger David Orion’s Nebula Red Blend
By Robert Trottmann

Serves 6–8

3 dried ancho chiles
4 medium tomatoes, cored
1 small white onion, quartered
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. ground cumin
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
3 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Sour cream, sliced avocado, cilantro leaves, and tortilla strips or chips for serving.

Heat a 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chiles and cook, turning once, until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, pour over 1 cup boiling water, and let sit until soft, about 30 minutes.
Drain chiles, reserving soaking liquid, and remove stems and seeds. Transfer chiles to a blender and set aside. Return pot to heat, and add tomatoes, and onion; cook, turning as needed, until blackened all over, about 10 minutes. Transfer to blender, along with garlic, cinnamon, sugar, and cumin; puree until very smooth and set aside.
Return pan to medium-high heat, and add oil. When hot, add chile purée, and fry, stirring constantly, until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Add stock, and bring to a boil; remove from heat, stir in chocolate, and season with salt and pepper. Serve ladled into bowls with a dollop of sour cream, a few slices of avocado, cilantro leaves and some tortilla strips.

Holiday Wine Club Pick Up

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‘Tis the season of giving…and receiving. As a Primoris Wine Club Member, get an additional 5 percent off all purchases through December 31. Let’s celebrate!

Join Ledger David Cellars for our Holiday Wine Club Pick Up Dec. 5-7 at Le Petit Tasting Room. Celebrate special wine releases including our limited production 2011 Syrah, named one of Oregon’s ’50 Best Wines’ by Portland Monthly Magazine. Other exciting holiday releases include our 2013 Chardonnay and our 2012 Cabernet Franc.

December Wine Club Shipments Include:

3-Bottle Members
Save 20 percent on 2013 Chardonnay, 2012 Cabernet Franc and 2011 Syrah

6-Bottle Members
Save 25 percent on 2013 Chardonnay, 2012 Cabernet Franc, 2011 Syrah and 2010 Tempranillo Reserve

12-Bottle Members
Save 30 percent on 2013 Chardonnay, 2012 Cabernet Franc, 2011 Syrah and 2010 Tempranillo Reserve, plus an exclusive pre-release of our newest red blend 2012 Epitome of Three

It’s your time. Indulge in your wine paired with a decadent spread of sweet and savory seasonal items. Also, enjoy live music from harpist Mary Vannice on Fri. Dec. 5 and jazz artist Ed Dunsavage on Sat., Dec. 6 from 2-4pm.

Event Hours: Fri & Sat, Noon-6pm | Sun, Noon-5pm

Please let us know if your billing information has changed. Call Heather Davis at (541) 664-2218 or email [email protected] and she would be delighted to update your payment information before processing your wine club order.

 We will be processing orders on Tuesday, December 2. As a reminder, 3-bottle members receive a 20% discount, 6-bottle members receive a 25% discount and 12-bottle members receive a 30% discount on all wine selections through December 31, 2014.

If you are unable to join us during this event weekend, your wine club selections will be available after Monday, December 8 at the tasting room in Central Point (next to the Rogue Creamery) any time during regular hours.