Maloof Wines: Energetic Wines from the Heart of Oregon
From Pinot Noir and Beyond
I moved to Portland, Oregon in the early 2000s after a weeklong visit to wineries and exploring the city on a vacation. The region hooked me instantly. After living in Texas most of my life, I welcomed the move to an area with actual seasons and with easy access to delicious wine, beer, and food. I worked near the Willamette Valley region and visited many vineyards during my time there. It was not uncommon for me to leave work and head to a vineyard for a tour or tasting. (Sometimes I even did this off the clock).
Of course, everyone was growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. With some you could see Pinot Gris, Riesling, Gamay, and other grapes, but it was really a pinot-heavy time in winemaking. It’s the grape that brings both the boys and girls to the yard. No one, and I mean NO ONE, was producing “natural wines.” (Ok, maybe someone was at this time but they were not on my radar.) Hardly anyone was producing wines from grapes other than those mentioned above. Consumers expected Oregon wine, and especially Willamette Valley wine, to be elegant Pinot noir or Chardonnay. But both times and tastes change. There is now a growing contingent of natural wine producers in Oregon who are stretching the boundaries of what is grown and how wine is made in the region. One of our favorite wineries leading the charge is Maloof Wines.
Ross & Bee (Yin and Yang)
Maloof Wines is a husband-and-wife winery team based in Forest Grove, OR. They are a true yin and yang team. One is a materials engineer grounded in hard science, and the other is a restaurant professional. Both are two nerds with a penchant for good hospitality and properly fermented pizza dough.
Bee Maloof represents the hard science behind the project. Prior to playing with grapes, she worked for close to a decade as a materials science engineer in aerospace. As a long-time lover of food and wine, Bee turned her scientific eye from rotorcraft to winemaking during the 2016 harvest.
Ross Maloof broke into the production side of the wine industry initially by traveling to Oregon to visit some friends, and ended up working harvest at Day Camp, a co-op started by Brianne Day. Before getting his first taste for winemaking, he worked for just over a decade in the Philadelphia dining scene at such wine destinations as Vedge and A. Kitchen. His hospitality work always had a huge focus on the beverage side. After the 2016 harvest (Maloof wine’s 2nd vintage), the two went back to Philly, but Oregon had left its mark on them, and in 2017 they relocated to Oregon permanently. The area tends to do that to people.
Energetic Wines from the Heart of Oregon
Today, Maloof Wines are produced at No Clos Radio, their estate vineyard and winery location. No Clos Radio is just outside of Forest Grove, which is due west of Portland. The vineyard and winery is shared with their closest friends, Jim Fischer and Jenny Mosbacher from Fossil & Fawn. Ross and Bee are dedicated to making wines full of energy. Wine that truly capture place and time in each bottle. Ross and Bee work closely with their farmers to achieve this goal. They consider their farmers the true inspiration of for their work. Maloof wines are fun and funky cuvées of all colors. Ross and Bee focus on producing single-vineyard wines of often-overlooked or misunderstood white varieties.
Trust me you are going to love these wines.
The Wines of Maloof
Maloof L’eau Epicée Pet Nat
Region: Willamette Valley, Oregon, United States
Grape varieties: Riesling and Gewurztraminer
Maloof L’eau Epicée Pet Nat takes Riesling and Gewurztraminer, gives some skin-contact, and lets the wine make bubbles the ancestral way.
Song: Little Glass of Wine by Ralph Stanley
Out of stock
Maloof Wax On, Wax Soif Blanche
Region: Applegate Valley, Oregon, United States
Grape varieties: Viognier, Marsanne, and Grenache Blanc
Maloof Wax On, Wax Soif Blanche is an ever-changing blend of field grapes. This vintage is a tribute to lush Rhone-style white blends.
Song: Tide is High by Blondie
Out of stock
Maloof Where’s Ya PJs At?
Region: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Grape varieties: Pinot Gris and Riesling
Maloof Where’s Ya PJs At? is a fun and energetic dichotomy of soft herbs and hard cherry candy aromas from skin contact Pinot Gris met by lots of high-toned acid from barrel-fermented dry Riesling. Rosé-ish springtime blend to bring to your next slumber party. The Pinot Gris is fermented on the skins until dry. Around 20% of the Pinot Gris is fermented via carbonic maceration in a separate bin. The two lots are pressed off together and put into neutral oak. The Riesling is direct-pressed and fermented in neutral oak barrels. The wine is assembled into a tank in spring, and bottled without fining or filtration. Serve chilled or at cellar temp with white pizza pies or with a bowl of popcorn over your favorite John Lithgow movie.
Movie: Raising Cain
Out of stock