Day Wines

Candid Wines' producers at Raw Fair

Brianne Day, center, with team Candid at Raw Fair in London. (R to L Eric Taunay of Lambert, Fred Niger of Ecu, Brianne, Sean O’Callaghan from Riecine and Jon Bowen of Sainte Croix.)


who? what? when? where? why? how?

who grows the grapes at Day Winery? who makes the wines?

I discovered I had a passion for wine at a young age and in 2006 I began working in the industry with a two year global exploration to dozens and dozens of wine regions. During this journey I learned two things; I needed to make wine and naturally produced wines are an integral tie that binds humans to each other and to the earth. After studying and working under the finest mentors in Oregon, France, New Zealand and Argentina, I decided in 2012 to make wine for myself. I do not own a vineyard or any vines. Instead, I have chosen to work with experienced, dedicated farmers who strive to grow their fruit using clean and honest practices.”  Brianne Day, from the RAW Fair London site.  
Rising Oregon star, Brianne Day

what wines do they make at Day Winery?

Again, Brianne: “I make single vineyard wines with the goal in mind of capturing a year and a place in a delicious manner. I make Pinot noir because it thrives in my Willamette Valley home and expresses the land with clarity. In 2013 I also made a Syrah/Viognier which I co-fermented, and a Cabernet franc/Malbec/Tannat which I co-fermented. This fruit was from a lovely, healthy site in the wild Applegate Valley of Southern Oregon. My goal is to find small, personally owned vineyards throughout the Pacific Northwest of the USA growing varieties that are well suited to each location, and make wine from this fruit with no stylistic interference from me.”

Current releases include the very pretty single vineyard Pinot Noir’s from Cancilla Vineyard and Crowley Station as well as the Hock & Deuce that combines Syrah and Viogner.  With 20% Viognier in the blend, Hock and Deuce is a rarity – even in the Northern Rhone, few producers include this much Viognier, but it made sense for the 2013 fruit, so Brianne did not back away.  The result is a wine with velvety soft edges and a core of beautiful red fruit.

Syrah Viognier Blend Day wines


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when did Day Wines start? when might you open a bottle?

2012 was Brianne’s first commercial vintage on her own, but she literally traveled all over the world honing her own style prior to launching the winery, visiting more than 80 wine regions.  The list of places she has worked is impressive, and not limited to wineries: Grochau Cellars, Riffle, Le Pigeon, Little Bird, Belle Pente, Scott Paul Wines, WillaKenzie Estate, Brooks and The Eyrie Vineyards.  The result of this exposure to so many ideas and processes is a series of wines that taste like Brianne has been making wine (and making winemaking decisions) for a long time now.  The wines are polished beyond what one might expect from such a young venture.

In terms of when to open a bottle, Brianne’s wines have done quite well at excellent restaurants here in Chicago as well as Portland.  They are restrained, elegant and feminine by design.  Open the Pinots with lovingly and thoughtfully prepared food – they will reward the effort.  

where is Day Winery?

Brianne sources fruit from small growers across numerous appellations in Oregon, and may, one day soon turn up something in her native Washington State.  The winery is in a shared facility with Bjornson Vineyard, a practice that is quite common among small wineries in Oregon.  
Day wines Oregon Pinot Noir Syrah

2013 going into barrel at Day Wines.

why is Day Wines a candid wine?

We were introduced to Brianne over the course of many newsletters from our friend Michael Alberty at the Storyteller Wine Company, where Brianne tells us she worked “whenever I wasn’t chasing harvest”.  Michael holds Brianne in high esteem as a person and an emerging winemaker, calling her first release “Outrageously good pinot for a modest tariff.”  (Interestingly, it came just after an offer for Keller’s Burgel Spätburgunder.  Fine company indeed).

With Michael’s introduction we came to know Brianne and her approach to sourcing fruit and making wines.  Long story short, she’s taken many of the steps we’d want to take if we knew the first thing about winemaking, i.e. find the best fruit possible and then resist every temptation to manipulate it.  The results we’ve tasted speak for themselves.  

Day Wines, Portland Oregon Brianne with her first vintage at Storyteller Wine Company.

how is the wine made at Day Wines?

Native yeast ferments drive small lots for Brianne’s Pinot Noirs, which are fermented in primarily neutral oak barrels and when the season allows with some whole clusters as she likes the aromatic compounds they release.  We have an extensive series of winemaking questions answered by Brianne on Ask a Winemaker.  Please watch the video here, and then stay with the series to learn more about Brianne’s approach.