Bow and Arrow Chenin Blanc – Organic, Biodynamic and Low Intervention
The husband and wife team behind Bow & Arrow started their urban winery in northeast Portland, OR in 2010. A full fledged, subterranean winery, Bow & Arrow pays homage to the refreshing and decidedly working class wines of France’s Loire Valley with interpretations on varieties like Melon, Chenin Blanc, and Gamay; that had been grown in the Willamette Valley for years.
Both Scott and Dana have worked multiple roles throughout the wine industry: Scott previously worked as a wine retail buyer as well as an assistant winemaker at Cameron Winery in the Dundee Hills, while Dana held numerous restaurant jobs in both the back and front-of-house. Inspired by vignerons like Didier Barouillet of Clos Roche Blanche (who was an over-the-phone consultant on the project), Thierry Puzelat, and Marc Ollivier of Domaine de la Pépière, Dana and Scott set out to turn Oregon’s “Pinotstocracy” on its head.
Fruit is sourced from some of the best cool-climate, organic or biodynamic vineyards around the Willamette Valley, and the work in the cellar is completely natural. The result is a set of serious, well-crafted, food-friendly, affordable wines that are a true homage to the Loire.
Scott & Dana Frank work with farmers who are inclined to take risks, like planting the varieties they were searching for, and who have forward-thinking mentalities when it comes to farming organically and biodynamically. Over the course of their partnership, many of the farmers have become certified. Fermentations always occur naturally and fining, filtration, and sulfur additions are thoughtful if any.
Winery notes:2020 Chenin Blanc is 100% sourced from Union School Vineyard, the same place we get the Sauvignon Blanc for Fool’s Gold. I traveled to Matthew Rorick’s Heritage Vineyard a few years back and collected cuttings from his Chenin block after finding a grower willing to graft for me. The site is perfect for SB and Chenin – slightly warmer, good drainage, crotchety old German at the helm… I ripen till the fruit turns yellow and speckled like a bird’s egg and then direct press to large 500-liter casks for fermentation and aging. The elevage ranges from 12 to 18 months. The goal is to make a dry but extracted expression more akin to Savennière rather than say a Vouvray Sec.