Violin Wine was founded in 2013 by Will Hamilton and specializes in Pinot noir and Chardonnay from Oregon’s Willamette Valley. The name Violin is a reference to Vino and Will’s son Olin. Will strives to make wines that are elegant and a true expression of the vineyard and region.
Violin has a tasting room in Amity but I visited with Will at a house in downtown McMinnville that is part time tasting room and part time vacation rental. Will was incredibly accommodating allowing me to visit on only 24 hours notice. At this point Will is a one man show at Violin. He is equally passionate talking about making wine or the sales side of the business and has strong convictions around both.
Will poured six Violin wines for me including the 2019 Pinot Noir Willamette Valley, 2019 Pinot Noir Sojeau Vineyard, 2018 Pinot Noir Justice Vineyard, 2018 Pinot Noir Polk County Cuvee, 2019 Chardonnay Willamette Valley and 2019 Chardonnay Sojeau Vineyard. The highlights for me were the 2019 Sojeau, 2018 Justice and 2018 Polk County Cuvee. I did not take formal notes as I was having too much fun listening to Will evangelize on his mission and Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. All three wines, though, were clearly in the 92-94 point range for me. It merits mention that both the Willamette Valley Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are incredible deals at the $30 price point.
Violin has wines available in only five States: Colorado, North Carolina, California, Nebraska, and Oregon. Violin, like many wineries in Willamette, was hit hard with the 2020 fires. My desire to support wineries like Violin and the sheer quality of what I tried on my visit had me signing up for the mailing list and getting a half dozen bottles shipped back to Seattle.