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.
2 thoughts on “A Visit with Will Hamilton of Violin Wine”
Completely agree Tom. Will/Violin was the ‘sleeper’ of our June 2021 Oregon tasting tour. We hit some heavy hitters and found no better quality-price ratio (QPR) than Violin. Will was a walking encyclopedia of the vineyard AVAs and we eagerly soaked up his knowledge during our tasting. Just to put things in perspective, it was delivered with an understated humbleness that should not be misinterpreted. His wines can ‘hang’ with some other more notable producers and he lets his product speak for him. Message received loud and clear! It’s just a matter of time before Will gets the proper recognition….and prices (hopefully for Will’s sake; not so much for us) rise. A nice ‘shout out’ from Tom is just the beginning. Get in early and load up on this one folks!
Thanks for weighing in and I look forward to following Violin as much as you do!