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This week we have a very special offer featuring what are undoubtedly the most limited production wines you can find.
There are four wines in this offer. Total production was 456 cases … total across ALL four wines!
All are Willamette Valley. All were made by former Minnesotan Bill Hooper. All come from organic dry farmed vineyards. Bill Hooper himself did almost all the vineyard maintenance, farming, and harvesting. Bill did all the winemaking with his own two hands (and two feet).
Bill Hooper (aka “Hoops”) and I go way way back. The first time I met him, I was a wine sales rep and he was the new wine buyer at Zipp’s Liquor on Franklin Avenue. This was probably 2004 or 2005. Bill’s knowledge of wine was pretty good, but I noticed it got better every single week. Dude was reading everything he could, absorbing every bit of info, and he tasted all the wines that came his way. In short order, he was one of the most knowledgeable buyers in town.
He left that job to be a wine sales rep for a key fine wine distributor, which he did for a few years before packing up and moving to Germany to learn how to make the best Riesling in the world. During that time we would occasionally publish the “Hooper Dispatch” on this website to keep us up on what he was doing.
(Be sure to watch the part of the video where Chuck tells the story of first meeting Hoops. It’s awesome. Look for chapter 9.)
Upon completing a top-level three year winemaking program in only two years (and being only the second American to complete it at all) he moved back to the United States with a clear goal: make the best Riesling in America, along with some other outstanding wines.
Fate took him to Willamette Valley, where he established his wine brand, Weinbau Paetra, and went on to contract tiny parcels of top vineyards, doing all the work himself.
Paetra is now a 1500 case brand, sold in ten states. Most wines are under 300 case total production, some as small as 75 cases.
These are incredible hand-crafted wines, limited in production, and stylish as can be. We decided that rather than write volumes of tasting notes, it’s best to hear from the man himself. We filmed this video a few days ago, with me, Bill, and Chuck stepping through all four wines and sharing some stories.
** Take note of the chapters, jump around in the video, and enjoy learning about these wines, Bill’s farming philosophy, some insider info on wine sales and distribution, and some wonderful stories. **
The 2021 Pinot Noir vintage in general
“Absolutely perfect, which we needed after 2020. Good summertime burst of heat at the right moment. Not a super late harvest. No sunburn. As perfect as it gets.” – Bill
Paetra Arlyn Vineyard Pinot Noir 2021
150 case total production.
24 bottles available.
From a top-notch vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains, across the road from Adelsheim winery and north of Bergström. Super pretty, bright red fruits abound. Lively and lifting aromas along with sensual red fruits throughout. Just outstanding.
And the label colors make it perfect for Halloween (the original homage: they are the colors of Bill’s kids’ school).
Paetra Benarik Vineyard Pinot Noir 2021
125 case total production.
60 bottles available.
Bill’s favorite of the three Pinot Noirs. From an old dry-farmed and own-rooted vineyard (incredibly rare to find) located in the far northern parts of Willamette Valley, north of the well-known sub-AVAs. Spicy, peppery, loaded with herbal components in the aromas (sage and thyme especially). Bill’s dream pairing with this is braised lamb shank.
And the colors make it a great gift for a Vikings fan. (The original homage: they are the colors of Bill’s alma mater, Cretin-Derham Hall!)
Paetra Wahlstrom Vineyard Pinot Noir 2021
75 case total production.
120 bottles available
From an extreme vineyard located east of the I-5, south of Portland near Wilsonville, on the side of an old quarry. One of the steepest vineyards in Oregon, with no possibility of farming with a tractor. Everything has to be done by hand. Only one ton to the acre due to the terroir and the deer that feed on the grapes.
Burgundian in style. It reminded me of Santenay. Bright red fruit out of the gate, incredible grip. Sold out at the winery.
Paetra Elwetritsche Riesling 2020
THIS IS THE RIESLING OF THE YEAR, AND A WINE EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE ON THEIR RACK.
It’s also a dinosaur wine, about to go extinct. The vineyard has been sold and Hoops will no longer have access to the fruit. This is the final vintage.
106 case total production.
An elwetritsche (el-va-trit-cha) is a mystical and mythical bird creature said to inhabit the forests of southwest Germany. It’s also the name for Bill’s pride-and-joy-best-of-the-vintage Riesling.
The 2020 vintage was, of course, the year of the fires, and the smoke taint in the vineyards made many producers (including Paetra) produce no Pinot Noir. But it would also impact the white wines if you let the fermenters be open for too long, so this wine was pressed directly off the grapes and immediately put into fermentation, resulting in LOADS of awesome apple and pear fruits. Bill explains it more in the video. The wine is dry, and has huge possibilities when it comes to food and wine pairings. This is also going to be the perfect wine for Thanksgiving. We cover tons of info in the video (chapter 8).
This is from one of the first vineyards Bill ever worked with, and it has recently been sold. This is the last vintage from this property.
As mentioned by Chuck in the video, Hooper’s wines are all about a European mindset and a food-matching capability.
What you’re not going to find here are lush or gooey aromas and flavors. No oak-hit of vanilla and clove. Rather, there is a linear aspect to the flavors and aromas that is fantastic, and multiplies when fat or protein are involved. So treat them as you would a great wine from Europe, and have some charcuterie or cheese at the very least with the wines.
The Pinot Noirs are super limited (especially Arlyn and Bednarik) and stunning. They are all worthwhile, especially if you like to have wines in your possession that few others have ever seen or heard about.
Sidenote: When I’m going to a social wine tasting with a bunch of sommeliers, Paetra is my go-to brand to bring since it is so under-the-radar yet stunning quality. I LOVE watching a know-it-all Somm grab the bottle, especially after tasting it, look carefully at the label, smile and giggle, and mutter what the hell is THIS??
The crown jewel is the Riesling. There is no question about it. And if you’re Riesling-adverse we have to have a talk — after you buy it 😉 — and I’ll explain why Riesling is the greatest grape around. Or just listen to Mr. Riesling himself, Terry Theise.
Happy shopping, and thank you again for supporting what we do.
And thanks in advance for supporting Bill Hooper’s work and vision. There are few like him in the wine world.
Sommelier and founder/owner of Twin Cities Wine Education
All wines limited to available inventory. First come, first served.
This offer has ended. Thank you for your interest.