At Union Wine Company, we’re fond of breaking patterns. We’re not afraid to mix our wine with other quality ingredients to bring new wine drinking experiences to life. Enter Underwood wine coolers. Our wine coolers are a combination of innovation, art and craft, paired with our commitment to stay local and support the artisans of Oregon. First up: meet the Underwood Riesling Radler.
More than a year ago our fearless leader, Ryan Harms, who’s always pushing the boundaries, asked our wine production team a question that started it all: what if we could make something along the lines of a Radler*, but with wine? 24 hours later, a trial blend was in front of him and the Riesling Radler was born.
*For those that aren’t familiar with what a Radler is: simply put, it’s a traditional German beverage that is half beer, half fruit soda.
Let’s rewind a little. Long before our Radler came to be, we partnered with Goschie Farms, nestled within the hills of the scenic Willamette Valley, to grow Pinot Gris grapes. We pride ourselves in developing and maintaining strong relationships with our growers, and Goschie Farms has been a staple in our winemaking process for over 4 years. More so, they have been a fixture in the Oregon hop farming community for 130 years. So, when we started playing with the idea of a Riesling Radler, partnering with them was a no-brainer.
Goschie Farms is currently managed by fourth generation farmer Gayle Goschie along with her brothers Gordon and Glenn. In 2009, Gayle became the first woman to be awarded the International Order of the Hop, which is the highest honor in the hop community. Rumor has it that Gayle has been running forklifts since before she could walk, and on any given day you’re likely to find her in rubber boots working outside in the crop fields. Gayle strongly believes in the responsibility to conserve and improve our lands, not only as good business sense, but as critical to building future farm leaders.
Sustainability continues to take a front seat in Goschie Farm’s daily operations. They are the first ever hops grower to be certified as Salmon-Safe, recognized for their conservation practices that protect water quality and native salmon. They also use solar power to operate their facility and have achieved their LIVE certification for sustainability.
Turning back to our Riesling Radler, under Gayle’s leadership and in partnership with our winemaking team, Goschie Farms helped us identify hop varieties that would achieve the flavors and characteristics we were looking for. The final formula combines Riesling wine, Crystal and Cascade hops and grapefruit juice. The goal was to pull some of the flavors from beer, while still keeping the Radler wine-based. The result is a session-able, 3% ABV wine cooler that bridges the gap between approachable wine and craft beer.
We couldn’t be prouder to work with Goschie Farms to put the hop in our Riesling Radler. Stay tuned to see what’s next…
“It’s far better to be challenged by the work than to be overwhelmed, and we all know how overwhelming it can be because farming is hard work. But it’s boots on the ground, hands in the dirt, good honest work.”
– Gayle Goschie