Under the Radar with Steve Kilisky
Limited Addition Wines doesn’t want to be just another Willamette Valley winery focusing predominantly on Pinot Noir. Married couple Bree and Chad Stock, co-founders of winery that goes by clever moniker “Ltd.+,” embody the Apple advertising slogan “Think Different” from vineyard to table. Their divergent thinking about wine in Oregon’s Willamette Valley AVA begins by encouraging vineyards to plant lesser-known varieties that thrive in the cool climate of the valley, including Mencia, Trousseau, Cab Franc, Grüner Veltliner and Müller-Thurgau.
Bree Stock is also the director of education at the Oregon Wine Board and has the distinction of being the only female Master of Wine in the Pacific Northwest. She is knowledgeable about the challenges and opportunities facing Oregon winegrowers and winemakers, plus the national trend showing beer and spirits consumption growing, and wine consumption declining. A major factor contributing to this trend is the declining number of baby-boomer wine drinkers are not being offset by growth among younger generations.
While Ltd.+ wines will appeal to lovers of unusual varietals and blends, Bree’s vision transcends expanding the diversity of grapes planted. She is crafting a future that engages younger adults in more meaningful ways to interest them to include wine in their alcoholic drink mix.
“We’re focusing more on the younger generation who are used to jumping between beverages, from beer and cider to cocktails, and then over to Pét-Nat or natural wine and then back again,” she says. “They’re kind of promiscuous [drinkers] and don’t want to be stuck with one thing. We want our wines to capture their attention. They’re juicy and delicious with a lot of different flavors they may not be familiar with. They’re not your dad’s country club wines.”
The Stocks’ embrace organic and regenerative farming practices that reduce the use of water and other inputs that degrade the environment. These practices are of growing importance for younger consumers. They partner with like-minded winegrowers, and these practices carry over into their winemaking. “We think about what grape varieties could be the future of natural wine in this place,” she says. “That means we don’t need to add acid. We don’t need to add sugar. We don’t need to add Mega Purple or the more than 250 ingredients that can be added to wine.” They make sure consumers are aware of this by listing their ingredients on the bottle: dry-grown grapes, sulfur.
This commitment to sustainable practices also means promoting grape varieties that extend the growing season. This allows growers to hedge against seasonal weather changes that finicky Pinot Noir is especially susceptible to. But more importantly, the longer growing season also allows vineyard workers to earn additional income from the extended harvest period.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Bree thinks differently about wine consumption, as well. “I like to think of our wines as being meta beverages,” she says. An example of meta beverage could be replacing gin with a skin-contact Gewürztraminer which has quinine and citrus flavors, and add tonic to the wine to make a lower alcohol G&T-like spritz.
“We’re interested in expanding people’s thinking of the wine category and moving away from the traditional narratives that wine has been stuck in; to make wine more accessible to a wider audience of drinkers from cocktails to sour beer and cider,” she says. “I think sometimes winemakers are a little bit too precious about wine and that alienates people. I would rather have more people in the category. Let’s have some fun. It’s just a beverage!”
2021 Ltd.+ Eola Springs Vineyard Trousseau | Eola-Amity Hills AVA
Trousseau is a red grape that originated in the Jura region in eastern France bordering Switzerland. In Spain, the grape is known as Bastardo. It is also grown in Portugal as one the grapes blended to make Port.
“It’s an earthy variety which I find really interesting,” Bree says. “For being a fairly thin-skinned and cool climate, light red, it really delivers flavors of beets and root vegetables. It’s fun.” If this wine was a musician or band, she imagines it being sassy and feminine like Joni Mitchell or Brandi Carlisle.