His Labor of Love

Do judge this wine by its label; a lot of love goes into a bottle of Labor Wines’ pinot noir, the latest issue from a local winemaker. Corey Nyman, 34, has an impressive food and beverage pedigree having been brought up, along with his brother, Craig, in the family biz (“Brotherhood for a Better Vegas,” Jan. 27 issue). But the Nyman Group exec has been plotting for some time to make a mark on the wine scene with his own product and, Nyman says, “I can’t believe it’s here.”

The 2009 Willamette Valley 100 percent pinot noir is expected to arrive on wine lists at Nove Italiano, Herbs & Rye, Blue Ribbon, on Vintner Grill’s local winemaker menu and at Marche Bacchus ($25 suggested retail) in mid-September. With fruit from six vineyards in the Yamhill-Carlton and Chehalem Mountains AVAs, Labor’s 2009 pinot is feminine, Burgundian in style, approachable and enjoyable with or without a meal. With regard to that rustic label, it started with an L.A.-to-San Francisco roadtrip with a buddy. Naturally, talk turned to wine. “Everything takes labor to accomplish,” he had explained to his friend. “In order to get wine made, from the start of the process to the bottle, it takes labor. It can be mental labor, it can be physical … but that end of the day it takes your hands.” Labor Wine’s (LaborWines.com) first vintage consists of 280 cases with a goal of 1,000 cases in two years, plus the addition of a white wine. Nyman also has long-term plans for a brick-and-mortar tasting room. “The first vintage had to be pinot noir because I’ve lived in Oregon, and Oregon changed my life in terms of wine. This is me giving back to Oregon in a sense,” Nyman says. “Pinot noir is also one of the most fickle varietals, so it takes the most labor to coax it to its optimal point.”