Home Industry News Releases Ducleaux Cellars’ Call Sign Lauded at Sip Magazine’s Best of the Northwest

Ducleaux Cellars’ Call Sign Lauded at Sip Magazine’s Best of the Northwest

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Founder Toby Turlay’s pét nat grabs Platinum, and she accepts Domaine Chandon harvest intern position to learn more about traditional method Champagne production first-hand

April 3, 2024, Milton Freewater, OR . . . Toby Turlay and husband Chris Dukelow of Ducleaux Cellars, a small 1,500-case winery in The Rocks District of Milton Freewater, know a thing or two about Oregon Sparkling wine. In fact, their Call Sign Pétillant Naturel, sourced from their Rocks District of Milton Freewater AVA Belle Roche Vineyard, just won a Platinum award from Sip Magazine’s Best of the Northwest. Out of 625 wines submitted this year, two Ducleaux wines attained Platinum, with Turlay’s 2022 Call Sign project now in its third vintage, emerging the victor out of 40 wineries at the annual festival. 2023 was Turlay’s 5th vintage making pét nats. 

30 judges were on-hand, writing that Call Sign has “Aromas of ripe apple, quince, sour lemon and faint spice open this unusual 100% Roussanne pét nat from Ducleaux Cellars. With grapes sourced from the Rocks District of Milton-Freewater, this lightly bubbly wine has a lively acidity.”

Turlay’s dad, Commander William E. Turlay, the namesake of Call Sign Pét Nat, is a Navy fighter pilot who performed more than 800 carrier landings in over two decades of military service. He is a Champagne lover, earning him the flight call sign of “Champagne One,” because he smuggled and shared cases of his beloved Champagne with his squadron from carrier trips overseas. 

In related news, like her father, Toby is taking her love of bubbles one step further and will be serving as a harvest intern at the exalted Domaine Chandon California for the 2024 vintage. There she will work on traditional and Charmat methods of sparkling wine production six days a week, for 12-hour shifts and process 10,000 tons of grapes with an all-women team, mostly hailing from the Champagne region of France.

“I’m coming out of my skin, I’m SO excited,” said Turlay when she first learned of this opportunity to immerse herself into traditional method Champagne production. “I may be a late bloomer now that I’m in my 50’s doing this, with six kids who have all flown the coop successfully, but the time is now and I want to learn more about sparkling in the best way I know how—by immersing myself in the winemaking experience with the best.”

Also achieving Platinum was their 2020 Love & Chaos. Judges noted “this 50/50 Merlot and Syrah blend opens beautifully with rich scents of brandied cherries, blackberry coulis and the hint of a fragrant rose garden. A zing of cranberry and red currant enlivens the palate with notes of Chinese five spice, white pepper and bergamot.”

More About Ducleaux Cellars 

Founded by Toby Turlay and Chris Dukelow, Pacific NW locals who met on match.com more than a decade ago, the duo’s journey is benchmarked with serious wine made by not-so serious folks Ducleaux Cellars specializes in Rhone varieties such as Syrah, Viognier, Roussane and Mourvèdre, sourcing grapes from their 10-acre estate. With Toby as Winemaker and Chris at her side, the two run a highly personalized yet professional tasting experience on the east side of The Rocks District.

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