Here in the Pacific Northwest, chefs, bakers and wine-makers share their love of Oregon hazelnuts in unique and delicious ways. We like to call them our “year-round heroes of hazelnuts.” Meet Our Newest Hazelnut Heroes: The Treos Wine Team.
Ternion, the brainchild of two of Treos Wine’s cofounders Steve Jewell-Larsen and Nickie Jepson, is a delicately sweet and robust hazelnut-infused dessert wine inspired by the full-bodied ports native to the Douro Valley in Portugal.
With hot and dry summers and cool and wet winters, Douro’s unique climate is key for growing the rich flavored, local grapes essential to Portugal ports. Having lived in Spain for several years and spending time in Portugal, Steve was determined to recreate a port, but with Northwest ingredients.
After experimenting with a variety of Willamette-Valley crops for nearly two years Nickie provided the inspiration for using Oregon hazelnuts. Steve knew Oregon hazelnuts were the only ingredient that would give him the complex flavor he desired.
To achieve his perfect blend, Steve infuses clones of Pinot noir and Muscat grapes with a variety of roasted Oregon hazelnuts, then ages it in French Oak barrels. Steve explains that “by infusing the wine with hazelnuts dry roasted at a low temperature, you get a tremendously rich port that displays the character of a Portuguese port – only you’re using Northwest-grown ingredients.”
You can purchase Ternion directly from Treos Winery in Monmouth, or at specialty wine shops and restaurants around Oregon.