Who Are We? We're family-owned, live on our vineyard, and have built the business from the ground up. Our focus is making the absolute best wine we can. We're still quite small - our first vintage was 2003. We made close to 1000 cases of wine in 2006 and we should have almost 1600 in 2007. That's just about our limit with our existing vineyard. We rent space at ADEA Wine Company, and Dean Fish... Read more
Who Are We? We're family-owned, live on our vineyard, and have built the business from the ground up. Our focus is making the absolute best wine we can. We're still quite small - our first vintage was 2003. We made close to 1000 cases of wine in 2006 and we should have almost 1600 in 2007. That's just about our limit with our existing vineyard. We rent space at ADEA Wine Company, and Dean Fisher is our consulting winemaker. Where Are We? Our vineyard is located about 4 miles west of Carlton, Oregon and 7 miles north of McMinnville, Oregon. We have 11 acres of Pinot Noir and 2 acres of Pinot Blanc on willakenzie soils, which are characteristic of the region. Vines range in age from 20 years old to 5 years old. We have blocks planted to the Pommard, Wadenswil and 115 clones. Our vineyard slopes mostly south and east, although we have parts that go in every direction. We believe that the complexity of the site will translate into more complex wines, although time will tell. All prime vineyards in the north Willamette Valley are planted on hillsides. One reason is to eliminate as much as possible the danger from spring frosts - cold air just flows down the hillside v. pooling around the vines. Another reason is that the hillsides are less fertile, which, as counterintuitive as it might seem, is better for growing high quality Pinot Noir grapes. Our vineyard is part of the new Yamhill-Carlton District AVA [AVAs are similar, but not identical to the French concept of appellations]. This region includes Ken Wright Cellars, Belle Pente, Shea, Willakenzie Estate, and many others. How Do We Make the Wines? Very carefully, of course. Pinot Noir requires a delicate touch and we try to do as little as possible during the winemaking process. As a result, our wines are very reflective of the particular vintage. The Pinot Noir is fermented in small tanks (we used lots of 1.5 ton fermenters this year). This lets us keep our clones and blocks separate, so we can both track how they're doing year to year and preserve as many options as possible for the final blending process. We age roughly 30% of the wine in new French oak barrels every year, and the rest of the wine is stored in one to four year old barrels. How long we keep the wine in barrel is determined by how we think they're doing. Our 2004 and 2005 vintages spent 11 months in oak, but the 2003 vintage (a HUGE wine) spent almost 18 months in barrels. Our Pinot Blanc is fermented in a single stainless steel tank. We strive for a long, cool fermentation to preserve the delicate fruit flavors that our vineyard seems to generate. Because our fermentation takes quite a while, we bottle our Pinot Blanc later than most other producers. We think Pinot Blanc is a much more interesting varietal than Pinot Gris, and most everyone who tastes it agrees with us. This is a really unique and refreshing wine. Read less
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