If diversity is the spice of life, then Oregon is an intriguing spice rack. There’s much more to our home than snowy peaks, rugged coastlines, and foggy forests. There’s no better example of Oregon’s diversity than the Willamette and Umpqua Valleys. Both regions produce spectacular Pinots. But the profound difference in weather patterns produces grapes that contribute to wildly divergent wine styles.
Our Willamette Valley vineyard sits atop a fog-swept ridge, located east of Silverton. Our Umpqua Valley vineyard is located west of the city of Umpqua on a beautifully forested ridge. We like Pinot Noir from ridges, because the slope provides great water drainage capacity; this controls the vines’ vigor and produces low yields. Low yields are ideal, as the vine is encouraged to focus its character in a smaller volume of grapes.
Our southern Pinot Noir from the Umpqua Valley is very ripe and juicy, with a more “new world” style. By comparison, the northern Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley is tarter, earthier, and more “old world” in style. The Willamette Valley soils are heavier in clay with alluvial (or loose, unconsolidated) sediments. The Umpqua Valley features more clay deposits and soils that are volcanic in their origin.
Our Pinot Gris grapes come from two Willamette Valley vineyards southwest of Salem on either side of the Willamette River. The Willamette Valley is cool and well suited for aromatic whites like Pinot Gris. Both sites are on south-facing slopes with heavy soils – a perfect vineyard location and profile for Pinot Gris.
Due to the lush climate conditions in all the areas where we harvest our grapes, we’re able to “dry-farm” (no irrigation) all our vineyards.