Cultivating an Enduring Legacy
Our vineyard is the largest contiguous vineyard in Oregon's Dundee Hills. The property spans 400 acres, with 225 acres dedicated to growing vines at elevations ranging from 220 to 640 feet. The surrounding mountain ranges buffer the vineyard, creating a warmer microclimate that ensures consistent ripening.
These south-facing, tightly-spaced vines are planted to Jory, the fertile and well-drained red soil that has come to define the Dundee Hills.
Sustainable Farming and Innovation
We pride ourselves on running sustainable vineyards through a combination of responsible farming practices, innovative techniques, and cutting-edge scientific research. This approach helps us to continuously elevate the quality of the fruit we produce.
- Sustainability: Our sustainable vineyard is certified Low Input Viticulture and Enology (LIVE), which is the Northwest’s leading sustainability certification for vineyard farms and is globally recognized with the International Organization for Biological Control, as well as Salmon Safe. We collect winter runoff into a water reservoir with a total capacity of nearly 10 million gallons, which we use to establish new and young vines and irrigate during exceptionally dry years. All winery waste is composted on site and reused in the vineyards. Nothing leaves our farm.
- Innovative techniques: Our state-of-the-art viticultural practices include mechanical "herbicide free" weeding systems, advanced recirculation, venturi and tornado sprayers to better apply and reduce total spray volume, and advanced weather stations to deliver actual vine sensory data.
- Scientific research: In addition to collaborating with leading viticultural researchers from Oregon State University, we’re conducting our own long-term experiments to further discover the vineyard’s full potential and provide thought leadership to the industry.
- Pest Control: Our approach is to work with nature instead of fighting it. By fostering a habitat that supports a pests’ natural predators, we encourage the ecosystem that keeps them in check. We planted multiple acres of native perennial wildflowers the maintain the vineyard’s natural balance. Additionally, 100 western bluebird nesting boxes, 24 owl boxes, 20 raptor boxes, and 15 raptor perches are placed throughout the vineyard. All our bluebird and owl boxes were built using fallen native oak, while our raptor perches are made using recycled hop poles.
108 Sections, 10 Varieties
Our vineyard is divided into 108 meticulously farmed sections and has nine total planted varieties:
|Pinot Noir||158 acres|
|Pinot Blanc||1.5 acre|
|Gamay Noir||1 acre|
|Pinot Meunier||1 acre|
Our vineyard is most known for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Pinot Noir clones include:
|Clone 777||31 acres|
|Clone 115||27 acres|
|Clone 667||16 acres|
|Field Blend - Multi Clone||5 acres|
|Clone 114||3.6 acres|
|Clone 943||3.5 acres|
|Clone AS1||3.4 acres|
|Mt. Eden||2.3 acres|
|True Clone 828||1 acre|
We focus on the following Dijon clones for Chardonnay:
|Clone 76||21 acres|
|Clone 95||20 acres|
|Clone 548||9.6 acres|
|Clone 96||4.3 acres|
A Year In The Vineyard
1 Late Winter - Pruning
The lifecycle of the vineyard begins when we prune the vines. Done by hand, pruning allows our crew to carefully select the canes that are best suited to bear grapes for the coming vintage. We leave two fruiting canes and two renewal spurs, which will be the source of the next year’s fruiting canes.
2 Spring - Bud Break
In mid to late April, the vines begin to awaken from their winter slumber and "push” a shoot from the cane. This process is known as bud break. During this delicate time, we are entirely at the mercy of Mother Nature, as any frost could damage the vulnerable buds. However, because our vineyard site is warmer than others in the valley, frost has rarely been an issue.
3 Late Spring - Flowering
Flowering is another crucial period for the vineyard, during which wind, rain, and even cold weather can dislodge the delicate grape flowers growing on our vines. If a sizeable storm hits the vineyard during while the vines are flowering, we could lose most of the crop before the flowers begin to self-pollinate, or “set,” to form berries, resulting in a potentially low yield.
4 Summer - Trellising
Trellising allows the sunlight to reach the fruit, enhancing the ripening process. It also increases the airflow to the grape clusters, allowing the wind to cool down the fruit in the evening hours, a crucial part of maintaining acidity in the vineyard. The increased airflow also helps keep any potential disease in check, as mold and fungus prefer warm, still, moist air.
5 Summer - Fruit Thinning
By thinning the fruit, we reduce the crop load early in the growing season, allowing the plant to focus its energies on ripening the remaining fruit. Vines with lighter crop loads allow wine grapes to develop more intense flavors of higher concentration, which in turn allows for increased flavors in the wines we create. Since Oregon often receives generous rainfall in autumn, we reduce crop load dramatically during the summer to ensure ripening before fall rains come.
6 Summer - Véraison
All varieties start green in color, and through the process of véraison, the grapes begin to change color. At this point, we can start to speculate on the outlook for the vintage, including the cluster weights, average yield per acre, and potential harvest date. Harvest generally occurs 6 weeks from the middle of véraison.
7 Summer - Maintenance
During the summer, we strive to find a light-handed equilibrium between what Mother Nature gives us, and what measures can take to ensure a top-notch harvest at the end of the growing season. These measures may include:
- Removing leaves in the fruit zone to allow sun and wind to further advance ripening;
- Irrigating in precise quantities to feed the plants the right amount of water at the right time; and,
- Pursuing a meticulous regimen of under-vine cultivation, vine hedging, and the removal of excess crop based off of yield estimates.
8 Fall - Harvest
As fall approaches we begin testing the fruit for physiological ripeness and flavor to decide which sections are ready for harvesting. Factors considered include Brix, pH, and acidity, along with flavor development.
The grapes are hand-picked in the early morning hours before the autumn sun has a chance to warm the vineyard. Using small, sharp bypass pruners, the vineyard crew clips and places clusters into 5-gallon picking buckets, which are then loaded into bins and transported to the winery.